Toyota CEO to Face Chinese Authorities over Vehicle Problems

Toyota chief will face Chinese authorities on Monday over massive vehicle safety problems. China is a valuable market asset to the company as it pumped up vehicle sales in the country to more than 800, 000 units starting 2010.

The car company hopes to regain the trust and consumer confidence of the Chinese.

Less that a week after being grilled by lawmakers in the United States, Toyota President Akio Toyoda is now set to take on Chinese officials, who wish to hear his side of the issue that started with the company’s vehicle safety problems.

According to Toyota Spokesperson Ririko Takeuchi, the move by Toyoda to visit China on Monday will help the company to boost confidence of millions of consumers in the country. She added that the Toyota president will be speaking with reports at an undisclosed Beijing hotel.

Based on records, the number of cars that will be recalled in China is relatively small compared to the 8.5 million vehicles already pulled out in the US since October last year. At least 75, 000 RAV4 sports-utility vehicles were recalled by Toyota in January.

The recall was a result of tests showing that the gas pedals of several of its models were sticking to floors mats while hundreds of braking problems were reported against Prius hybrid car.

Toyota is now eyeing ambitious expansion plans in China. Unlike in traditional stagnant markets like the US and Europe, the market opportunities in China is unlimited, the country’s vehicle sales increased by more than 45 percent or 13.6 million last year.

According to insiders, Toyota is expected to increase vehicles sales in China to more than 800, 000 starting in 2010.


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