Lawmakers in Washington are hearing from Toyota executives and auto industry experts this week to determine why some models have uncontrollable acceleration problems and whether Toyota tried to cover up flaws on the many thousands of vehicles that have now been recalled.
Capitol News Connection’s Matt Laslo was at today’s congressional hearings and has been tweeting updates. A snippet of what he’s seen today:
Some conservative members of Congress were more hesitant to slam Toyota outright. Capitol News Connection’s Sara Schiammaco noted in a roundup of opening remarks:
Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., scolded her colleagues on the panel who she said came in during the eleventh hour of the congressional examination to politicize the issue. “This should not be a trial, but rather a hearing to get to the bottom of safety issues,” Blackburn said. “This is a serious issue that has resulted in the loss jobs.”
Michigan Public Radio followed the state’s delegation at the hearings in Washington:
U.P. Congressman Bart Stupak is chairing today’s hearing. He suggests Toyota executives may be trying to hide problems with their vehicles.
“A staff analysis of the documents Toyota provided to the committee, shows that roughly 70 percent of the sudden, unintended acceleration events, recorded in Toyota’s own customer call data base, involve vehicles that are not covered by the floor mat or sticky pedal recalls,” says Stupak.
But the problems for Toyota run even deeper than Congress’s questions. PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill spoke with a reporter in Detroit and analysed the criminal charges Toyota could face if a federal grand jury finds its executives at fault.
Toyota’s complete list of operations and plants in the U.S. can be found here. Take a look and see how your state is being represented at the hearings. If there’s a plant in your area, how has the recall had an impact locally?