Toyota chief apologizes to Chinese consumers for recalls

Updated: 2010-03-01 19:05
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Toyota chief apologizes to Chinese consumers for recalls

Toyota Motor Corporation President and CEO Akio Toyoda bows during a news conference in Beijing, March 1, 2010. Toyoda on Monday offered a sincere apology to Chinese consumers over its massive global recall, which has had limited impact in the Chinese market. [Agencies] 

BEIJING: Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda bowed at a press conference in Beijing Monday to apologize to Chinese customers for vehicle recalls.

"I would like to express my sincere apologies as the massive global recalls have affected and worried Chinese customers," Toyoda said.

The company recalled a total of 75,552 RAV4 sport-utility vehicles in China in late January due to an accelerator pedal problem.

The Prius or Lexus brands were safe for Chinese consumers as the faults with brake systems behind the massive global recalls did not involve the two models sold in China, said Akio Toyoda.

The company is endeavoring to repair the faults in the accelerator pedals, said Toyoda.

He said the vehicles made in China in future would be installed with a new brake override system to ensure the safety of consumers.

Toyoda said his company would step up efforts to improve the safety and quality monitoring system, and conduct technological improvements on the flawed parts of the vehicles.

He said the company would enhance quality management by setting up a special quality committee comprised of chief quality officers globally to improve quality control, and to better listen to car buyers.

Toyota Motor boosted its sales in China by 21 percent to 709,000 vehicles last year.

China overtook the United States to become the world's biggest auto market with annual sales exceeding 13.64 million units in 2009, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.