Toyota’s electronics draw scrutiny

Amy Scott Feb 3, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Toyota’s electronics draw scrutiny

Amy Scott Feb 3, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Bill Radke: Toyota’s troubles may be far from over. The company reported yesterday sales fell 16 percent last month, thanks to a massive recall. Now, it’s facing an investigation into its electronics systems. Marketplace’s Amy Scott joins us live from our New York bureau. Good morning.

Amy Scott: Good morning.

Radke: Amy, didn’t a Toyota executive say just a few days ago the gas pedal thing was not an electronics problem?

Scott: Yeah, Jim Lentz, the president of the U.S. division, said “we are convinced” of that issue. Toyota announced a mechanical fix for its sticking gas pedals and dealers are starting repairs this week. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looking whether problems with unintended acceleration might stem from Toyota’s electronic throttle control system. And Congress is holding hearings starting next week.

Radke: And so what if they decide it is the electronics?

Scott: Well mostly it just raises questions about whether the repairs that are starting this week will really fix the problem. Reports say there have been thousands of complaints of sudden acceleration in Toyota and Lexus models, which the company blamed on loose floor mats and then friction in the gas pedal. But regulators apparently aren’t satisfied. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Reuters: “We’re not finished with Toyota.”

Radke: Marketplace’s Amy Scott. Thank you.

Scott: Thank you.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.