TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: Toyota President Akio Toyoda today apologized for the recalls of popular models. The grandson of the automaker’s founder said he’s unsure whether Toyota will also officially recall the late model Prius for possible brake problems. Marketplace’s Amy Scott is with us live, she’s on the story from our New York bureau with the story. Good morning, Amy.
Amy Scott: Good morning.
Chiotakis: So finally, a word Mr. Toyoda. What did he have to say?
Scott: Well, he acknowledged that the company is in crisis. He apologized to Toyota’s customers and tried to reassure them that the company’s cars are safe. Here he is speaking at the press conference today in Nagoya:
Aiko Toyoda: Please believe me — We always, customer first is first priority.
Chiotakis: Now Amy, we’ve had various reports about whether there’s going to be another recall, this time of the Prius. What’s happening with that?
Scott: Well, Akio Toyoda said today that the company is still deciding that question. Though there have been reports that Toyota is leaning toward another recall, this time related to braking problems in the Prius. Meanwhile, Ford says it has a software patch for similar issues in some of its hybrids, so it’s not just Toyota dealing with this issue.
Chiotakis: So it’s easy to start seeing cars as the enemy here.
Scott: Right, well you know, one analyst I talked to, John Henke at Planning Perspectives, says it’s important to keep all of this in perspective.
John Henke: The amount of problems they’ve had relative to the millions of vehicles that they have built and put on the road is virtually nothing. The problem is, if you’re that person in the vehicle that it’s happened, now you’ve got a real issue.
You know, this is obviously serious. There have been up to 19 deaths in the last decade connected with issues of unintended acceleration in Toyotas. But his point is that we don’t all need be terrified of our cars.
Chiotakis: Marketplace’s Amy Scott in New York. Amy, thanks.
Scott: You’re welcome.
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