Akio Toyoda Can’t Stop Apologizing For Toyota’s Mess

Akio Toyoda Can’t Stop Apologizing For Toyota’s Mess

It is becoming common for Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, to apologize publicly. This time because of the unusual behavior of its subsidiary Daihatsu. It started in 2010, when Akio Toyoda, the then president of Toyota, went to the US Congress to apologize for the recall of 8.5 million cars with automatic acceleration problems. Initially, the fault was due to the mat, which can also be caused by a fault in the accelerator. It is triggered by an electronic system, which does not slow down the engine during emergency braking.

Accidents, including serious ones, were registered due to this problem. The company ended up realizing its responsibility, guilt in the notary and called the owners of Camry, Corolla and other models of Toyota and Lexus for a big recall. Since the Chinese market was also growing rapidly, Toyoda went there to apologize as well. The Corolla had the same defect in Brazil, but the factory here did not behave the same way.


First, denial of responsibility. Until the newspaper Estado de Minas published a series of reports confirming the same fault in the car. The Public Ministry of Minas Gerais and Procon heard the factory and decided to ban the sale of the car in Minas until the restoration is done. But Toyota, more indifferent and better, did not.

For Toyota to recognize the failure of the Corolla, it was necessary for the Ministry of Justice to threaten to ban its sale (Image: Toyota | Disclosure)

However, a month later, he was called to speak to the Ministry of Justice, in Brasília: “If you do not comply with the order, you will be banned from selling Corolla throughout the national territory”. That’s when the company decided to respect public authority. Another period that troubled Toyota was in December 2020, when its RAV4 failed tests by the Swedish magazine Mundo Técnico, which classified its behavior, which mimics the swerve of a moose, as dangerous.

The factory took the car back to Japan, re-tuned the stability control and sent it back to the magazine, which they approved. But Toyota did not recall the car that was already on the market, including in Brazil. He only commented that he would rework the program for cars made from that time. Me, what? Another imbroglio involved Hino, a truck factory controlled by Toyota, which falsified production results from 2003 to last year. And about 60,000 units were recalled.

Satoshi Ogiso, its president, publicly apologized and took responsibility for the fraud. After receiving an earful from Akio Toyoda rejecting his attitude. Now, one more on the list: Daihatsu, the car manufacturer that became a subsidiary of Toyota in 2016, changed the doors of the Yaris Sedan so that it does not affect the side crash test results. There were 88,000 cars manufactured in Thailand, bearing the brand Daihatsu/Toyota and the Domestic Market Act, also sold in Mexico, the Middle East and Malaysia.

Last week, Akio Toyoda again issued a public apology and called it an “unacceptable violation of consumer trust”. Another 88,000 vehicles were recalled. Toyota is the largest car manufacturer in the world, and one of the things that brought it to the top of the industry is the undeniable quality of its cars, including those produced in Brazil. But its executives sometimes slip like the Corolla Cross, launched in Brazil, with poor mechanics and equipment compared to other markets. In addition to the strange decision to paint the muffler matte black to hide it, but only half and that is peeling on it.

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