Toyota did not agree to recall millions of its vehicles that have potentially dangerous accelerators until after his department had extensive discussions with the automaker, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood tells NPR.
"We persuaded them that it was in their best interests, but more importantly in the interests of the driving public ... to find a fix for these vehicles," LaHood said on Talk of the Nation a short time ago. This clip starts with host Neal Conan:
LaHood: Toyota Had To Be Convinced Recall Was In Its Best Interest
Earlier today, LaHood told the Associated Press that Toyota had been "a little safety deaf" as the problem was uncovered.
"If it had not been for the work of (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) pushing Toyota to make the recall, traveling to Japan, meeting with the top officials of Toyota in Japan and telling them that their folks in the United States seem to be a little safety deaf when it came to us talking to them, I don't know if the recall would be taking place," LaHood told AP.
After LaHood spoke with the wire service, Toyota issued this statement:
"Nothing is more important to us than the safety and reliability of the vehicles our customers drive. Secretary LaHood said to us that the soonest possible action would be in the best interests of our customers, and we took his advice very seriously and instituted a recall. We are very grateful for his advice and we feel that we have been given a chance to regain our customers' trust."