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CNN NEWS:丰田汽车面临前所未有的危机


Toyota's prince kind of got his crown knocked to the ground, but it could have been a lot worse. Toyota's president, Akio Toyoda, in front of a congressional hearing. He said he was sorry, a few times. But will apologies and promises to do better actually save Toyota's bottom line?

CNN senior correspondent Allan Chernoff has more.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the chief executive of Toyota which had been revered for quality confesses to losing sight of safety, it's a concern to all drivers.

Akio Toyoda says his company was thinking too much about expansion, not enough about making safe cars.

AKIO TOYODA, PRESIDENT, TOYOTA: These priorities became confused. I intend to further improve on the quality of Toyota vehicles.

CHERNOFF: But promises may not be enough by Toyota owners who are shaken by reports of runaway cars, especially when the company's U.S. sales chief says recalls may not solve the problem.

REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: Do you believe that the recall on the carpet changes and the recall on the sticky pedal will solve the problem of sudden unintended acceleration?


CHERNOFF: Matta Freund drives one of Toyota's luxury vehicles, a Lexus.

MATTA FREUND, LEXUS OWNER: Our lease is going to be coming due. What other car could we get? Will I trust Toyota?

CHERNOFF (on camera): Do you?

FREUND: No. I don't trust them.

CHERNOFF (voice-over): Tony (INAUDIBLE) drives a Toyota taxi.

(On camera): Would you buy a Toyota for yourself right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest, I wouldn't buy a Toyota now.

CHERNOFF (voice-over): It's an unprecedented crisis for the Japanese automakers say industry experts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The company is not only damaged but the brand is being damaged also.

CHERNOFF: Toyota dealers say the vast majority of customers are remaining loyal to their brand.

BILL RINKER, TOYOTA SANTA MONICA: 95 percent, I would say, if I was to pull a number out, have been, you know, very positive. They've owned Toyotas before. They're not worried.

CHERNOFF: But Toyota dealers are worried. They're offering rebates and low financing, hoping to hold on to customers. Last month Toyota's U.S. sales slumped 16 percent even as the overall auto market rebounded. And now competing auto dealers are going all out to grab more Toyota customers.


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