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For 50 years, Americans have trusted Toyota to provide vehicles that are among the safest, most reliable on the road. We recognize that of late we have not lived up to the high standards our customers expect from us. We take our commitment to the public very seriously and are working hard to make things right.
We track how our cars and trucks are performing and have always made our best efforts to investigate and remedy any safety issues that are found. With respect to unintended acceleration, a rare event for which all automakers have received complaints, the causes can indeed be difficult to identify.
We have investigated this issue, and have identified two specific causes that we can address and are addressing with our recalls — pedal entrapment caused by floor mats and sticking accelerator pedals. In the case of sticking pedals, we were first able to uncover a defect trend in the U.S. late last October and moved quickly to pinpoint the cause and establish the fix. Dealers are now making the repairs for our customers at a rate of roughly 50,000 vehicles a day.
We are also taking additional steps to improve our quality controls, more aggressively investigate consumer complaints and more quickly address any safety issues we identify. And, we are committed to committed to further strengthening our dialogue with regulators.
Still, it is worth putting this issue in context. Confirmed incidents of unintended acceleration are a very small fraction of vehicles on the road, and Toyota's track record for reliability remains strong. Eighty percent of Toyota vehicles sold over the last 20 years are still on the road. And an independent report this week by Edmunds.com noted that Toyota had fewer complaints than 16 of 20 automakers ranked for complaints per vehicle sold in the U.S. since 2001.
All of us at Toyota — including our 172,000 North American employees and dealership personnel — are firmly focused on maintaining the safety and reliability of the vehicles our customers drive and ensuring we emerge a stronger company. We know we need to work hard to restore our customers' trust, and we are determined to do just that.
posted by James Lentz
President and Chief Operating Officer
Toyota Motors Sales, USA, Inc.
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