WASHINGTON - A Republican lawmaker said on Wednesday he is inviting Toyota Motor Corp President Akio Toyoda to meet members of Congress the week of February 22, but the automaker said the executive's travel plans had not been determined yet.
Representative Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, also said he is urging the committee's chairman to invite Toyoda to a February 24 hearing after the carmaker's massive recall.
Given the number of outstanding questions surrounding Toyota's relationship with U.S. regulators and in the best interests of moving forward, I'd like to help facilitate a dialogue between Mr. Toyoda and lawmakers from both parties and both chambers, Issa said in a statement.
The House Oversight Committee expects to hear later this month from Yoshimi Inaba, president of Toyota Motor North America, as well as from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and from David Strickland, administration of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Toyota said in a statement it appreciated the invitation.
Of course, when he (Toyoda) does visit America, he would look forward to the opportunity to meet with members of Congress. For now, Mr. Inaba has accepted the chairman's invitation to testify on February 24, the statement said.
Toyota has been embroiled in a spiraling safety crisis that has led to three big recalls for the world's biggest carmaker.
U.S. lawmakers have planned a series of hearings examining the vehicle recalls and how Toyota and regulators responded to reports of safety problems with big-selling cars.
(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski with additional reporting by David Bailey in Detroit; editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Andre Grenon)