Feb 23, 2010 10:18 AM by Associated Press
The president of Toyota's U.S. operations is apologizing for the company's slow handling of sudden acceleration problems in its vehicles.
James Lentz says Toyota took too long to confront the issue. He says Toyota had poor communications within the company, with government regulators and with its customers.
Lentz's written apology was prepared for the House Energy and Commerce Committee's investigative panel, which is holding the first congressional hearing Tuesday on Toyota's safety issues.
Lentz also asserted that no problems exist with the Toyota's electronic throttle control system. He said the vehicles are built with multiple fail-safe mechanisms to shut off or reduce engine power if the system fails.