Spotlight: Toyota Hearings

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Akio Toyoda takes the hot seat at the Feb. 24 hearing.

Congress may be struggling to pass much legislation these days, but its members remain masters at summoning indignation. As political theater, the first few days of congressional hearings into Toyota's customer-safety crisis had it all: testy exchanges, Clintonian hairsplitting, obnoxious grandstanding--even multiple references to Marisa Tomei's automotive wizardry in My Cousin Vinny. On Feb. 24, Toyota president Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder, sat before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to apologize. "Quite frankly, I fear the pace at which we have grown may have been too quick," he said, as members of the Japanese press and employees...

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