Scandal: Toyota's sudden acceleration
Best quote from the testimony: "For me, when the cars are damaged, it is as though I am as well." Akio Toyoda, Toyota CEO
"Sticky gas pedal" became a buzz phrase and a major fear of early 2010 as two of the U.S.'s most popular vehicles, the Toyota Camry and Corolla, were subjected to recalls after drivers alleged their cars spontaneously sped up. Toyota recalled more than 8 million vehicles, but hoping to avoid confrontation was otherwise quiet, until Toyoda accepted an invitation to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Feb. 24, 2010. His overly apologetic statements seemed sincere, but the committee didn't cut him any slack. Toyoda was reprimanded for issuing a memo that boasted $100 million in savings after the company had negotiated a smaller recall. Republican Representative John Mica of Florida waved the document at the seated Toyoda, saying, "This is one of the most embarrassing things I have ever seen."
It was ultimately determined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in early 2011 that a majority of the accidents were caused by driver error, with no evidence of a electronic failure in Toyota's cars.