He apologized in 2009 to shareholders for a laundry list of things. He apologized earlier in 2010 in Japan. But in late February, Akio Toyoda brought his remorse for his company's handling of the sudden-acceleration problem in its cars to Washington and apologized to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. "When the cars are damaged, it is as though I am as well," he said. He didn't get a lot of sympathy from the lawmakers, who asked why Toyota appeared to be stuck in first gear when reacting to the reports of troubles with the cars. But Toyoda kept to the script: "I sincerely regret that some people actually encountered accidents in their vehicles."