On Jan. 19, in a closed-door meeting in Washington, D.C., two top executives from Toyota Motor Corp. gave American regulators surprising news.
Evidence had been mounting for years that Toyota cars could speed up suddenly, a factor suspected in crashes causing more than a dozen deaths. Toyota had blamed the problem on floor mats pinning the gas pedal. Now, the two Toyota men revealed they knew of a problem in its gas pedals.
The two top officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “were steamed,” according to a person who discussed the meeting with both sides. As the meeting closed, NHTSA chief David Strickland hinted at using the agency’s full authority, which can include subpoenas, fines, and even forcing auto makers to stop selling cars.
Delay in Response Led to Rift Between Toyota and U.S. Regulators – WSJ.com.