Jim Lentz, Toytoa president of U.S. sales, denied his company is covering up problems related to unintended acceleration.
On a media blitz to contain the damage after a nine million vehicle recall, Lentz denied Toyota was hiding anything after government documents revealed the company first received reports of “runaway Toyotas” in March 2007.
“There is no cover-up,” Lentz said to ABC News.
A document dated Jan. 21 submitted by Toyota to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states Toyota received field reports in March 2007 of accelerator pedals on the Tundra having “rough operation or being slow to return to the idle position”.
Toyota received further reports in from December 2008 to August 2009 about related issues in other models. An investigation was started in March 2009. Additional reports came in October and the manufacturer announced a recall in January 2010.
“It’s a lot of detail that goes into this,” said Lentz. “We’ve been upfront. We’re taking care of customers right now. What’s most important is that our customers know there is a fix. They’re going to be able to get their cars repaired this week.”
Lentz also denied the problem with unintended acceleration was an electronic issue.