Woman's 6-Mile Terror Ride to Open Toyota Hearings

Pressure mounts on Toyota as House investigation kicks off
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2010 7:41 AM CST
Woman's 6-Mile Terror Ride to Open Toyota Hearings
Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda speaks to journalists in Nagoya, central Japan. Toyoda is due to testify before the House panel tomorrow.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News, Nozomu Endo)

A House panel probing acceleration problems with Toyota vehicles will begin hearing testimony today from safety experts, Toyota's American president, and a Tennessee woman who says her Lexus suddenly zoomed to 100 miles per hour while she was driving on an interstate, the AP reports. Rhonda Smith says the emergency brake had no effect, nor did shifting into neutral. The car slowed down by itself after 6 miles of terror, she says.

Toyota's troubles are continuing to mount as today's hearing looms. The company has revealed that it is facing a criminal probe in the US over the handling of its safety recall. The Japanese government has apparently hardened its position against the company, with Transport Minister Seiji Maehara hinting last night that the firm may have covered up safety issues, the Times of London reports.
(More Toyota stories.)

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