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Toyoda apologises as further recalls announced

Akio Toyoda, the fourth-generation head of the family controlled automaker Toyota, apologised to customers yesterday for further recalls across its flagship hybrid range.
 
At a press conference in Tokyo the company announced a recall of 437,000 hybrid cars worldwide to fix a brake defect. This is in addition to the 8 million cars that have already been recalled since November.  
 
"We will redouble our commitment to quality," Toyoda (pictured) said yesterday. "I would like to apologise again to our customers who are worried about Toyota's quality and safety."
 
This press conference is only the second time the family head has spoken publicly since the recalls began and his silence has been much criticised.
 
The hybrid recalls send another blow to the world's largest automaker, which has already lost $35 billion in market value due to the crisis. Despite these problems Toyota predicted a return to profit this year. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)
 
53-year-old Toyoda began as Toyota president in June 2009. He is the first of the founding family to take the head job in 14 years. (Click here to read our coverage of the story) He took over during extremely difficult trading conditions for the automobile industry and is yet to see the company make a profit under his leadership.
 
The Toyoda family collectively owns 2% of the business founded by Sakichi Toyoda in 1937. 

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