Major challenges remain for Toyota after Capitol Hill hearings

02/25/2010 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

Toyota Motor CEO Akio Toyoda's testimony to Congress is over, but huge legal, regulatory and sales problems still confront the Japanese automaker, experts said. "There is still a very large bull's-eye pinned to Toyota right now," said Aaron Bragman of IHS Global Insight. U.S. prosecutors are considering criminal charges, the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the company, highway-safety officials are reviewing Toyota's recalls, and lawyers anticipate an avalanche of civil lawsuits. On top of it all, Toyota sales fell 16% in January.

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