Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, has appeared before the US congress on Thursday, apologising for the company's slow response to its vehicle defects - which have been allegedly linked to accidents causing several deaths and numerous injuries in the past several years.
The US National Highways and Traffic Safety Authorities (NHTSA) was also on trial for allegedly ignoring the early stages of the Toyota crisis.
The NHTSA opened an investigation into the vehicle malfunctions on February 3 after more than 100 consumer complaints were filed.
It led to Toyota issuing recalls of more than 8.5 million vehicles worldwide.
Toyota has promised to correct its past mistakes of failing to promptly respond to customer complaints.
Al Jazeera's John Terrett reports from Washington DC.
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