Toyota probes Corolla steering, considers US recall



Toyota is considering a recall of its hot-selling Corolla subcompact after complaints about power steering problems, another blow to the world's largest automaker already reeling from a string of recalls for safety problems.

Company President Akio Toyoda, meanwhile, said he won't be attending the US congressional hearing on the automaker's safety lapses, entrusting the job to US-based executives, though he did say he would appear if summoned. He said he wanted to focus his energies on improving quality worldwide.

"I trust that our officials in the US will amply answer the questions," Toyoda told reporters today.

"We are sending the best people to the hearing, and I hope to back up the efforts from headquarters."

He said Yoshi Inaba, who heads Toyota Motor Corp's North American unit, was more familiar with the U.S. Situation and was the best executive to deal with the hearing. Toyoda said he was still making plans to go to the US and dates have yet to be set.

But in an alarming disclosure that could widen Toyota's recall crisis, the Toyota executive in charge of quality controls, Shinichi Sasaki, said Toyota was taking seriously the complaints about power-steering problems in the Corolla, the world's best-selling car.