Toyota Jidōsha Kabushiki-gaisha?, TYO: 7203), LSE: TYT, NYSE: TM, commonly known simply as Toyota and abbreviated as TMC, is a multinational corporation headquartered in Japan. In 2009, Toyota Motor Corporation employed 71,116 people worldwide (total Toyota 320,808). TMC is the world's largest automobile maker by sales and production.
The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries to create automobiles. Three years earlier, in 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it created its first product, the Type A engine, and, in 1936, its first passenger car, the Toyota AA. Toyota Motor Corporation group companies are Toyota (including the Scion brand), Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino Motors, along with several "non-automotive" companies. TMC is part of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.
Toyota Motor Corporation is headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi and in Tokyo. In addition to manufacturing automobiles, Toyota provides financial services through its Toyota Financial Services division and also builds robots.
From November 2009 through the first quarter of 2010, Toyota recalled more than 8 million (accounts differ) cars and trucks worldwide in several recall campaigns, and briefly halted production and sales. The US Sales Chief, James Lentz, was questioned by the United States Congress committees on Oversight and Investigations on February 23, 2010, as a result of recent recalls. On February 24, 2010, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
On 6 April 2010, The US government sought a record penalty of US$16.375 million from Toyota for its delayed response in notifying the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding the defective accelerator pedals. On 18 May 2010, Toyota paid the fine without an admission of wrongdoing. The record fine and the high profile hearings caused accusations of conflict of interest. The US government is regulatory body and part owner of two major competitors, General Motors and Chrysler. Senior managing director Takahiko Ijichi said that recall-related costs in the financial year that ended March 2010 totaled US$1.93 billion (¥180 billion).