(CNN) -- The president of Toyota said he takes full responsibility for safety issues in the company's cars and vowed to regain the trust of customers in his first interview after appearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
"It is I, the chief executive officer, the one on the very top, should be responsible for this," Akio Toyoda told CNN's "Larry King Live." "I would like to really listen to the customers' voices, and together with the dealership, distributor, suppliers, we need to work together, and we would like to work together and to strive for regaining the trust once again from our customers."
Toyoda appeared earlier before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in a hearing aimed at discovering, among other things, why the automaker was slow to respond to safety issues related to sudden acceleration.
He admitted to King that the day had been difficult, "and I am not confident to what degree our sincerity was conveyed."
Asked what his grandfather, the company founder, would say, Toyoda responded, "He is telling me to regain the trust of those customers who are driving our vehicles."
He vowed to respond more quickly to any future problems.
But he was adamant that the company's products are roadworthy.
"I'd like to say that Toyota vehicles are safe," he said.
Company engineers were not able to reproduce the throttle-control problems, he said, "so, at this point in time, I would say our vehicles are safe."
Toyoda told King he is dedicated to getting back to the basics of the company in providing reliable, high-quality cars to its customers.
"Since I became a president last year in July, I have been sending the messages to all our employees to make better vehicles so that our customers would be very happy to ride our vehicles.
"And we would like to maintain this," he said.