US Toyota dealers and plant workers have headed to Washington DC to support the automaker’s senior executives as they attend three congressional hearings scheduled this week.

The first, hearing by a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, began earlier on Tuesday (23 February) and Toyota Motor Sales USA president Jim Lentz and US transportation secretary Ray LaHood were both expected to testify.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda is scheduled to testify at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Wednesday with LaHood and Toyota Motor North America president Yoshimi Inaba also attending.

“We are here today representing the Toyota community that is present in every state, serving tens of millions of Americans, donating millions to local causes and accounting for more than 200,000 jobs,” said Tammy Darvish, vice president of four independent Toyota dealerships in the Washington, DC area, in a statement issued by the American International Auto Dealers Association (AIADA).

Over 100 US dealers have contacted members of Congress to stress their committment “to serving their customers and supporting the Toyota brand”, the statement said. Along with workers from the 10 Toyota plants in the US, the dealers will remain in Washington until tomorrow when Toyoda testifies.

“The show of solidarity here today underscores how united dealers are and the dedication they have to their customers and Toyota’s brand,” said AIADA president Cody Lusk.