AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Toyota charts through the Recall Storm

Toyota charts through the Recall Storm image

Text: / Photos: Toyota Press | posted February 09, 2010 07:00

Statement by Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda

Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda has recently issued a statement regarding the massive international recall of Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

Here is the statement in full:

I, Akio Toyoda, deeply regret the inconvenience and concern caused to our customers and others by our recent recalls of multiple vehicle models across multiple regions.

Today, as so many people have expressed their sense of unease, I realised the necessity of asking you all here on short notice to share with you the following.

As Toyota revealed yesterday, new Prius now in showrooms include an improvement. For Prius in the hands of customers, I have instructed that consideration be made as soon as possible regarding the way to address such units. Once a decision is made we will inform the public.

As for the accelerator-pedal recall in the United States, Europe, China and other countries and regions, repair-work preparations are being made at our dealers. As soon as these preparations are complete, once again, we will inform you.

From Toyota's beginning, "contributing to society through the manufacture of automobiles" has been its key principle. To that end, since taking office in June last year, I have endeavoured, based on our "customer first" and "genchi genbutsu" fundamentals, to thoroughly establish a product-focused management.

However, we, the ones supposed to relay to people the attractiveness of automobiles, have, instead, imparted on them worry. I regret this more than anything.

Under the banner, "Let's build better cars", we will go back to the basics of "customer first" and "genchi genbutsu", and once more, deeply consider what "customer first" really means. All our employees around the world, all of our dealers and all of our suppliers will unify in their utmost efforts to regain the trust of our customers as soon as possible.
As for specific actions, our Executive Vice President Shinichi Sasaki will soon brief you. Let me just say that I will take the lead toward improving quality around the world, by establishing a global quality special task force that will conduct regional quality improvement activities.

Akio Toyoda
TMC President

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INTERNATIONAL ACTION PLAN

In line with Mr. Toyoda's statement, Toyota Motor Corporation will now undertake a concrete plan of action to address customer concerns with the following key initiatives:

First, while verifying the causes that led to the recalls, Toyota will once again inspect every process - quality in design, quality in production, quality in sales and quality in service.

Second, Toyota will enhance the customer information research offices to improve regional information collection and genchi-genbutsu activities.

Third, to develop quality-management professionals, Toyota will establish an "Automotive Center of Quality Excellence" in key regions.

Fourth, Toyota will seek confirmation and evaluation from outside experts - in line with industry's best practices - of its newly improved quality-control management, based on the above improvements.

In addition, Toyota will work to increase the frequency of communication between itself and regional authorities.

To provide customers with satisfying products in each and every region, Toyota has long promoted the autonomy of its regional subsidiaries. From now on, we intend to further this autonomy, listen carefully to each and every customer and improve quality.

PHILIPPINE DOMESTIC UNITS UNAFFECTED

Toyota Motors Philippines announced that local units from both the Toyota and Lexus brands are not affected by the international accelerator pedal problem and recall.

All of the models recalled are U.S. domestic market cars such as the Sequoia, Avalon, Highlander, among others. Though the international recall has involved vehicle nameplates sold locally through official dealers like the Camry, Corolla and RAV4, local vehicles are unaffected by pedal problem as official Philippine-bound Toyota models are sourced from Japan or Thailand.

Further research shows that affected models use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) pedal assemblies with electronic throttle control are made by CTS Corporation, based in Indiana, USA with a manufacturing plant in Zhongshan, China.

Locally sold units exclusively use Denso accelerator pedal assemblies, thus are unaffected with the problems involving CTS pedals.