Toyota promises to raise vehicle quality... (meanwhile, hyundai quality continues to go up....)

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by news, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. news

    news Guest

    Toyota promises to raise vehicle quality (reauters)
    Updated: 10:38 a.m. ET July 20, 2006
    TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp., plagued with a rise in vehicle recalls and
    facing a legal probe into past recall practice, vowed on Thursday to step up
    quality efforts, saying this was imperative to ensure continued growth.
    Japan’s top auto maker, which has built its reputation on offering safe and
    reliable cars at reasonable prices, has recalled more than one million
    vehicles in Japan alone so far this year, and on Wednesday issued a recall
    of some 400,000 SUVs in the United States, its single-biggest market.
    In a first for the company, Toyota is also being criminally investigated by
    prosecutors in Kumamoto, southern Japan, over whether its quality-control
    managers had wrongfully delayed a recall filing that could have prevented a
    road accident in 2004 that injured a couple and their three young children.
    “The world-class quality that we’ve built is our lifeline,” President
    Katsuaki Watanabe told a mid-year news conference dominated by questions
    over Toyota’s recent quality woes.
    “There will be no growth without an improvement in quality. This is the
    biggest task that this management team must undertake,” he said.
    Vehicle recalls have been on the rise at most auto makers as they use common
    components across more models to save costs, and pile on advanced features
    requiring more electronics parts to add value to their products.
    “Given our rapid expansion, there is a need to strengthen the various
    quality processes,” Masatami Takimoto, one of two executive vice presidents
    overseeing quality at Toyota, said.
    At a separate briefing earlier, Takimoto noted that Toyota had last year set
    up a new division dedicated to gathering information on glitches from users
    more swiftly.
    Another measure, taken in June last year, would enable the company to keep
    data on vehicles repaired after the period covered by warranty, he said.
    Concerning the pending criminal case in Kumamoto, Toyota executives repeated
    the company’s position that all decisions taken in that case were sound, but
    apologized for shaking up customers’ trust.
    Japan’s transport ministry, which had summoned Toyota’s quality officials
    earlier on Thursday for a briefing on its recall process, said it would
    issue the company with a business improvement order on Friday morning after
    finding problems in its system of handling vehicle defects.
    Despite such setbacks, Watanabe said Toyota was on track to meet its
    group-based global sales and production forecasts for 2006, of 8.85 million
    units and 9.06 million units, respectively — figures that could soon see it
    overtake General Motors Corp. as the world’s biggest auto maker.
    news, Jul 20, 2006
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