Toyota Pulls a Detroit of Yesteryear
Toyota has lost its way when it comes to quality and the only one they have to blame is themselves. It’s easy to be the number one car manufacturer in the world if you ignore your customers and just keep pushing out units as fast as your factories can make them. Toyota basically refused to look in its own rear view mirror. So when did Toyota stop following the “Don’t do what the DBT did” business formula? The answer to that question is simple. When profit was more important than the quality of their product. AKA, if you build it then they will buy it or being number one is systemic with built in arrogance.
"Consideration for customers was lacking in Toyota," Seiji Maehara, Japan's minister in charge of transport, said this week after the government learned that the carmaker had known for months about a problem of squishy brakes on its Prius hybrid.
Yet until the Japanese government pressured them to recall more than 400,000 Priuses and other hybrid models on Tuesday, Toyota executives had insisted that the braking issue was a matter of driver "perception."
In the United States, where years-old problems with a sticking gas pedal led to a suspension in January of the production and sale of eight vehicle models, Toyota had also neglected customer complaints, blamed drivers and was not forthcoming with federal investigators. - Washington Post
Recalling 400,000 cars is a huge admission of a serious quality control problem and that is not the way to keep repeat customers. Numbers of that size recall are nothing new to Toyota but seem to be the status quo. Going back to just August of 2006 it was evident then that Toyota had a quality problem and yet they still pulled a DBT. Has Toyota taken up the old DBT quality standard of built in product obsolescence? Could this quality problem be a precursor as to what will happen to Toyota jobs here in America?
At Toyota's annual executive meeting in June, its outgoing chairman, Hiroshi Okuda, its new chairman, Fujio Cho, and its chief executive, Katsuaki Watanabe, all vowed to the gathered managers that the quality issue would be addressed, according to a senior Toyota executive who attended the meeting.
"The quality issue is a big concern. They're embarrassed about it," said the executive, who insisted on anonymity because the meeting was private. He added, "You think about Toyota, and quality is in our DNA. We are concerned about looking like the rest of the pack. The market is forgiving because of our long reputation, but how long will they be forgiving?" - New York Times
There is a reoccurring pattern when it comes to the blame game at Toyota and that is and has been to blame its engineers. Yes, they do have some ownership but the boys in the executive branch are the ones making the decisions that the customers end up buying and owning. Companies like the “New” Toyota are their own worst enemies when they “choose” to ignore the reason they became successful to begin with. QUALITY!
Click on the link for the full list of the latest Toyota recall. And you can be sure that the insurance industry isn't going to miss a heartbeat raising your rates when it comes to your Toyota car insurance. Poor safety performance on any vehicle is too good of an opportunity for them to miss.
UPDATE 2/15/10: Toyota considers incentives to maintain customer confidence post recall according to CNN Money
***Washington Post has linked to this post... Thank you!