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Toyota woes

I have been watching the increasing fallout over Toyota’s huge recall with interest and I must admit a certain amount of satisfaction and pleasure. They aren’t my favourite manufacturer I will come out and state that now. For lots of reasons but mainly their incredible arrogance, shoddy treatment of suppliers who I have spoken to, downright lies about fuel economy of the new Prius and coverups over the years of recalls that should have happened. Somebody who worked for a robotic supplier to Toyota summed it up perfectly for me just yesterday, ”
This about sums them up – air fresheners not needed in their toilets – ’cause it doesn’t stink there.”

The satisfaction comes from the fact that I wrote on this blog about the increasing number of recalls in 2007 and the deterioration in quality back then. Some poor missguided soul slagged me off, saying I didn’t know what I was talking about as he had owned a Soarer and never had any problems with the ABS unit which was partly the subject of that blog. Wow that really qualified him to talk on the subject. He didn’t even understand how a hydraulic system worked… He further went onto say he couldn’t believe that such a large company would behave in such a way or do such things…Talk about naive eh? Wish I had a $ for everytime I have heard that. Doesn’t seem to matter how many GFCs caused by huge banks and insurance companys or coverups by corporations that we go through some people still seem to think that large companys aren’t just interested in the bottom line.

Here’s the link to that blog entry

Today I read that back in 2006 the top US Toyota executive warned them about growing problems in quality but Japan didn’t listen…sounds familiar.

March 3 (Bloomberg) — Toyota Motor Corp.’s top U.S.
executive warned his bosses in Japan in 2006 that the quality of
the company’s vehicles was slipping and that regulators were
stepping up scrutiny.

A slide presentation by Jim Press, then Toyota North
America’s president, urged changes that would have given the
Americans more information to deal directly with safety
complaints, according to copies posted yesterday as part of a
Senate hearing on sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

The disclosure that Press was asking for better
communication on safety issues from Toyota headquarters as early
as 2006 bolstered the Senate panel’s complaints that the
company’s response to complaints was insufficient. Chris Tinto,
a vice president in Toyota’s Washington office, made a similar
request less than two years after Press.

“It doesn’t seem like this message was heard in Japan,”
said Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat and
chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
“A year and a half later, Chris Tinto, Toyota’s top safety
official in Washington, tried to warn his superiors in Japan
that quality problems were growing and, in his words, ‘we have a
less defensible product.’”

The Senate commerce committee was the third congressional
panel to review the handling by Toyota and the U.S.National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the recalls, involving
about 8 million vehicles worldwide.

“There is a new dynamic in the U.S.,” Tinto wrote in the
note for the 2008 presentation. “As you face NHTSA, we ask TMC
to trust our judgment when we need your urgent help in getting
issues resolved. We need faster information flow and more
technical support when hot issues arise.”

LaHood’s Testimony

“Public safety took a back seat” to Toyota profits,
Rockefeller said.

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