Toyota Reshapes Operations to Address Issues
April 5, 2010
Toyota Motor Corp. announced it convened the first meeting of its
Special Committee for Global Quality. Chaired by Toyota President Akio
Toyoda, the committee will spearhead reforms to further instill the
company’s operations throughout the world with a customer perspective.
committee members include newly appointed chief quality officers for
the regions of North America; Europe; China; Asia and Oceania; and the
Middle East, Africa and Latin America. These officers will represent
concerns of customers. Also present at the meeting were representatives
from Toyota’s business operations and others.
global committee will investigate the causes of quality problems,
including those that necessitate recalls, and reexamine the factors
that affect quality in every phase of design work, manufacturing,
marketing and service. By approaching the task of quality assurance
from the standpoint of customers in each region, and by keeping in mind
the need for strengthened global communication and transparency, the
committee decided on various improvement measures aimed at resolving
current issues.With tje meeting as the start, the
committee and the regional quality committees will continue to
spearhead comprehensive improvements to the company’s operations and
promote the strengthening of global quality improvement activities. The
following are measures adopted by the committee:
Recalls and other safety decisions
On behalf of the chief quality officers (CQOs), safety executives will
participate in recall and other safety decision making on a global
basis. This is aimed at establishing a system in which representatives
from each region will voice customer concerns from their regions and
participate in determining if and how to undertake recalls and other
The CQO teams and the other representatives who
participate in recall decision making will promptly share information
on customer complaints, defects and recalls with the global team
members. The company’s aim with both measures is to structure an
optimal and prompt recall decision-making process-globally and locally.
will strengthen its onsite information-gathering capabilities in regard
to suspected quality problems. For instance, in the United States, the
Swift Market Analysis Response Team (SMART), a team of specially
trained technicians, will conduct onsite inspections as promptly as
possible. Toyota also plans to increase the number of technology
offices in North America from one to seven and establish seven offices
in Europe, six offices in China and other offices in other regions.
support analysis of the causes of accidents, Toyota in North America
will, in cooperation with the authorities, expand the use of event data
recorders (EDRs), which can record data regarding vehicle condition and
driver operation. Toyota will also cooperate with the authorities in
other regions regarding the use of EDRs.
In addition, Toyota will
expand the use of remote communications functions, such as G-BOOK
telematics, to convey vehicular self-diagnostic information to drivers
and will consider a framework for storing that information as a
resource for making product improvements.
Timely and accurate disclosure
will have third-party experts from each region evaluate
quality-improvement measures on a regional basis. Toyota will also
enlist four third-party experts to review the quality-improvement
measures adopted by its Special Committee for Global Quality. Plans
call for the initial review results to be released in June 2010.
will also work closely with Toyota and Lexus dealers to promote safer
driving. They will provide customers with useful information about
safety technology and safe-driving practices.
Product safety and assurance
will establish a specialized organization on safety within technical
divisions to promptly and accurately reflect customer feedback, thus
strengthening vehicle development. For additional customer confidence,
Toyota will incorporate a brake override system into new production
models starting in 2010. The system will automatically reduce engine
power when the brake and accelerator pedals are applied simultaneously.