Toyota focuses on restoring trust

Feb. 9, 2010 at 11:39 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Toyota Motor Co. President Akio Toyoda said he would personally take the lead in restoring the consumer's trust in the company.

"Two weeks ago, I pulled the andon cord for our company," Toyoda said, equating the company's recent production suspension to the cord a factory worker can use to halt an assembly line if a problem is detected.

In an op-ed piece published in The Washington Post, Toyoda said the company would perform a top-to-bottom review, invite an independent team to assess its operations and react faster to customer complaints.

"Great companies learn from their mistakes, and we know that we have to win back the trust of our customers by adhering to the very values on which that trust was first built," Toyoda said.

Toyoda said the company would also create an Automotive Center of Quality Excellence in the United States "to focus on strengthening our quality management."

Toyoda's article follows three company recalls involving critical safety issues. The first recall announced in October involved cars in which gas pedals became entangled with floor mats. The second involved sticking gas pedals -- a recall that involved 2.3 million U.S. vehicles.

The third recall, announced Tuesday, involves braking systems in 2010 Prius hybrids, Lexus HS 250h cars and some 2010 Camrys, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.

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