Although the effects of Toyota’s recent problems were not fully felt by Toyota Australia, globally the Japanese giant is fighting hard to rein in a global quality crisis. Part of the shift in Toyota’s attitude will be a new approach to transparency with vehicle issues.
The company is reported to be devising new guidelines for disclosing issues with its models in order to increase transparency. This will address criticism that the company is slow in reacting to problems.
Toyota might soon disclose vehicle problems that it legally isn’t obligated to report such as those that fall below the recall threshold.
The issue with transparency arose due to the recent Prius recall. According to sources Toyota had began receiving complaints about the car’s brakes late last year and had already fixed the software for Prius cars coming off the assembly line but it didn’t notify customers who had already bought a third generation Prius. The reason? The braking system still fell within legal guidelines.
That all changed with the story came to light and caused a public outcry, which resulted in Toyota recalling cars already sold to update them with the upgraded ABS software.
The company’s President Akio Toyoda has already apologized for the safety problems of his company’s cars and is rumoured to be visiting the United States in early March to meet employees and dealers in the wake of the recall crisis.
There is also a possibility that Mr Toyoda will testify before Congressional hearings probing Toyota’s safety recalls and issues regarding the unintended acceleration in its cars.
The Toyota recall saga has been given an enormous amount of media attention despite other manufacturers having suffered similar recall numbers on the past. This may be due to Toyota’s incredible reliability record to date.
Regardless of the outcome of the Toyota recall saga, the news is good for all as Toyota will no doubt work tirelessly to win back customers and increase quality measures in the future.
*Note* – The only Toyota recall affecting Australian customers is for the Prius. Accelerator pedals used in Australian delivered Toyotas do not have any issues.