After publicly apologizing at a number of press conferences, Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Corporation, has apologized to the public through an op-ed in the Washington Post. Toyoda also used the opportunity to announce internal and external quality drives for his company.
"When consumers purchase a Toyota, they are not simply purchasing a car, truck, or van. They are placing their trust in our company," Toyoda writes. "The past few weeks, however, have made clear that Toyota has not lived up to the high standards we set for ourselves." To regain the trust of Toyota customers, Toyoda says the company has begun a "top-to-bottom review" of its operations, including vehicle production, sales, and service. In the U.S., the automaker is establishing the Automotive Center of Quality Excellence, "where a team of our top engineers will focus on strengthening our quality management and quality control across North America," Toyoda writes. Toyota will also enlist industry experts for a third-party review of its operations. The review's findings will be made public, according to Toyoda. Toyota is in the midst of one of the worst recalls in its 73-year-long history, one for potentially sticky gas pedals, and the other for floor mats that could get jammed in the pedals. This week, the automaker recalled 133,000 Prius and 14,500 HS250h hybrids to improve ABS response time and sensitivity to tire slippage. "We have to win back the trust of our customers by adhering to the very values on which that trust was first built," Toyoda says. "Toyota will build the highest-quality, safest and most reliable automobiles in the world." Source: Washington Post