February 17, 1010 - Tokyo - Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that, at a press conference in Tokyo today on quality-related matters, it disclosed the following:
Japan-market recall progress
The company has completed preparations for recall repair for the Toyota “Sai” and Lexus “HS250h”, and its dealers began notifying owners today about the recall procedures.
Electronic throttle control technology safety
TMC’s electronic throttle-control system incorporates overlapping failsafe features linked to several sensors. The occurrence of a problem causes the system to shift the engine to idling mode or even to shut it off. TMC has conducted rigorous testing under extremes of electromagnetic interference, vibration and other adverse conditions. That testing has conclusively verified that the system cannot accidentally induce acceleration.
In addition, TMC has commissioned an independent, third-party research organization to test its electronic throttle control system. TMC will release the findings of that testing as they become available.
Measures for improving product quality
TMC will appoint a person to the post of chief quality officer for each principal geographical region to make the company more alert to customer sentiment. Such officers will serve on the company’s newly established Special Committee for Global Quality. That committee, to be headed by TMC’s president, is for steering the company’s quality-improvement activities onto a new and higher plane. The Special Committee for Global Quality will hold its first meeting on March 30.
TMC will ask independent third-party experts to review the contents of that meeting.
In another initiative, TMC is strengthening its framework for conveying customer input from each region directly to its Quality Group and to its Product Development Group to translate that input more promptly into quality improvements in products. The initiative will get under way first in the United States, where TMC will expand its network of technical offices to fine-tune its information-gathering capabilities in an aim to be able to conduct on-site inspections within 24 hours of every reported incident of suspected product malfunction.
TMC will add a brake-override system, which cuts engine power when the accelerator and brake pedals are applied at the same time, to all future vehicle models worldwide.
TMC will more actively use on-board event data recorders, which can, in the event of a malfunction, provide information necessary for conducting such activities as technological investigations and repairs.
TMC, sincerely taking to heart customer feedback gained through genchi genbutsu, reaffirms—along with its dealers worldwide, suppliers and employees—its commitment to unwavering quality in products and services and to the spirit of “customer first”. TMC will continue to endeavor to provide products that are safe and reassuring.