Tokyo, Japan – Toyota has announced a number of actions it will take on quality-related matters at a press conference in Tokyo.
Among the actions and policies outlined:
– The company said that it has conducted rigorous testing of its electronic throttle control system, including extremes of electromagnetic interference, vibration and other adverse conditions, and conclusively verified that the system cannot accidentally induce acceleration. The system incorporates overlapping failsafe features linked to several sensors, and the occurrence of a problem causes the system to shift the engine into idling mode or even shut it off. Toyota has also commissioned an independent third-party research organization to test the system, and will release the findings of that testing as they become available.
– Toyota will appoint a chief quality officer for each principal geographical region to make the company more alert to customer sentiment. The officers will serve on the company’s newly-established Special Committee for Global Quality, intended to steer and improve the company’s quality improvement activities. The new committee will hold its first meeting on March 30, with independent third-party experts to review the contents of the meeting.
– The company will strengthen its framework for conveying customer input from each region directly into its Quality Group and its Product Development Group to translate the input more promptly into quality improvements in products. The initiative will first get underway in the United States, where Toyota will expand its network of technical offices with an aim of being able to conduct on-site inspections, in principle, within 24 hours of every reported incident of suspected product malfunction.
– Toyota 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.
– Toyota will more actively use on-board event data recorders. In the event of a malfunction, these can provide information necessary for conducting such activities as technological investigations and repairs.