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Toyota, Automotive News
#2 of 16309 Looks like Toyota...
Dec 02, 2005 (6:12 am)
...really IS on its way to becoming the next GM.
#3 of 16309 Re: Toyota recalls double: volume hurting quality? [scott1256]
Dec 02, 2005 (6:50 am)
That is a bit misleading. A more meaningful statistic would be recalls as a percentage of total vehicles produced from year to year.
For example, if in year 1, production=100 vehicles and recalls=20, and in year 2, production=500 and recalls =60, the quality actually went up, but this statistic would indicate a 3x increase in recalls!
Anything to sell a paper, I guess!
And yes, Toyota is opening a truck plant this year and is slated to overcome GM as the number 1 automaker in the world.
#4 of 16309 Quality and volume.
Dec 02, 2005 (7:19 am)
From the article:
'Analysts agree the number of recalls could be a function of Toyota's rapid development.
"It's really a factor of the rate of expansion, the speed at which they're growing right now," said Erich Merkle, director of forecasting for IRN, a automotive consulting firm. Anytime an auto manufacturer opens plants and ramps up production, "you open yourself up for some quality issues." '
#5 of 16309 They better slow down their world domination....
Dec 02, 2005 (7:32 am)
or their Empire might collapse from all these recalls....
Dec 02, 2005 (7:36 am)
a recall is meaningless without more info. Are these major recalls or minor ones? And are these cars getting recalled mainly because inspectors are going over them with a fine-toothed comb? Are they voluntary recalls that Toyota initiated themselves, to try to keep in good standing, or are they recalls the government forced them to perform?
Remember, cars can be recalled for the stupidest little things. My Intrepid was recalled twice. Once because the bolts holding the seatback in place could break, and once because, of all things, they forgot to put instructions in the owner's manual on how to install a child car seat!
Dec 02, 2005 (8:47 am)
Toyota's recalls this year were that minor, though. The Prius thing was a software glitch that caused some cars to cut out the gas engine and run only on electrics while in motion at high speeds where that wasn't supposed to happen.
The recall for "older trucks" affected my previous 4Runner - they replaced the tie rods, don't know why. The old ones went 220K miles without a problem.
None of these recalls this year have been for owner's manuals. Some were relatively minor, like the earlier one (mostly affecting cars outside the U.S.) on Corolla headlights where they would malfunction. But they were all for functional problems, to the best of my knowledge.
It is now generally accepted that the rattles and squeaks in first year models of the current Camry and Corolla were the result of rapidly expanding production that coincided with the retirement of a number of key old-school managers from Toyota Japan (which caused QC to drop off, I guess). That was the first time Toyota's rapid expansion bit them in the butt and cost them some empty circles in the Consumer Reports, and I doubt it will be the last. On the flip side, Toyota is a company that learns from all its mistakes, usually fairly quickly, and I am sure they will be making more of an effort to nip problems like this in the bud, especially in relation to bringing San Antonio on-line next summer.
#8 of 16309 Re: Toyota recalls double: volume hurting quality? [scott1256]
Dec 02, 2005 (11:46 am)
They'll have to be careful, obviously. My coworker's new Corolla had a bad third-brake-light bulb and the foglights weren't well aligned. Minor stuff, but noticeable; the kind of thing that affects customer satisfaction.
Honda's had similar troubles too.
Speaking to mechanics, I've heard that Toyota is no longer overengineering some of its parts, so that they all fail at about the same time (no point in half the car lasting 500,000 miles if the other half can't). I don't think that's part of this issue though.
The question is, how much emphasis should they be putting on rapid re-designs, and how much of a price premium can they afford for higher quality parts and slower production?
#9 of 16309 Not necessarily a "quality problem"
Dec 02, 2005 (12:02 pm)
"Martha Voss, a Toyota spokeswoman, said that with the increased volume, ``it would be normal to expect that recalls would increase.'' She noted the federal TREAD Act, enacted in 2000 in response to the recall of more than 10 million Firestone tires, required more minor issues to be reported. She noted that one of the recalls dealt with older pickups and SUVs that involved a rod linking the steering wheel and the tires, and did not reflect current production."
IF Ford lives by "Quality is Job One" then Toyota's quality comparatively is AWESOME. Vehicles recalled this year:
Toyota - 2 million vehicles
Ford - 6 million vehicles
#10 of 16309 What was the old saying...
Dec 02, 2005 (12:11 pm)
"If Quality is Job One, then I hate to think what the lesser jobs are!"