Sunday, February 25, 2007
According to a January 19 article in Brandweek,Toyota has launched a recall of over 500,000 vehicles due to a steering system fault. Bill Kwong, a Toyota representative, attributes the high number to Toyota's platform sharing, wherein various models share parts and structures.
Toyota, long seen as a bastion of quality and pioneers of manufacturing technique, have battled recalls for years; In 2005, the automaker recalled a whopping 2.4 million vehicles, 200,000 more than it sold. The numbers appear to be moving in the right direction, however, as recalls dropped to just over 750,000 last year while sales cleared the 2.5 million mark. This latest recall, and a recent class action lawsuit settlement over engine sludge allegedly affecting over 4 million vehicles, seem to indicate Toyota is far from in the clear, even after implementing stricter internal quality mandates following 2005.
As Toyota aims to overtake Ford to become the 2nd-largest automaker in the U.S., their ability to expand effectively and continue to maintain their image of quality will be crucial.