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Since the fall of 2009, Toyota has recalled more than 20 million vehicles. According to an advisory panel appointed by the company, Toyota has not adopted enough change to address the slew of safety problems that have arisen over the past decade.
This issue lies within Toyota’s centralized decision-making that remains based in Japan, and a 60 page report recommended that the company align itself closer with U.S. safety regulators. While lingering damage to Toyota’s reputation still exists despite federal investigations that exonerated Toyota, the panel is still optimistic of Toyota’s future.
The report said Toyota should simplify the downloading of crash information from electronic data recorders, or black boxes, rather than using decoding devices that require frequent upgrades, the report said.
Toyota responded to its recalls, lawsuits and record federal fines of nearly $50 million by last year creating a North American executive panel with direct responsibility for regional business and operations.
Former U.S Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater said, “They’re serious about wanting to reclaim their valued perch of premier leader in auto manufacturing. We’ll just have to see what the leadership does”.
According to the panel, the company should consider appointing one CEO for North American operations, since the decision-making process being centralized in Japan is hurting the company in North America.
“Toyota has become too big and distant from its customers,” Moritaka Yoshida, Toyota Chief Safety Technology Officer, said in October 2009. The report suggests Toyota has ground to cover with respect to restructuring its vehicle-safety management.
[Source: Automotive News]