When the whole “acceler-gate” scandal broke out, there were, pretty much, two reactions.
1. OH MY GOD!!!!!! STOP DRIVING YOUR TOYOTAS!!!!!! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!
And 2. Witch-hunt. Witch-hunt. Witch-hunt!
Well, irrespective of who was right, an investigation of the whole affair needed to happen. The US government did an investigation of their own and didn’t like the results. But Toyota also did an investigation of its own. They found something.
Business Week reports that ToMoCo is auditing of their suppliers of their highest priority parts in North America. What Toyota found, so far, was surprising. Toyota is finding that some parts aren’t being tested as rigorously as Toyota thought. Toyota thought that certain parts were tested four times a year; it was closer to once a year.
“We have found areas where maybe there was a misunderstanding about some aspect of the process,” said Dino Triantafyllos, vice president of product quality for Toyota North America, “These improvements we’re making, if we’d made them two years ago, maybe some of these issues wouldn’t have happened.” But didn’t this whole debacle stem from a pedal design which was prone to sticking (which is still a dodgy theory)?
Hiroshi Osada, leader of a panel formed by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers to help Toyota boost its quality, said “The crisis was a problem that came from the design-development stage,” He also added that closer examination of components “should be able to help prevent quality defects.” In other words, TEST YOUR PRODUCTS MORE!!!
In a strange quirk of fate, CTS, the supplier of the pedal in question, was one of the first suppliers audited by Toyota (I can’t think why). But CTS has nothing to fear. “They remain a supplier,” said Mr Triantafyllos, “We have a good relationship with them.” That’s nice.