The Accelerator Crisis (Greto, Schotter, & Teagarden, 2010), then respond to the following questions: * Based on strategic, structural, and cultural challenges, discuss the drivers of Toyota’s accelerator crisis. Why was Toyota facing a recall crisis? * How well are Toyota’s management, employees, and external stakeholders able to support their corporate brand? * Has Toyota effectively managed ethics and public relations in the United States? Who should be accountable for this activity? How could Toyota’s crisis management be improved? * What should Mr. Akio Toyota, Toyota’s president, do now to restore Toyota’s reputation and position Toyota for sustainable competitive advantage? * Has the company lost sight of its long-term philosophy, a key principle behind the Toyota Way? * How many dimensions of quality defined in Chapter 2 of the textbook are not properly addressed in Toyota? Toyota was facing a recall crisis because of a buildup of issues concerning their vehicles.
In 2001, the company introduced The Toyota Way, which contained new philosophies on management, manufacturing, and production. Incorporated into The Toyota Way was TPS, or, the Toyota Production System that introduced a way of operating that was too lean for the company’s quick growth. This lean way of producing vehicles lead to the decrease in use of quality parts, thus resorting to less expensive, less quality alternative parts, including gas pedals. In 2010, years after the accelerator issue first appeared, Toyota ended up recalling and eventually halting production on their most popular Toyota and Lexus models due to a sticky gas pedal issue. Unfortunately, six months earlier, an off duty police officer and his family were killed due to a gas pedal sticking in their Lexus. (Russell and Taylor, 2011) Toyota’s management, employees, and external stakeholders should be able to support their corporate brand with confidence, but only after Toyota’s new commitment to quality over quantity.
However, they may find themselves defending their support over historical issues. Toyota has had issues managing ethics and public relations effectively in the US and it may take some time for the US market to go back to previous volumes due to the company’s history in responding to issues with vehicles. US public relations can be improved by holding Akio Toyoda accountable for his lack of response to issues and crisis management. He should be the one talking about and marketing the commitment to quality over quantity. (Russell and Taylor, 2011) The company did lose sight of the long term philosophy and key principal behind The Toyota Way during the time when short term profit was the only concern and customer complaints were being ignored.
If the commitment was in quality of vehicles, then customer complaints would have been taken more seriously and the millions of recalls and costly halts in manufacturing could have been prevented. The dimensions of quality that were not properly addressed by Toyota are the performance of their cars, the reliability and serviceability of the company, which was displayed by ignoring piling customer complaints, conformance of their vehicles not meeting quality standards, and safety of the vehicles. (Russell and Taylor, 2011) Russell, R. and Taylor, B. 2011. Operations Management, Creating Value Along the Supply Chain. 7th Edition. John Wiley and Sons.