Toyoda sobre a Toyota
Henry Payne, «The Detroit News»
Num bem preparado testemunho perante o Congresso dos EUA, Akio Toyoda, CEO da Toyota, pediu desculpa pela falhas de produção que provocaram a recolha, a nível mundial, de milhares de automóveis desta marca e ao mesmo tempo disse que a rápida expansão e crescimento da Toyota é a principal responsável:
[…] Toyota has, for the past few years, been expanding its business rapidly. Quite frankly, I fear the pace at which we have grown may have been too quick. I would like to point out here that Toyota’s priority has traditionally been the following: First; Safety, Second; Quality, and Third; Volume. These priorities became confused, and we were not able to stop, think, and make improvements as much as we were able to before, and our basic stance to listen to customers’ voices to make better products has weakened somewhat. We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization, and we should sincerely be mindful of that. I regret that this has resulted in the safety issues described in the recalls we face today, and I am deeply sorry for any accidents that Toyota drivers have experienced.
As garantias dadas pela Toyota que os sistemas electrónicos defeituosos não foram a causa dos problemas com os aceleradores ou dos travões no modelo Lexus parecem não ter convencido o Congresso. Ao mesmo a relutância da Toyota em eliminar a encriptação das “caixas negras” dos seus carros também não agradou aos congressistas. Jorn Madslien da BBC, faz a análise da audição de Akio Toyoda.
Na The Economist escreve-se que os problemas da Toyota, o maior construtor do mundo, são também um aviso para os seus concorrentes:
[…] Although it is Toyota that is currently in the dock after a crushing series of safety-related recalls across the world, competitors are only too aware that it could be their turn next. After all, there is not a single big car company that has not modelled its manufacturing processes and supply-chain management on Toyota’s lean-production system.
RJ Matson, «Roll Call»