Although Toyota is the world’s largest automaker and sits on forecasted record surging profit, it is also plagued with many recalls – a flaw or just its aim to stop any more embarrassing scandals?
Just yesterday, Toyota added to the recall roster one of its most coveted model lines, the hybrid Prius, issuing a massive recall that would see around 1.9 million cars (which is almost half of the model’s production form initial launch) going back to dealers to fix a software glitch that might slow down or stop the car all together.
Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota’s founder, has managed since 2009, when he took over as president, to keep Toyota’s Number one place among carmakers, return the company to huge prosperity but ultimately failed to keep the company out of many quality problems.
“It’s too early to tell whether this raises serious question marks over Akio Toyoda’s revamp of Toyota, or whether the bad, old ways are still there,” said Ashvin Chotai, managing director of Intelligence Automotive Asia. “This takes the spotlight away from a lot of the good things that have been going on at the company.”
Toyoda decided to focus on quality and just like rival carmaker Hyundai-Kia (whose on the same pattern of plant expansion hold), decided to avoid the previous years production over-expansion – no new plants are slotted until at least 2015 as he blames them for the more than 10 million unit recalls from 2009 – 2010.