Despite its fabled Toyota Production System, quality issues have put some strain on the carmaker's drive to the top of the heap. In the past couple of years, a series of un-Toyota-like quality problems have begun to nibble away at the firm's reputation as the world's most admired manufacturer and as a byword for reliable vehicles. In July 2006, after some conspicuous product recalls, Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe bowed in apology and promised to fix things with a "customer first" program that would redirect engineering resources and, if necessary, lengthen development times. But the recalls have continued and Toyota is still slipping in consumer-quality surveys. The company's global head of manufacturing, Takeshi Uchiyamada, recently expressed "shame" at the problems with the latest Tundra full-size pick-up.
Source: Economist, http://www.economist.com
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