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Old 08-25-2006, 11:57 AM   #1
Buckethead
 
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Toyota Delays

Toyota may delay some new models

By YURI KAGEYAMA, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 31 minutes ago

OYAMA, Japan - Toyota may delay some of its new models, the company's president said Friday, as the world's No. 2 automaker tries to improve its quality control process in order to reduce a spate of recalls that is threatening its reputation.

The possible delays come amid a period of strong growth for Toyota Motor Corp., which is in the process of meeting demand for its fuel-efficient vehicles by increasing production at plants across the globe, including in the United States, China, Canada, Thailand, Mexico and Russia.

Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe on Friday denied that the company had decided to delay models across the board, saying the development of individual vehicles would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

"We try to affirm each process," Watanabe said at a demonstration of new safety features west of Tokyo. "And in that process, some may be delayed, and some may be on time."

Toyota's shares fell 60 yen, or 0.95 percent, to 6250 yen ($53.70) on Friday.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Toyota was considering slowing the development of some new models by as much as six months because of the quality problems.

Watanabe, however, said the company's emphasis was on making sure quality-control procedures were properly carried out, rather than on how much time the process took. He denied the recalls occurred because Toyota rushed the development of some models.

The company is reviewing design, procurement, and other stages of car manufacturing, while looking more closely at complaints from buyers to reduce recalls and defects in production, he said.

"I feel we are making progress," Watanabe told reporters. He also said he did not know of any specific models that could be delayed by the changes.

Earlier this month, Toyota reported that its fiscal first-quarter profit jumped 39 percent to 371.5 billion yen ($3.2 billion) as sales surged 13 percent to 5.6 trillion yen ($49 billion). Many analysts believe the blistering pace could put Toyota on track to overtake General Motors Corp. as the world's largest automaker in the near future.

Toyota has faced an increasing numbers of recalls partly due to its efforts to cut costs by using the same parts across different models.

Japanese authorities have launched a criminal investigation into three Toyota officials suspected of failing to do anything about a faulty steering part, which may have caused a 2004 accident that injured five people.

The U.S. government also has opened an investigation of 2004-2005 Toyota Sienna minivans after receiving complaints that the liftgate had failed, causing the hatchback door to close on motorists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said earlier this month it received eight complaints and four reports of injuries involving the liftgate. The investigation involves 393,313 Sienna minivans.

And on Friday, Chinese authorities said Toyota will recall 20,069 Crown sedans made in China because of defective rubber strips that seal the windshields.

Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co., a joint venture between Toyota and China's FAW Group, will recall the cars beginning Monday, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China said in a statement on its Web site. The venture hasn't received any reports about accidents or injuries related to the problem, it said.

Yale Zhang, an auto analyst with CSM Worldwide, said the number of sedans involved in China isn't big compared with recalls internationally. The defect is also a small problem and is unlikely to hurt Toyota's sales in China, he said.

Toyota also recently was embarrassed by a sexual harassment lawsuit in the U.S. against Hidetaka Otaka, who has since stepped down as the president and chief executive of Toyota's U.S. unit. Otaka said he is innocent and Toyota settled the lawsuit earlier this month.





No specefics, either.
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:52 PM   #2
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Well it's expected... they're slated to become the #1 automaker in the world... when you have that much product out there it's a lot tougher to keep those tough standards...
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Old 08-25-2006, 01:57 PM   #3
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i hope toyota sticks to making the product right rather than being the biggest car maker in the world. Look at gm and ford. Their products if you ask me aren't built that well. All they want to do is pump out as many vehicles as they can at the expense of quality control.

Ask me if I'd buy an american vehicle and I'd have to be honest and say "no way". Sad really.
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Old 08-26-2006, 03:16 AM   #4
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well, at least i doubt they're including the yaris- it's been out and proven reliable for quite a while in japan and europe anywaiz. kudos to yaris. lol.
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