In addition to heading up what's being called a Special Committee for Global Quality, Toyoda remarked that his company will also establish a "chief quality officer" for each geographical region in which the company's vehicles are sold. Those officers will each have a seat on the committee led by Toyoda, which holds its first meeting March 30. New local technical offices will also be opened to help better investigate customer complaints, the goal reportedly being to have an on-site inspector there within 24 hours after a complaint is made.
In addition, Toyoda reaffirmed the automaker's commitment to outfit all of its vehicles with a brake-override system. This system would prevent acceleration if the gas and brake pedals were applied at the same time. Finally, the Japanese automaker also plans to make better use of onboard data event recorders in its vehicles. Like the black box in an airplane, these devices record critical data the seconds before an accident happens.
His third time speaking to the press in less than two months, Toyoda also confirmed that he would not be attending a February 24 Congressional hearing before the House Oversight Committee. Instead, Yoshimi Inaba, president of Toyota's operations in North America, will appear on behalf of Toyota to answer the U.S. government's questions. This will be the second of four Congressional hearings related to Toyota's recent recalls, and while Toyoda does not plan to attend any himself, he is planning a trip to the U.S. to speak directly with workers, dealers and suppliers.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req. | Image: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty]