Toyota has a long history of building high-quality cars and trucks, but the recent recall of over eight million vehicles for unintended acceleration-related issues showed that no company is without flaws. Toyota has since worked hard to correct the chinks in its armor, adding 40 quality engineers in Toyota City and another three chief engineers at its technical center in Ann Arbor to help prevent defects from reaching its customers in the future. At the same time, Toyota is in the process of auditing its most critical suppliers to ensure that quality checks are being properly executed; a process that has uncovered some inconsistency.

Bloomberg is reporting that Toyota has discovered that some of its suppliers aren't performing as many component quality checks as the company thought. Dino Triantafyllos, vice president of North American product quality, told the news agency that there was a "misunderstanding" as to how many checks were being performed, with some suppliers doing one quality check per year instead of the required four. Triantafyllos feels that the audit is working, adding "these improvements we're making, if we'd made them two years ago, maybe some of these issues wouldn't have happened."

Triantafyllos isn't alone in his efforts to eliminate future quality problems. The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers, led by Hiroshi Osada, is also working with Toyota to improve quality. Osada claims that the problems that led to the recall of millions of vehicles occurred in the design development stage, adding that closer inspection of components "should be able to help prevent quality defects."

[Source: Bloomberg | Image: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty]

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