This was published in the Sunday, February 7, 2010, edition of the Huntsville Times as my letter to the editor:
First let me apologize for the trouble and concern we have caused our customers with recent recalls. Those affected should be receiving letters soon explaining the steps you should take to allow our dealers to resolve the issues. The remedies are simple, effective and thoroughly tested. Our dealers are working overtime to ensure the job is done fast and right. We know what the problem is, we know how to fix it, and fixes have already begun.
Two core values of The Toyota Way are ensuring we keep our Customers First and that we build Quality and Safety into every process. We are obviously not perfect – but when we see a problem, we fix it as soon as possible. It is fundamental to our Toyota culture.
Even though many media reports have been warranted, please remember that we are trying to do the right thing regarding these recalls. Here in Huntsville, we have always strived to be a good corporate citizen, provide stable employment, and continue to expand our local engine plant. We recently announced an additional 240 jobs and millions of dollars in additional investment. We are very proud of our team members at Toyota.
I understand that this situation for Toyota is rare and may be a much bigger media event than normal. But, I hope the citizens of this community will see through some of the negative press and remember that we are committed to the Customer, committed to our Team Members and committed to this Community.
James T. “Jim” Bolte
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Inc.
One Cottonvalley Drive
Huntsville, AL 35810