Saturday, April 17, 2010

To Find a Problem - or Not?

Is it better for Toyota to find a problem or not? Jerry Flint writes for Forbes and addresses this question quite well in his article. Here is the question:

What's worse for Toyota? Discovering that some electronic mishap is making its cars run wildly out of control? Or finding no electronic mishap or anything else wrong?

Answer: the latter is worse--much worse. If it finds an actual problem, Toyota can fix it once and for all. But if they can't find a problem, if no one can find a problem, if it seems to be driver error--stepping on the accelerator instead of the brake--then the questions go on and on. People in accidents will continue to believe they did nothing wrong, lawyers will continue to file suits, the press will continue to regurgitate the same stories day after day and Toyota will stay in the hole.

Interesting! It appears that really, it's a no win situation... Even though Toyota has literally spent many years studying, researching, and testing the electronics, they have found no problem... no smoking gun. But, according to Mr. Flint, unless Toyota DOES find a problem, things will be "worse - much worse".

Toyota is one of the best problem solvers in the world. They pride themselves on finding the actual problem, identifying the root cause to the specific problem, and implementing countermeasures for the root cause so that the specific problem will never reoccur. Other problems may happen, but if they do, the same problem-solving procedure is applied. The idea is to never have the same problem occur again... never!

Toyota has even asked a third-party company of electronics experts to test the electronic throttle control system to see if they can identify any potential problems. Their report is due soon. You can click here to go to a site that will give you all the latest news about Toyota from respected news sources.

So, I not sure if we should wish for Toyota to find a problem or not. The one thing I do know is that Toyota is getting better, stronger, communicating faster, and listening more intently. After all, it's the customer that matters the most, regardless of the media, the politics, the competition, and the frustration. Toyota will continue to take the high road. It's a long road - but it's the right road. It's the road that puts the customer first!

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