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To Recoup U.S. Quality Image, Toyota Builds Seven Product Quality Field Offices

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author photo by Autotrader November 2010

It’s been a tough twelve months for Toyota. Following quality issues, product recalls, testimony before Congress, and class-action lawsuits, the Japanese automaker has seen its share of difficulty, tarnishing the sterling image for quality it once had in the American market. In an effort to begin to rebuild that image, Toyota has announced the addition of six new product quality field offices in the United States and Canada.

According to Toyota, the new offices will be staffed by technical and engineering specialists, trained to help detect and solve quality issues discovered in the field. By working between dealers and Toyota’s U.S. headquarters in California, the automaker hopes that such offices will help ensure that future quality issues can be discovered quickly, enhancing its ability to solve them.

Six of these offices will open in next twelve months, located in areas that will give them access to regionally specialized problems. The San Francisco field office will focus on hybrid vehicle systems and durability, the Houston, Texas office on pickup trucks and chassis components, the Denver, Colorado office on high-altitude performance and SUVs, and the Jacksonville, Florida office on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, as well as drivability. Additionally, two offices will open in Canada. Located in Calgary and Toronto, they will focus on extreme seasonal temperature changes and high road salt usage.

The automaker’s six newest product quality field offices follow its first such field office in New York, which opened as a pilot program in late 2009. That office focuses on cold weather and corrosion issues.

“The expansion of our Product Quality Field Offices initiative is one example of the significant changes we are making across our North American operations to help ensure that we are a quality-focused and responsive organization,” said Dino Triantafyllos, Vice President of Quality at Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing, in a statement.

During 2009 and 2010, the automaker recalled more than 8 million cars worldwide for issues related to sticking accelerator pedals. Following the discovery of leaked documents suggesting Toyota knew about accelerator pedal issues earlier and avoided a recall to save money, the U.S. government fined Toyota more than $16 million – its maximum allowable penalty.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
To Recoup U.S. Quality Image, Toyota Builds Seven Product Quality Field Offices - Autotrader