Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Official blog of the Lehigh University Chemical Engineers

Something About Toyota

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In my Professional Development class this week, I analyzed the Toyota quality control and recall case. In late 2009 and early 2010, there were numerous reports on sudden acceleration problems for Toyota and Lexus automobiles. Through investigation, it was found that the floor mats were improperly designed causing the acceleration pedal to stick. It was also found that there were mechanical problems within the acceleration pedal. As a result, Toyota had to recall the vehicles that experienced these problems.

However, the New York Times later reported that Toyota was usually slow in terms of reacting to accident reports. There was one time when Toyota found a issue with the steering wheels used in car. Although it redesigned the steering wheel and fixed the problem immediately, it took Toyota eight years to make the recall on vehicles that had already been in use. Sometimes Toyota even viewed the issue as a simple “Consumer Satisfactory” problem. Hoverer, due to pressure from the public, the head of the Toyota company apologized publicly and promised it will do a better job designing cars and making recalls.

Obviously, when Toyota noticed the problems in their mechanical designs, it should order recalls immediately instead of waiting eight years to recall the vehicles that had already been use. Toyota should not hesitate when making recalls and they need to react quickly to defect reports. And in addition to that, I think this issue is not as simple as a “customer satisfaction” issue. The poorly designed acceleration pedals present potential risks for an accident to occur. Although it was true that not all reports included an accident, the sticky pedal increased the likelihood of an accident.

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Author: Jerry Jin

Hello, My name is Jerry Jin. I'm a senior at Lehigh University pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. I'm from Allentown, PA, but I was born in Shanghai, China. I moved here when I was fourteen years old. I'm currently the secretary for Southeast Asia at Lehigh Club, and treasurer for SASE. I'm also on the Lehigh Ultimate Frisbee Team and I enjoy being spontaneous.

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