Toyota Motor Corporation, one of the world’s leading auto manufacturers, recalled a whopping 7.4 million cars. Around the world reports spread of a manufacturing fault that could lead to a vehicle fire if the issue was not properly resolved.
TOKYO (majirox news) — Toyota Motor Corporation’s reputation has suffered since a series of major recalls over the last few years, when the owners of some vehicles reported accelerator problems. This time the country’s biggest automaker recalled more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide, including the Corolla and Camry. The issue concerns a faulty power window switch.
“The problem is the lubricant issue. Someone forgot to put grease on the drivers side, so of course when you don’t have grease in between glass and metal it causes friction which causes heat which causes smoke with can lead to fire,” said Peter Lyons, writer and auto industry analyst. “There has been some reports of fire but Toyota disputes that.”
However, this latest recall is a blow to Toyota’s reputation, whose manufacturing methods and philosophy have been the envy of the rest of the automotive world for many years. Japan’s auto industry faces other difficulties.
“You have the very competitive nature of the Koreans making better cars than the Japanese right now and they are selling better around the world,” Lyons said. “You also have got the problem between China and Japan with the island issue and you have quality issues with the recalls.”
The Japanese auto industry is under pressure to make changes.
“In Japan, they need to reduce costs by improving production facilities, and they have to move offshore to reduce costs as well,” Lyons said. “It’s all about cost reduction while maintaining quality image right now.”
It is probably small comfort to Toyota to see that arch-rival Honda has recently also issued three vehicle recalls. The image of “Made in Japan” as a whole has taken a beating with these latest recalls. Although, many Japanese don’t think it’s a major issue.
Yasu Nishiyama, a businessman in Tokyo, said, “Toyota has a good product, and it’s really a small thing. It’s not a problem.”
In fact, Toyota was the world’s top-selling automaker during the first half of this year, beating out General Motors. Since then Toyota’s share price has gone down.
And if this recall isn’t enough for Toyota and the Japanese car industry, sales in what used to be rapidly expanding, China, have been slumping as Japan and China face off over the islands in the South China Sea. Then there’s the high yen making exports more difficult.
However, Toyota executives are unfazed and experts say it is almost certain that the corporation can bounce back and regain the confidence of its customers once again.