Section 3. Recommitment to Quality

Item 3. Creation of New Quality Assurance Systems

Strengthening Information Gathering

In conjunction with the start of the fiscal year, TMC and its regional affiliates around the world began refining their quality assurance systems as proposed at the first meeting of the Special Committee for Global Quality on March 30. The aim was to restore customer confidence, part of the global corporate plan for that year.

Previously, TMC’s quality standards required not just compliance with laws and regulations, but were based on clearing high technological standards. Under the refined system, increased focus was also placed on eliminating customer concerns. In addition to pursuing safety in terms of the physical aspects, TMC sought to reinforce its measures intended to produce peace of mind and respond to customer expectations and desires.

Of the plans announced by the Special Committee for Global Quality, strengthening information gathering was addressed by the start of full-scale activities by the Swift Market Analysis Response Team in the United States. The team was created, with an emphasis on promptness, to analyze safety information gathered from customers and dealers and to have technical staff members attempt to contact customers generally within 24 hours. The team’s mission was to attempt to reproduce phenomena to which it is alerted and, when necessary, collect data and vehicle components that can provide clues regarding vehicle driving conditions at the time of original phenomena.

The team usually includes several specialists from the service, development and quality management fields. Technology offices, which serve as information collection sites, were greatly expanded in Japan and newly established overseas. Beginning in 2010, the number of technology offices in the United States expanded from one to seven throughout all of North America, and six sites were established in China as well as one in Europe, with subsequent expansion still ongoing.  Technology offices have been established in the Middle East and Latin America by expanding TMC representative offices there. Through these measures, genchi genbutsu systems for rapidly investigating and analyzing safety-related issues have been reinforced.

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