「華人戴明學院」是戴明哲學的學習共同體 ,致力於淵博型智識系統的研究、推廣和運用。 The purpose of this blog is to advance the ideas and ideals of W. Edwards Deming.

2010年7月28日 星期三

Toyota News

Boost for Toyota on safety concerns

Toyota has gained ammunition in its effort to dispel accusations that its vehicles' electronic systems and other components are unsafe.


US government officials have acknowledged that they have so far found no fault with the carmaker's electronic throttle controls.


They have suggested that many complaints of unintended acceleration that have dogged Toyota stem from driver error rather than defective equipment.


Toyota, the biggest carmaker, has recalled almost 10m vehicles since the end of 2009 amid a furore, especially in the US, over the safety of its vehicles and its compliance with safety regulations.


The company has acknowledged mechanical defects in accelerator pedals, and warned that out-of-place floor mats could cause pedals to jam.


It paid a $16.4m fine to the US government in April to settle claims that it delayed reporting potentially dangerous defects to safety regulators.


Members of Congress excoriated the carmaker at hearings earlier this year, with many giving less credibility to Toyota than to researchers who questioned its testing procedures.


However, Daniel Smith, an associate administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said on June 30 that “despite several investigations of Toyota's electronic throttle control system, NHTSA has not been able to find a defect”.

不过,美国国家公路交通安全管理局(NHTSA)副行政官丹尼尔•史密斯(Daniel Smith)在6月30日表示,“尽管对丰田电子油门控制系统进行了数次调查,但NHTSA并未发现任何缺陷”。

Mr Smith was addressing a meeting organised by an independent committee set up by the National Research Council to probe the causes of unintended acceleration.


While not referring specifically to Toyota, Richard Boyd, acting director of NHTSA's office of defects investigation, told the NRC meeting that most sudden acceleration incidents investigated over the past three decades “probably involve the driver unintentionally pressing the accelerator when braking was intended”.

尽管并未明确提及丰田,但NHTSA故障调查办公室代理负责人理查德•博艾德(Richard Boyd)在此次会议上表示,过去30年调查过的大多数汽车突然加速事故,“都很可能是由于驾驶员在想要刹车时无意识地踩了油门”。

Toyota said it had not received details of NHTSA's test findings. It said its own tests point to a variety of causes, including “pedal misapplication” and other driver errors.


Even if the investigations end up supporting Toyota's findings, the carmaker “would still be better off if this had never happened”, Erich Merkle, who runs the autoconomy.com website, said.

autoconomy.com网站经营者艾里奇•默克尔(Erich Merkle)表示,尽管调查结果有利于丰田,但对该汽车制造商来说,“若没有发生这一切会更好”。

Toyota steps up production shift away from Japan

Toyota is planning to expand production in China, Brazil and the US as the strength of the yen makes producing cars more costly at home in Japan.


It also plans to cut the number of vehicles it builds in Japan by a further 15 per cent over the next five to six years to cushion itself against the effects of the strong yen.


Atsushi Niimi, executive vice-president, said the carmaker was aiming to reduce output to about 70 per cent of its domestic capacity of 3.9m vehicles.

该公司执行副总裁酒井敦(Atsushi Niimi)表示,丰田计划将产量削减至目前390万辆国内产能的大约70%。

The company has moved about halfway to that level in response to the economic slowdown, but the latest plan envisions a bigger, more permanent shift away from its home base.


The decision comes as Toyota, which exports a little under half the cars it makes in Japan, prepares to expand production in the emerging markets that have become the engine of growth for the car industry.


Toyota expects to begin building cars at an assembly plant in India in December, and additional factories are planned for Brazil and China in 2012.


The company is also planning to restart work on a plant in Mississippi that was suspended after the financial crisis.


Mr Niimi said the decision to go ahead with the Mississippi factory made sense even though Toyota expected “a very slow recovery” in US demand because an unfavourable exchange rate made exporting from Japan too costly.


Currency shifts stripped Toyota of Y320bn ($3.6bn) in potential profits in the financial year that ended in March, according to company calculations.