Toyota vehicle recall

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Introduction

Every business has a philosophy that ensure that there is continuous improvement of good and service produced for consumption by the consumers. There is also emphasis on the improvement of the management quality of organizations. In this regard almost every one in an organization is always thinking on how to enhance the business operations irrespective of whether the company is doing well or struggling to keep abreast. There is no doubt that quality management translated into efficiency in production and production of commodity that a specific and best fit for the consumers demands (Pearson Education Canada, 2009). The products in this case can be relied upon to do what they are manufactured or developed for. In this regard it means that an organization that instituted quality management realizes production of high quality and reliable commodities for its consumers.  Toyota is one of the companies that adopted continuous improvement of quality in its management style in the last decade and the strategy saw the company enjoy superiority over other motor companies worldwide.  Recently, though. Toyota recalled some of its vehicle due to complaints on the acceleration and braking of these vehicles. Toyota immediately halted all the production process and sale of its famous car models; Sequoia, Matrix, Tundra, Avalon, Highlander, Corolla, Camry and RAV4. Thought the circumstances surrounding the incidence were overwhelming, it totally wrong to consider it to have been a product of the organizational behavior on the management process in the company. Toyota has had a long-standing and impressive organizational culture which could not have led to such an incidence abruptly. Also the way the company handled the situation indicated a strong culture. Certainly Toyota has a strong organization culture and the problem in the vehicles could have been a flop in the production processes. This recall affirmed the company’s organization culture and the philosophy of providing its customer with high quality products (Schreiber, 2010).

Organization culture

Organization culture has to lead operations. Toyotas corporate culture has been praised by many academicians. The culture which is referred to as the “Toyota Way” and the culture of “Continuous Improvement” have been instrumental in ensuring that the company enjoys the success it has enjoyed in the past decade. The success has seen the company ranked 8 overall through out the world and as the most successful motor company. The faulty vehicles and the recalls however, may be something for the management to think about and for the competitor to make an advantage of.  Certainly something went wrong and may have damaged the impression consumers have on the vehicle. According to Oekel (2010) the first principle in “The Toyotas Way” culture is founded on management decision concerning the long-term philosophy and has to be fulfilled even at the expense of short term finical requirements and objectives.  This organization principle however seems to having been ignored or overlooked by the organization behavior surrounding the recall of these vehicles. Furthermore, the public relation blunders the company made by pull back advertisement payments as retaliation to negative reporting clearly show that this principle was totally overlooked. It raises doubts as to whether the recall was a desperate measure to save the image or the company wanted to make a certain impression.

Toyota also seems to have failed to keep up with the second principle of its culture “Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.” This is because the company new the reason that led the recent recalls as early as 2006 but failed to deal with it. It ism however worth noting that the company did not fix the problem of stopping to corrects errors and problem made but rather it build a culture of getting everything right with the first attempt (Oekel, 2010). Certainly the company got carried away be easy and available financing to build as many cars as the market demanded. The inconsistencies between what Toyota prophases and what it actual does are endless. Toyota however, defines it culture transparently and as such it can overcome this current crises tremendously. Focusing on the failure can make anyone overlook al that Toyota has accomplished in since its inception. The operational factors that contributed to the recall may be due to the increasing problems brought about by the success of the company’s brands. The company increased production to keep up with the demand that was equally increasing world wide. This stretched the lean Toyota managerial ability leading production inconsistencies with cultural principles. To overcome this, the company needs to realign its culture and operations.

Decision making

The incidence also says a lot about the decision making at Toyota especially after taking over four years to respond to fault braking systems of the motor brands (Hagiwara& Kitamura,2010). Decision making process is a very essential component of the organization behavior in any organization. It is hard to state whether the reluctance to make corrective measures to in the subsequent productions after the first incidences of poor braking systems was reported as early as 2006 was a result of the organization culture, ignorance or poor decisions. Certainly all this seem to be responsible although the measure taken recently by the company reveals that communication and decision making played a greater role. The company has increase technological centers around the world in order to hasted decision making process. As Korkofingas (2008) states recall of product can be very damaging to the brand image of a product. However, although Toyotas recall may have implication on the companies brand, the decision was very suitable to save the long-run reputation of the company’s brands. The company may also experience some short term financial upheavals due to the decision The motor company has over time managed to build a reputation on construction of reliable and quality cars. The acceleration problems have certainly gnawed away some of this reputation rising doubts as to whether the company can still supply the market with quality and reliable automobile. The tint on the leadership on quality and reliability will certainly give competitors a competitive advantage.  Toyota however made its customers aware that it considers their safety more than profits. Although the decision to recall the vehicles could be interpreted to mean admission of guilt the company has demonstrated that it can be trusted. This can be very beneficial to the company since trust is build through action not just words

Leadership

Leadership on its own could have contributed to the production of faulty vehicle despite the existence of a long standing culture. Toyota strategy saw the company enjoy a prestigious position at the helm of supremacy in the motor industry. Having managed to build a tradition of reliable and quality products many customers came rushing, no doubt giving the company a sizable market share grate than any other motor company. But the market leadership will certainly wane due to the scandal. Some customer may look at the brand with an impression of being faulty even after the mechanical errors surrounding the acceleration pad have been rectified. It is however worth noting that those who have been using the company’s cars will certainly continue using the products when they are returned to the market after rectifications have been made. On the other hand new customers my shy away from the companies brands and opt to be products from other movers. Also customers who normally have their loyalty persuaded easily may also opt to brands produce by other motor companies (Schreiber, 2010)

Regaining the market share and leadership lost to the scandal may not be easy but certainly Toyota has the ability and potential to do it. The however may take years. The motor industry has stiff completion and Toyota may require coming up with a new and appropriate strategy to get back into the completion and perhaps regain its position and esteem (Pearson Education Canada, 2009).

Legal Suits

Toyota may also have to deal with court suits as it may be sued for faulty products that endangered people’s lives and further claimed the lives of others. In fact it is otherwise noble decision to recall car could be perceived as admission of guilt and could be used the company in court. Certainly this could cost the company valuable time and money. Dealing with fallout is never easy. According Pearson Education Canada (2009) there is already a law suit in the Canada claiming the Toyota new about the fault and should have corrected them before releasing its brands to the market. The company is further faced with several lawsuits in the U.S. for 19 deaths caused by jammed accelerators. The Americans also state that Toyota new about the faults but never acted.

Conclusion and recommendations

Toyota may have been carried away by the ever expanding demand for it brand and started producing in mass leading to neglecting its philosophies and production of faulty products. Despite having prior notice to the faults the company took a very long tame to make a bold decision. It however, had to make a decision that together with its mistakes will cost it its market leadership and a lot of money. The company may further loose more money as a result of the numerous lawsuits it has to deals with. However the company can steal make a come back by overcoming the storm and reclaiming its position in the motor industry. Toyota should improve it production to ensure it is up to task with the increasing production needs, enhance technical inspection of manufactured products, improve it responsive mechanisms to problems as well as communication and decision making processes.

 

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