Initial recommendations from Toyota Motor Corp's quality advisory panel about its North American suppliers are due this week. In an interview at an automotive conference in Acme, Mich., Steve St. Angelo, chief quality officer and executive vice president for North America, said that during the evaluation process, Toyota will talk about what it has been doing and the suppliers will share their initial thoughts, things [Toyota] should consider.
St. Angelo said that panel members were concerned with how Toyota maintains quality and safety standards as it expands its base of suppliers in North America.
After recalling more than 8 million vehicles worldwide in the past year for defects related to unintended acceleration, Toyota is working to improve its cars and trucks. In the US, Toyota has had to deal with congressional hearings and had agreed to a record $16.4 million fine.
St. Angelo reported that over 80% of US vehicles recalled have been repaired. He also revealed that visits have been made by the outside quality panel, led by former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, of its facilities in Japan and the US, its technical center in Michigan and dealerships.
The group observed crash tests, driven recalled cars and watched how chief engineers interacted with suppliers.