Toyota Canada Inc. presentation to Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities – Speaking Notes


Date of presentation: June 1, 2010
Stephen Beatty
Managing Director
Toyota Canada Inc.
Mr. Chairman, the Committee has indicated that it wants to follow up on the matters discussed at the last hearing and you also requested the presence of someone with a technical understanding of the pedals used in Europe and Canada.  I am joined here today by Mr. Minoru Tanaka.
Mr. Tanaka is a veteran body engineer who has been with Toyota since 1984.  Since joining Toyota, his work has focused on under body design engineering.  Currently, he is General Manager of the division that is responsible for design of these aspects of all Toyota, Scion and Lexus models. 
Since March 16 when we appeared before the Committee, Toyota has made substantial progress toward completing the recalls that are the subject of your review.  I would like to take a few minutes to update Members on developments and then Mr. Tanaka and I will answer any remaining questions you may have.
When Toyota was last here, I said that we were confident that a review of the facts in this case would bear out the conclusion that we had never put profit before the safety of our customers.  We also confirmed that our customers, Parliament and the general public could be assured that the remedies we offered were simple, robust and, above all, effective.  In other words, Toyota vehicles are both safe and long-lasting and our customers can be confident that the company stands behind the product and supports their needs long after they have left the showroom.
Several questions arose at the last Committee hearing and Toyota was asked to respond to those questions and to provide certain information items.  This was a substantial body of work but, I can report that we have collected, translated and provided the responses back to the Committee.  Hopefully, members have received copies of that material.
Toyota holds the safety of our customers paramount.  We believe we have taken appropriate steps to ensure that issues arising in the Canadian marketplace are investigated, assessed and fixed.   These are complex issues with which all manufacturers are challenged.  We believe our response to these issues is in keeping with the actions of other members of this industry but we are striving to be an industry leader in this regard.
Toyota has tried to go above and beyond to ensure that Canadians retain confidence in our brand – and that trust is central to the health of our business.  As a result, we have taken steps to ensure that:
1.)   Repairs are carried out quickly and efficiently with the least inconvenience to our customers;
2.)   Regular updates are provided to regulators, the media and the public about the progress of campaigns and other information related to them;
3.)   We established an enhanced quality and safety structure and process with Canadian representation; and
4.)   We continue to meet and, more significantly, aim to exceed the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act in addressing other issues as they arise.
Differences in vehicle architecture, climatic or other environmental conditions, issues of maintenance or wear and tear as well as various human factors make it difficult to infer that an issue encountered in one part of the world will necessarily translate to vehicles operated in a different region. 
As for Canada, we had no reports of sticking pedals until late last Fall. 
We moved quickly to address the issue.  In addition to issuing the recall, Toyota suspended production and delivery of vehicles until a remedy could be delivered to the marketplace.  We then undertook the most comprehensive and rapid roll out of a recall campaign in our history.  Today, completion stands at 88% (as of May 27, 2010).  We are encouraged by this result and are aiming for 100% completion.
We understand that public expectations are growing and, as we noted in our last appearance before Committee, Toyota has committed to the creation of a new safety and quality structure in North America with a greater role in safety determinations.  Since that time, a chief quality officer has been appointed, committees established, an independent advisory panel including a senior Canadian representative appointed and our individual corporate entities across North America are all looking at our internal procedures to find potential areas for improvement.
Mr. Tanaka and I look forward to your questions.  Thank you.


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