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Toyota Creates 6 New Product Quality Field Locations

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On: Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 10:54AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota Creates 6 New Product Quality Field Locations

Toyota Motor Corp. announced today that the company will be adding new product quality field offices—referred to as PQFO—around North America in order to more efficiently handle any customer complaints.The decision to add field offices in San Francisco and three other cities follows a successful pilot program in New York late last year.

Offices will be located in the same geographical location as Toyota Motor Sales regional offices, offering special services to investigate and handle customer issues, such as reports of sticky gas pedals.

The first pilot office opened in New York City in order to specialize in assisting with cold weather issues, such as corrosion in the Lexus and Scion models. The San Francisco office will address issues dealing with hybrid models such as the Prius, since there is a high concentration of hybrids on the west coast, while the Houston office will target truck problems, as well as heating and cooling issues.

"Toyota is looking at opening offices in Jacksonville, Florida, to focus on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; in Houston to concentrate on trucks and chassis components; and in Denver to study high altitude performance and SUVs. The Canadian offices will focus on issues arising from extreme seasonal temperature changes and high road salt usage."

Each office willbe concerned with exploringspecific complaintsand will actually have certified technicians, as well as engineers, on staff who will work with dealers in order to handle customer complaints. AccordingtoToyota's recent press release, "Understanding what customers are doing in the real world is a major component of Toyota's new quality efforts. That customer usage data will be incorporated into future test and development procedures in order to try to avoid the same problems on other products."

Toyota will open the San Francisco officein July and the other officesin 2011. Toyota Canada willset upproduct quality field offices in Toronto and Calgary, so that the grand total number of offices, including the New York pilot program, will be seven.

"Staffed by technical and engineering specialists with expertise drawn from across Toyota's global operations, these product quality field offices strengthen Toyota's North American field technical presence and data-gathering and reporting capabilities, enhancing the company's ability to detect, analyze and respond to customer and quality issues in the field," Toyota said in a statement.

"Everyone at Toyota is working aggressively to understand what our customers are experiencing and to respond quickly to their needs by enhancing our information gathering capabilities," said Dino Triantafyllos, vice president of the quality division of Erlanger, Kentucky-based Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing. The field offices also will provide technical support to dealers and regional field staff. The expansion of the field office program is part of a broad review of the company's quality-assurance processes.

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