More Toyota Quality Problems


Toyota fixing engine failures in new Tundra truck –

It's hard to tell if this level of quality defect is typical for a new model launch or not. Anyone in the auto industry care to share a perspective on that? Not that it would be an excuse… any customer with a failed engine is one too many.

Toyota executives have continually expressed concern about their ability to maintain quality levels with their growth. Is the media now more likely to go after them and expose quality problems now that Toyota is #1 in sales?

A glitch in Toyota Motor's Tundra pickup has caused 20 engine failures and forced it to track down other trucks at risk for the problem, the Japanese automaker said Tuesday.

A limited number of early version Tundras have a flaw in the camshaft in their 5.7-liter, V-8 engines, which can cause the engine component to crack and fail, Toyota said.

Toyota is blaming an outside supplier who made the defective camshafts:

“The supplier has made changes, and we think the problem is solved,” Toyota spokesman John McCandless said. Toyota declined to identify the component supplier.

In cases in which a Tundra camshaft fails, Toyota is replacing the truck engine at no charge, representatives said.

Toyota spokesman John Hanson said that the automaker has no plans to inspect vehicles for the flaw and is confident that it can identify what it expects will be a small number of trucks at risk for developing the camshaft problem.

“We're still trying to get our arms around how many could have been affected,” he said.

Lean lesson? Nobody is perfect, you can't take quality as a given, you have to continually work for it.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. I spoke tonight with a knowledgeable Toyota contact, he had a few points:

    It’s maybe not exactly right to say that Toyota was “blaming” the supplier, but rather they were pointing out that it was a supplier defect, a distinction there. He elaborated that one of Toyota’s challenges is certainly that of spreading TPS knowledge and quality management to their new plants (like San Antonio), but it’s also as much of (or more of) a challenge to build the quality supplier base as Toyota continues to grow.

    One other thought I had… the article points out how Toyota has no plans to inspect vehicles for the defect. It’s possible, as part of a containment/spill management plan that Toyota and the supplier identified a certain day or time period in which these defects were created. It might not be endemic to the design of the camshafts, but a process defect that’s been isolated and fixed. Why go inspect every new Tundra in the field for the sake of PR? That would inconvenience customers searching for a defect that you’re pretty certain isn’t there, other than a certain timeframe.

    It’s hard to get the whole story from a newspaper report, we decided.

  2. My Toyota Prado TX 2004 2.7l petrol in immaculate condition and very low milage only done 50000KM SO FAR and have crack in dashboard which spread from the driver side towards Passenger side whole length got crack line and slowly peeling off more and more wider crack lines.
    I have wrote earlier about this prob and From toyota care they replied and promises through inspection, but result is i have to bare the manufacturing defect cost.
    i drove earlier 1997 model prado for almost a decade but no prob this new one really frustate me and break my trust on TOYOTA……..
    According to Some blogs I visit have manufacturing fault in this Prado 2004 Model onwards !!!!
    Is any one kindly suggest me what to do ??
    Nasir Saeed
    Kuala Lumpur


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