Just few days after the world's largest automobile manufacturer Toyota Motors suspended sales of its 8 car models and recalled its cars in biggest ever numbers in US (due to an accelerator problem), another biggie of the world automobile market, Honda Motors has announced that it would recall its thousands of cars world wide due to an erring window switch. According to the company it would call back a total of 646,000 units in total of its popular Honda Jazz and Honda City models which includes 1,40,000 units in US alone. The decision came after a child died due to a fire broke out in one of its car last year.
Just two years back Toyota Motors displaced the General Motors as world's largest car manufacturer and now critics raising questions like whether the company compromised with quality to become the top automobile manufacturer in the world. Toyota recalled its models after receiving complaints about sticking pedals and slipping floor mats. According to Toyota Motors' spokesman the company is still in the process of checking whether vehicles from Latin American and African market are affected by these safety problems. The company could recall about 8 million vehicles which is more than its total worldwide sales in year 2009.
The news came as a shock to the US automobile industry as it is already struggling with a steep fall in sales and bankruptcy of its major automobile companies like General Motors and Chrysler. As both of the Japan based car manufacturers known for high quality and safety oriented automobiles, these two consecutive incidents of safety related problems in cars manufactured by Japan's two top most automobile companies has put its safety-conscious image in danger.
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Could this be due to the lean manufacturing system that is being followed by TOYOTA? Incidently it was TOYOTA that had developed Lean Manufacturing system years ago. Using the same sensor for gas pedal in almost 8-10 models could have simply multiplied their losses; and hence a call back has been ordered. Wonder whether the lean manufacturing success has brought in profits or safety concerns and losses. Remember a CALIFORNIA STATE HIGHWAY lost his life along with 3 others due to this gas pedal problem in one of the Toyota cars.