Sunday, July 23, 2017

Toyota "production above quality": plant worker

 this is an old story but Toyota's drive to be "No. 1" has not changed --

"Friday, April 20 [1970?]
 In a coffee shop in Toyota, reading the Chunichi Daily, I find this: 'At Toyota a truck ran wild. The steering broke and it went out of control!'
I read on:
'On April 19, around 11:45 A.M., on Route 248 in Toyota City, a Toyota DA20 truck driven by S. Kato (twenty years old) of a forwarding company crossed the dividing line and struck a car in the opposite lane. The truck then smashed through a cement- block fence, hit a car parked in a neighboring vacant lot, and finally crashed to a stop against the wall of a bedding shop. The car parked in the vacant lot was badly damaged, and the shop had a part of its wall destroyed, but fortunately there was no one near and no casualties. The driver was not seriously injured. The accident occurred only 550 yards from the Main Plant of the Toyota Motor Company, where the truck was made. The truck was being sent to the Kamigo plant of the Toyota Motor Sales Company, and had not been mounted with a bed platform. The police are now investigating. The driver said he was about to turn a curve when the truck’s steering wheel suddenly went out. He didn’t have time to step on the brakes. Investigators found that some of the bolts that connect the steering shaft to the front-wheel gear box were missing. This disconnected the steering,and the truck went out of control. They found marks the bolts had made, however, so the police think that bolts weren’t fastened properly and came off as the truck jolted. The police are now questioning the person in charge of the plant. The Toyota Motor Company is also making an independent investigation.'
This accident is a direct result of the Toyota policy that places production before safety. I vividly remember the workers who were rushed by the conveyor lines."

Japan in the Passing Lane, by Satoshi Kamata, p. 168