Toyota Grows SMART

SMART: Swift Market Analysis Response Team. This is the latest gimmick from Japanese manufacturer Toyota, who is still trying to battle the negative image it managed to get for itself in recent months.

Now, this is what SMART should do (mind you, the following words are Toyota's): "attempt to contact customers within 24 hours of receiving a complaint of unintended acceleration."

In case they succeed in contacting those who file a complaint, the SMART team (formed from 200 technical associates located across Toyota’s North American operations) will arrange for a comprehensive on-site vehicle analysis.

“There has been a great deal of confusion, speculation and misinformation about unintended acceleration in the past several weeks. We believe judgments should be based on reliable evidence, and our SMART business process is there to help provide information upon which such judgments can be made," Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America said.

"As we did in two recent, much-publicized cases in San Diego, California and Harrison, New York, we will continue to work in close partnership with law enforcement agencies and federal regulators with jurisdiction over accidents whenever requested.”

SMART is probably part of the offensive announced earlier in the week by Toyota and set in motion to combat all the urban myths born about Toyota, its vehicles and the accelerator pedal.

Despite all the negative publicity though, Toyota posted an incredible (given the current public image of Toyota) 41 percent growth in sales compared to the same month of 2009.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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