Toyota: bad management or bad execution?

We have all read about the problems that Toyota is having with all of the recalls–sticky pedals, interfering computer systems– none of this is good for the world's largest car maker.

What is the reason for all of this happening, and why now? Was it a culmination of years of declining quality that all came to surface all at once? Did Toyota grow too fast? Have corporate principles changed?

There has been (and will continue to be) speculation about these questions and more. What this does tell us is to never rely on the past to guarantee future success. Toyota has been synonomous with quality and efficiency, having found a way to build high-quality cars for a reasonable price. They may now be losing that reputation. It will be interesting to see what happens. It has taken other car companies years to shake the reputation attached to them when they had a few bad years.

If the reports are true, that this is due to Toyota growing too fast and sacrificing their principles of quality, while at the same time trying to suppress stories of sticky pedals and other issues from customers, they have a large hill to climb to get their reputation (and customers) back.

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