Tundra problems bring "shame" to Toyota

Toyota's global manufacturing chief, Takeshi Uchiyamada, said that the problems with the 2007 Tundra have brought "shame" to the Japanese automaker. Since its launch earlier this year, the Tundra has experienced problems with faulty camshafts and torque converters, as well as cracking tailgates. The Tundra V8 was also bumped from Consumer Reports' recommended list earlier this year.

"We have had some trouble on the first stage," Takeshi Uchiyamada told Automotive News. "New models typically have problems, but Toyota doesn't want that."

Uchiyamada cited the new platform and new production facility -- in San Antonio, Texas -- as the leading causes for a dip in quality. Uchiyamada didn't put blame on Toyota's expansion for the Tundra's problems. When asked about the automkaer's push for the number one spot, Uchiyamada said Toyota "has a sales volume expansion plan, and we have to keep up."

Toyota recently opened a Global Training Center in Japan to help "assembly line managers better understand the Toyota Production System." "At the engineering stage," Uchiyamada said, "we need to identify and control the condition of machines, materials and procedures."