Toyota’s ‘SMART’ process will offer quick evaluation of unintended acceleration reports

Toyota announced today that it has established a new SMART business process using existing product engineers, field technical specialists and specially trained technicians to quickly and investigate customer reports of unintended acceleration in Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles in the United States.

SMART, which stands for Swift Market Analysis Response Team, will attempt to contact customers within 24 hours of receiving a complaint of unintended acceleration to arrange for a comprehensive on-site vehicle analysis.

“Members are drawn from a group of 200 technical associates located across Toyota”s North American operations and will work in close partnership with Toyota and Lexus dealer,” Toyota said in a statement. “As part of the SMART program, dealerships will utilize structured business processes and materials to address owners” concerns or reported experiences with unintended acceleration.”

“There has been a great deal of confusion, speculation and misinformation about unintended acceleration in the past several weeks,” said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America. “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. 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.”

Engineers from Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan are also expected to assist in some evaluations, as are specialists from other fields if warranted by initial findings, Toyota said.

– By: Omar Rana