Posted by: Knightbird | February 17, 2011

Problems are Everyone’s Business

John Shook of sent out an email today discussing NASA’s exoneration of Toyota’s “Sudden Unattended Acceleration” (SUA) issue. The email topic is not on the website yet. The gist of the email is that it didn’t happen (SUA), according to an exhaustive NASA study conducted by the National Transportation Safety Administration. The problem turns out to be floor mats that got stuck under the accelerator pedal. Apparently the case that started the issue rolling towards politically inspired hysteria (who hasn’t seen this scene play out before-remember death panels?) was the placement of a wrong sized floor mat in a loaner Lexus that caused a fatal accident. The same issue occurred within a week of the fatal accident, and the information that could have prevented the fatal accident was told to an after hours receptionist. She assumed the information would be give by the customer to technicians who could correct the problem. The customer assumed the receptionist would give the information to the technicians. If a solid customer information feedback policy and process had been in place, the information would have been recorded and the accident avoided. Problems are everyone’s business. The receptionist should not be blamed. She had been handed the facts, but the process was not in place for advancing those facts to the person with an ability to act on them. What a lesson for all of us. Put in a process and train your staff to solve problems or to hand them off to someone who can.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Graban and Jim Baran, educonsol. educonsol said: RT @LEANVSL: Just don't hand them to me. RT @leanblog: Patrick Anderson: Problems are Everyone’s Business #lean #CEO […]

  2. I appreciate, especially, your emphasis that the receptionist should not be blamed, as tempting as that might be for people.

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