Total Recall: The Toyota Story on CNBC

I've been a bit out of the blogger realm since end of May...family, the new job (seven months now) and life in general have pushed the blog/website priority to a late night affair.

One thing about this heat wave in Vermont, I was able to commission the TV tonight. I think my wife was too wiped out to even put up a fight for the controller! While surfing through the many, many channels that I pay for but don't watch - a Japanese factory worker caught my eye...

Behold! A 1 hr piece on CNBC - about Toyota. As I'm watching workers work and parts move through the Trim Door Kaizen Gate, I begin to hear less about the Toyota Production System, which the show does a typical cursory job of covering - and then I watch as the show transforms into some sort of hit piece on the Japanese company.

As the story continues to bash Toyota, presenting speculative versions of what happened in the Sudden Unintended Acceleration recall by lawyers, government officials, management "gurus" and otherwise hacks, we see lots of footage of factory work. There is even a short clip of some Job Instruction at an off-the-line tire installation station.

One thing the story probably got half right - and this is arguable since none of us REALLY know: Toyota probably caught a bad case of "big company" - where they decided to be bigger than GM, rather than focus on making good cars better. At least this is what one of the talking heads, Peter Brown claims.

In the end, and as most "news" shows go, there is no resolution. Only biased conclusions based on mostly speculation.

But don't take my word for it, you judge for yourself. I was hoping to see a technical story about the recall problem but apparently, genbutsu (facts?) are too much for the media to uncover.

CNBC airtimes: 
Wednesday, July 7th  8p | 12a ET
Sunday, July 25th  8p ET

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