Managing Operations (BSS601-6) Case Study Topic for Assignment 1
You could call Motohiro Kaibara a Mitsubishi man. He works as a mechanic at his family's Mitsubishi Motors dealership in Kitakyushu, a city in southern Japan and he will only drive a Mitsubishi. However, Kaibara's faith in Mitsubishi began to unravel last year when in May 1999 a customer nearly ran down his own grandchild while attempting to park his $33,000 1998 Mitsubishi Diamante. The driver had just put the car into reverse when it lurched backward, barely missing the child before crashing into a gate. In July 1999 Mitsubishi tested the vehicle at its regional technical centre and insisted that nothing fundamental was wrong. In subsequent months, the incident happened twice more to the same driver almost causing accidents. Kaibara checked the car himself. To his surprise the vehicle shot back a meter upon shifting into reverse. This was not an isolated case. In September 1999, Shigeo Toyoda, the 57 year old president of a small business in western Japan was parking his four-month old Diamante on a Tokyo street. Before he could turn off the engine the car jumped back suddenly hitting an empty van. Then, Shigeji Tsugahara, a taxi driver in Saitama with 35 years driving experience, was backing into a parking spot in June 2000 when the engine of his new Diamante revved up unexpectedly and he rammed into another car parked three meters behind him. The following month, Sadao Ito was backing his Diamante into a space on the 5th floor of a Tokyo supermarket parking lot. When he put the car into reverse, the car jumped back, veering to the right and crashed into a pillar. But for the pillar, the car would have smashed through a railing and fallen 15 meters to the ground. These, and other incidents, come in the wake of revelations that over the last two decades Mitsubishi Motors has covered up thousands of complaints about glitches with its vehicles. Since August 2000 the company...
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