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Ex-GM exec heads Toyota panel on quality, safety

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Ex-GM exec heads Toyota panel on quality, safety

Lindsay Chappell

Automotive News -- March 29, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Toyota's North America production and engineering company has formed a task force on quality as part of an effort to restore Toyota's reputation for quality and shape policy for future safety issues.

The U.S. group will be headed by Steve St. Angelo, a retired 30-year General Motors veteran who now is executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. in Erlanger, Ky.

Dino Triantafyllos, who was named vice president of quality in Erlanger in December, has been given the task of improving how Toyota manages product safety issues.

The move is part of Toyota Motor Corp. CEO Akio Toyoda's efforts to regroup in the wake of a massive global product recall and congressional hearings into Toyota safety problems.

Toyota's handling of consumer concerns was a hot issue during government hearings on the recalls this month. Some members of Congress, as well as litigants involved in consumer lawsuits against Toyota, contend Toyota knew of U.S. problems with unintended acceleration in some models long before taking action to correct them.

Toyota said Triantafyllos will speed up safety-related discussions through Toyota in North America, improve the way Toyota addresses them and play a "key role in decision-making with regard to recalls."

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