Toyota's mounting recall woes show the downside of worldwide supply chains.
Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
You don't get much more "made in America" than the Chicago Telephone Supply Co. Founded in 1896 in the Windy City and later moved to Elkhart, Ind., it started corporate life by selling phones to rural Americans.
Last month, the Japanese automaker pointed to a faulty CTS accelerator mechanism as the reason for the recall and suspended production at its North American facilities for the week of Feb. 1. Toyota's problems have since mushroomed, with the federal government looking into broader quality problems. On Feb. 4, under pressure from the Japanese government, Toyota acknowledged a software glitch that caused braking problems in its made-in-Japan Prius hybrid.
Welcome to the dark side of globalization.
For decades, corporations have increasingly sourced parts and ingredients from around the world to produce its products. The effort has chopped prices and brought consumers better technology. But it can also blindside them if a shoddy part escapes detection and gets whisked around global distribution systems. Just ask anyone who bought a luxury US home with tainted Chinese drywall – or South Koreans put at risk by recalled peanut butter made in Blakely, Ga.
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