reporter writes "In a stunning reversal of fortune, Toyota — the Japanese leader of automotive quality — has issued the largest recall in its history, according to a story by the "Wall Street Journal". A defective installation of a simple floor mat can jam the accelerator into a mode of maximum acceleration. This defect has lead to 5 deaths. According to a story by Reuters, in one harrowing incident, "an off-duty California state trooper and three members of his family were killed in the San Diego area in a crash of a 2009 Lexus ES350. Before the crash, a passenger in the car had called 911 and told dispatchers that the accelerator was stuck and the car had reached 120 miles per hour (193 km per hour)."
What could possibly cause an engineer to design an incorrect procedure for installing a simple floor mat?
In Japan, death by overwork is a recognized form of lethal industrial "accident". Unfortunately, too many Japanese managers — and nowadays, also, American managers in Silicon Valley — think that overworking an employee maximizes productivity. On the contrary, overworking an employee diminishes his productivity: lack of sleep can cause an engineer to create an improper procedure for installing a simple floor mat. Does that employee work at Toyota?"
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