Toyota's training of workers to maintain quality control failed to keep up with the automaker's rapid growth, company president Akio Toyoda said in an interview with a major Japanese business daily.
Toyoda, grandson of the automaker's founder, said the problem became especially acute after Toyota's global production and sales topped six million vehicles in its fiscal year 2002.
Toyota's quality controls have been under fire after massive global recalls, starting late last year, for defective gas pedals, faulty floor mats and flawed braking, affecting more than eight million vehicles, mostly in North America.
'Tough and frustrating'
"It has been tough and frustrating, emotionally, for me, but we must accept it as an inevitable," he told Japan's top business daily The Nikkei in a front-page interview published Thursday.
Toyoda was widely criticised for being invisible when the quality woes surfaced last year. He has appeared since then at news conferences in Japan. He attended a US congressional hearing last month on Toyota's recalls.