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Toyota automobiles..Unsafe at any speed?

Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:54 pm
by Trailblazer
What does everyone think of Toyota having to recall millions of cars and trucks for serious safety issues?

I think that the biggest problem is that they hid the problems for nearly a decade and got away with it. All of the secret buy back programs they had for their truck frames rusting to the point that large pieces would fall off while driving creating a hazard for others or the truck literally cracking in half. All of this was done to keep their squeaky clean quality reputation. I think that it finally caught up with them.

Obviously they have been ramping up production and cutting costs to gain the title as the world's largest automaker. The problem is that they cut costs on important things like steering and brakes. U.S. manufacturers meanwhile got an unnecessary bad reputation because they cut costs on gadgets and upohlstery materials which would always result in a few minor bugs when you bought one. So what if you had to take your car back because the radio wouldn't eject your CD, The brakes still work and you can steer it. Toyota concentrated all their effort on the visible things. Since the U.S. automakers had done such a good job on the mechanicals, buyers just assume that no cars would have any problems with basic items such as steering or brakes. They would buy the car with the nicer interior or the lower price.

I bet that berfore all is said and done they will have to recall 10 million or more. Does anyone want to bet that putting a shim under the gas pedal will not fix the sticking pedal issue. The real issue is the computer that controls the drive by wire beign susceptable to interferance from other radio sources such as garage door openers, cell phones, CB radios, and power lines but that fix is too expensive for toyota to swallow. What about the cars that are 10 years old, the fix will cost more then the car is worth. Will those be scrapped.

Talk about "cash for clunkers" maybe the government should have had a "cash for Toyotas" stimulous plan instead.

Re: Toyota automobiles..Unsafe at any speed?

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:08 pm
by Trailblazer
From Fox News.,2933,587090,00.html

WASHINGTON — Toyota officials claimed they saved the company $100 million by successfully negotiating with the government on a limited recall of floor mats in some Toyota and Lexus vehicles, according to new documents shared with congressional investigators.

Toyota, in an internal presentation in July 2009 at its Washington office, said it saved $100 million or more by negotiating an "equipment recall" of floor mats involving 55,000 Toyota Camry and Lexus ES350 vehicles in September 2007.

The savings are listed under the title, "Wins for Toyota — Safety Group." The document cites millions of dollars in other savings by delaying safety regulations, avoiding defect investigations and slowing down other industry requirements.

The documents were turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and obtained by The Associated Press on Sunday. The presentation was first reported by The Detroit News.

A Toyota spokeswoman did not immediately comment.

The documents are expected to be raised in Congress, which is holding two hearings on Toyota's massive recalls this week. The Japanese automaker has called back 8.5 million vehicles in recent months to deal with safety problems involving gas pedals, floor mats and brakes.

The world's largest automaker has been criticized for responding too slowly to complaints of sudden acceleration in its vehicles, threatening to undermine its reputation for quality and safety.

Kurt Bardella, a spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, said the documents raise questions on "whether Toyota was lobbying for less rigid actions from regulators to protect their bottom line."

The new documents show the financial benefit of delay. In the presentation, Toyota said a phase-in to new safety regulations for side air bags saved the company $124 million and 50,000 man hours. Delaying a rule for tougher door locks saved $11 million.

On defect regulations, the document boasts that Toyota "avoided investigation" on rusting Tacoma pickup trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated the case in 2008 but closed it without finding a safety defect. Toyota agreed to buy back certain rusty pickups, inspect other and extend warranties.

The document lists seven "Wins for Toyota & Industry," including "favorable recall outcomes," "secured safety rulemaking favorable to Toyota" and "vehicles not in climate legislation." Another page lists "key safety issues," including "Sudden acceleration on ES/Camry, Tacoma, LS etc."

In one passage, the document says Toyota "negotiated 'equipment' recall on Camry/ES re SA; saved $100M+, w/ no defect found."

NHTSA had launched an investigation in March 2007 over allegations that floor mats were interfering with accelerator pedals. Toyota told the government a month later that there was "no possibility of the pedal interference with the all-weather floor mat if it's placed properly and secured."

By that August, the government had connected the problem to a dozen deaths and a survey of 600 Lexus owners discovered 10 percent reported sudden or unexpected acceleration. But the recall in September 2007 was limited to 55,000 Camry and ES350 vehicles to replace the floor mats.

The 10-page internal presentation was dated July 6, 2009, less than two months before a high-speed crash near San Diego killed a California highway patrol officer and his family and reignited concerns over sudden acceleration in Toyotas.

In October 2009, Toyota issued its largest-ever U.S. recall, involving about 4 million vehicles, over concerns of pedals getting stuck in floor mats.

The presentation lists Yoshi Inaba, Toyota's chief executive in North America, on its cover. Inaba is scheduled to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, along with Toyota president Akio Toyoda and Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA.

Separately, the government said Sunday it was already investigating reports of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles when the nation's largest auto insurer shared complaints about the issue.

The Transportation Department released documents showing that in December 2003 it began investigating 39 complaints of sudden acceleration involving 2002-03 Toyota Camry sedans. That was about three months before State Farm shared with NHTSA complaints of sudden acceleration in 2003-04 Lexus ES300s and 2002-04 Camrys.

The document released by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the department had received allegations of 26 crashes and 4 injuries involving drivers complaining of their vehicles surging when backing up, pulling in and out of parking spaces and shifting gears.

Reports of deaths in the U.S. connected to sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles have surged in recent weeks, with the toll of deaths allegedly attributed to the problem reaching 34 since 2000, according to new consumer data gathered by the U.S. government

Re: Toyota automobiles..Unsafe at any speed?

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:28 pm
by Tim Chen
LOL! My uncle had one of those Tacoma pickups and Toyota bought it back from him for twice as much as it was worth! They wanted to get it off the road really badly! We always thought something fishy was going on!

Re: Toyota automobiles..Unsafe at any speed?

Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:02 am
by wracing
If this ever hapens to you. Place the car in neutral...

Then you are ok.... Pretty obvious but some folks I talk to say:

A) My toyota/lexus does not have the problem.

B) Did not know to put car in neutral