Your take on the Toyota debacle?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Steve Schaffer, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd be much happier if the "electronic bug" also caused the radio to play the Christine theme every time the accelerator was about to automatically engage. "Beeoooooooo-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum"
     
  2. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,190
    Likes Received:
    0
    As the owner of a 2009 Corolla S, I'm personally affected by the recall.

    Several weeks ago, I called my dealer about the recall and asked to bring my car in before the official Toyota recall letter arrive in the mail. The dealer told me, at that point in time, that they didn't yet have the parts for the recall repairs for the Corolla. However, they will take down my inquiry and put me on a list when the Corolla parts come in. About a week after that, the dealer called and told me the parts for the recall repairs are in and scheduled me for the necessary repairs. So now, after having the car at their service center for a day, I have my car back with no noticeable difference from before the repairs.

    Do I trust my Corolla? Oh yes, it's still a better car than my 2008 Honda Civic (which I'm selling). I also have a 2005 Toyota Highlander FWD that has no problems whatsoever after 70K miles (still on original brakes and battery). Despite the recalls and the media/political circus that resulted, Toyota will still be at the top of my shopping list when it comes to buying a car (assuming it has a model I'm interested in).

    Btw, Toyota, you really need to bring on the FT-86.
     
  3. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would be the best agency to use in this case. Congress is just doing this for show. Doubt me? How about the steroid in baseball hearings? It is their getting in the spotlight to take up tv time, make speeches, act like they are important and doing something, only to resolve absolutely nothing by the end of the day.

    The truth is Toyota would have to fix this. With or without Congress summoning them to Washington DC. If Toyota ignored the issue and it got worse, consumers would find out and steer clear of them. It can take years, if not decades, for companies to regain the trust of their customers once that trust has been betrayed.

    When I was searching for a vehicle, I looked at Saturn. If Roush Racing had been able to acquire Saturn, it is possible, if not probable, that a Vue would be sitting out in my driveway. However, they didn't. Ultimately, I bought a Nissan. Right car, right price, and was the best possible deal for me.

    I am in favor of a much more limited government. One that allows the free market to act on its own and lets the consumer decide what is best for them. Ford made the assembly line. Another company decided to offer vehicles in different paint colors. Look where we are today. You can have anything from a bare minimum car to one that has mood lighting, moon roof, and then some. You can take whatever vehicle you have and modify it how you want.

    To an extent safety standards are required and should constantly be improved. However, the buying public will also make that happen through the normal progression of the marketplace. If people start buying Volvo's in droves, the other companies will take notice and adjust. All without Congress.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,369
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    Quote:
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16,968
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    When we start talking "free markets" and "limited government" we're probably veering into no-no territory for the forum's rules, but I have to ask: beyond basic safety requirements like seat belts and air bags, you really don't see a problem with market forces driving safety and quality control? Consumers shopping for automobiles don't have the armies of investigators and inspectors that the government has at its disposal. When the QC is left up to the market, you get situations like the Ford Pinto scandal where market forces dictated it would be cheaper to settle the lawsuits than redesign the problematic faults. Did the resulting outrage shift consumers away from the Ford brand in general and the Pinto model in particular? Sure. But the market forces were reactive; they occurred in response to the tragedies, not in prevention of the tragedies. In the mean time, dozens of people died preventable deaths. Granted, no sane auto manufacturer is going to allow another "barbecue that seats four" to leave the assembly line. But I don't like the idea that there's nothing between my life and a bean counter somewhere who decided that the safer, more durable $20 part isn't worth the premium over the riskier $12 alternative.
     
  6. Guest

    Banking scandals, Bernie Maidoff, Enron, tainted food, dangerous drug side effects and other situations all happened with government regulation in place. I can only image how things would go if regulation stopped and the "free market" could act on its own.
     
  7. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Dave
    You know when a plane is discovered to have a defect, the FAA grounds all other planes of that model until they are inspected or repaired. If these Toyotas are known to have a defect that endangers the lives of their owner and others on the highways, why are they not "grounded"?
    www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/
    Also, can't these owners just turn the car off if it won't brake?
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,369
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    Quote:Originally Posted by drobbins
     
  9. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Dave
    I just think that it is a little hypocritical that we grill Toyota for choosing profits over safety, and yet every Toyota effected car owner is doing the exact same thing each time they drive. The whole country including the owners are aware of this issue, and yet the owners are still choosing the cheaper route (driving the car) over the safe route (parking it until it is fixed). At this point, if I were hit by an out of control Toyota, I would blame the owner equally if not more, than the company.
     
  10. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    5,514
    Likes Received:
    12
    As the guy in California found out yesterday, the Prius doesn't have a key starter, it has a start button. You have to hold the start button in for 5 seconds before it will shut off. It also doesn't have a traditional shifter with a neutral position. In order to get into neutral, you have to move what has been described as a joystick to a particular position, then hold it in for 3 seconds. However, apparently at highways speeds, you can put it into neutral. With this in mind I don't think I'll be buying a Prius anytime soon.

    Of course none of this should apply to the tradition gas powered Toyota cars.

    Doug
     
  11. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    5,514
    Likes Received:
    12
    Well to be fair the owners are only doing what they have been told to do. Last month when a congressman said that if he owned a Toyota he would park it and not drive it till it was fixed, he got pounced on and told basically to shut up.

    No one has told the owners that they should stop driving the cars.

    Doug
     
  12. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Dave
    Originally Posted by Douglas Monce
     
  13. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2000
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    53
    Real Name:
    Rob
    That "particular position" is called "N". And it is more like 1 to 2 seconds. And yes you can shift into neutral at highway speeds. I do it all the time to coast down hills.
     
  14. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    5,514
    Likes Received:
    12
    Ah interesting. I heard later on the news that the guy yesterday actually tried to put it into neutral, but that nothing happened when he did. He also tried to kill the engine, but it wouldn't shut off until after the police got the car below 50mph.

    Doug
     
  15. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,513
    Likes Received:
    385
    Location:
    Lee Summit, Missouri
    Real Name:
    Matt
    Yes, AZ central tried this and found out that in many models, Neutral just won't work at all over a set speed

    When AZ News Tested, that's what they found:

    http://www.azfamily.com/news/Local-woman-on-her-Prius-Neutral-doesnt-work-in-this-car-87164762.html

     
  16. Guest

    There are options the driver could have tried but didn't. I don't blame him a bit though because when you're doing 94mph you tend to see the situation a bit differently. I would be afraid to try neutral since its a joystick shifter that seems to be based on software just like the accelerator that was malfunctioning. Who's to say he wouldn't get reverse instead? The Toyota dealer told this poor guy that his car wasn't on the recall list for the floor mats even though he had the letter from Toyota with him. In the end the floor mats were not the issue in this case anyway as they were in the correct position when he stopped. news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100310/ap_on_bi_ge/us_runaway_prius;_ylt=AicM8Pr_V8GycRafn6O_cmes0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNnZW8xcnZhBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMzEwL3VzX3J1bmF3YXlfcHJpdXMEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwMzBHBvcwM4BHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNydW5hd2F5cHJpdXM-
     
  17. Marianne

    Marianne Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2000
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2010/03/track-test-how-does-smart-throttle-brakeoverride-affect-enthusiast-driving.html

    Quote from article:

    "What did we prove? We performed these demonstrations not just to set race drivers' minds at ease but to undo a fundamental misconception. Brake-override doesn't cut all power to the engine when you hit the brakes. It reduces power enough that hard braking will always easily stop the car even if for some reason--any reason--the throttle mechanism is stuck open.
    We think it should be mandatory in every car. It's not a cure-all, but it is an easy-to-adopt safety measure that should halt a runaway car using brakes alone, whether that event is caused by a jammed gas pedal, a stuck linkage, an electrical fault, or by some driver errors."
     
  18. cafink

    cafink Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 1999
    Messages:
    3,047
    Likes Received:
    36
    Real Name:
    Carl Fink
    Interesting piece on the actual risk of driving a Toyota:

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/09/toyotas-are-safe-enough/
     
  19. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    5,514
    Likes Received:
    12
    Russian roulette is relatively safe (relative to a fully loaded gun) but I'm not going to be playing that game any time soon.

    Doug
     
  20. cafink

    cafink Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 1999
    Messages:
    3,047
    Likes Received:
    36
    Real Name:
    Carl Fink
    That's a pretty bad analogy. Playing Russian Roulette is a lot safer than just putting a fully-loaded gun to your head and pulling the trigger…but I presume that most people wouldn't do either of those.

    The point of the article is that driving any car on any given day is not a lot safer than driving a Toyota, and yet most people do drive cars every day without giving much thought to the very real risk of doing so, while making a huge deal out of the miniscule risk posed by this Toyota problem.
     

Share This Page