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Your take on the Toyota debacle?


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#1 of 75 Steve Schaffer

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Posted February 24 2010 - 10:06 AM

If this is inappropriate or violates forum rules in any way I hope a mod. will delete this.

I was a Toyota dealership tech from '71 to '06 and was always under the impression that Toyota was very good at taking responsibility for problems with their vehicles.  My general experience was that most owners were very loyal.

Lately they've been getting a lot of criticism for a number of issues and was wondering what the general consensus around here is on the matter.  

Is it possible that they have had no more problems than any other mfg. but are now being singled out because of their commercial success, or have they become arrogant with their success and gone into denial? 
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#2 of 75 Ron-P

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Posted February 24 2010 - 06:49 PM

I've owned Toyota's since 1985 when I bought my first 4x4. I've owned many over the years and my wife has a Sienna now. When it comes time for her to buy a new car it will be a Toyota. I'd even own a Toyota now if they had more sporty 2-door cars but they don't.

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#3 of 75 gene c

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Posted February 24 2010 - 10:31 PM

I think the biggest issue is that it took so long to figure out what was causing the problem. Not sure if they really know yet. Plus, a sticking gas peddle scares the heck out of people. Remember Audi's sudden acceleration of the mid 80's? Toyota's are good cars with a loyal following. They will over-come this.
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#4 of 75 Guest__*

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Posted February 25 2010 - 01:31 AM

 I loved my Toyota and put up with the recall at first.  I've watched my resale value drop as Toyota goes from blaming floor mats to sticky pedals.  Even now they can't say they've fixed the problem.  I'm of the opinion that there's also a software problem as some people have reported the cruise control coming on when it happened to them.  I watched the hearing yesterday where Toyota admitted that their priorities got out of wack as they concentrated on volume over safety.  I decided to trade in my Toyota yesterday since I don't want to take a chance with my family's safety or getting so upside down that I can't get out of it.  Maybe my next vehicle will be a Toyota again but they have to make some changes.

#5 of 75 cafink

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Posted February 25 2010 - 02:30 AM

This impresses me as more of a media/political frenzy than anything.  Before the media picked up on this story, there were 19 fatal accidents attributed to faulty gas pedals and floor mats over the last decade; that's less than two a year.  There are 40,000 fatal car crashes in the U.S. every year.


 

 


#6 of 75 Marianne

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Posted February 25 2010 - 02:45 AM

Most cars built in the last few years have electronic throttle control systems (ETC). There is no throttle cable, only an electronic signal (by wire) from the pedal to the ECU (Engine Control Unit). Any vehicle fitted with ETC could have a malfunction if there is a problem with the signal.

Some manufacturers have "brake override" systems where pressing the brake pedal if the accelerator pedal is pressed (or malfunctioning) will cause the ECU to disregard the accelerator and allow the vehicle to be stopped. BMW and Nissan have this system (might be others).

http://online.wsj.co...1910244700.html

Quote:
Toyota said the brake-override system would be standard equipment throughout the Toyota and Lexus lines starting with January 2010 production of the ES350 and Camry.

Hyundai Motor Co. intends to equip all of its vehicles with the feature by the end of this month, while Nissan already offers it on all of its cars.

General Motors Co. offers brake override on its performance vehicles, such as the Corvette ZR1, Camero SS and the four-cylinder Malibu. GM hasn't implemented it on other vehicles since its brakes are always stronger than its engines, it said.

Ford Motor Co. is employing the technology on its Fiesta subcompact due out later this year. Ford plans to roll out the feature to its other vehicles, although a timetable hasn't been disclosed.



#7 of 75 Matt^Brown

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Posted February 25 2010 - 02:55 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cy Jervis 

 I decided to trade in my Toyota yesterday since I don't want to take a chance with my family's safety or getting so upside down that I can't get out of it.  Maybe my next vehicle will be a Toyota again but they have to make some changes.
Wow Cy! I don't own a Toyota but since I live in Kentucy this is all over the radio. I never really thought about people being that worried about the problem I just assume it was all media hype.

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#8 of 75 Guest__*

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Posted February 25 2010 - 04:04 AM

 Its a trust issue as Toyota's handling of the situation hasn't been the best.  An email bragging about saving one hundred million dollars by avoiding a recall on the issue along with the inability to accurately diagnose the problem have people really wondering about the company.  Add the trust issues with the loss of resale value and it makes you seriously think about the advantages and disadvantages of keeping the vehicle.  Toyota's sales are down due to the lack of confidence in the product, not only for new vehicles but also the used models.  There is currently more supply than there is demand for.  As a result of all of this my vehicle lost about $4000 in value  recently according to kelly blue book(based on numbers I ran two weeks ago and this week).  While there is the possibility of some of the value coming back I don't see it all coming back.  Add in the congressional investigation with Toyota admitting priority problems plus not knowing if the recalls will totally fix the problem and I see the values continuing to go down.  There are rumors of Toyota increasing incentives to draw people back in which will also decrease the resale value.  Looking at the total picture I saw more risk than I was comfortable with and decided to cut my loses before I could no longer afford to.



#9 of 75 Steve Schaffer

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Posted February 25 2010 - 09:19 AM

Interesting that the responses range all the way from undying loyalty to running for the hills.

While the brake override seems like a good idea at first glance there are some circumstances when one might want to increase throttle while maintaining pressure on the brake (starting up a steep hill from a stop).

It occurred to me that every motorcycle I've seen for the last 30 years had a red button on the handgrip called a "kill switch" which would quickly cut the engine if a throttle cable stuck.  I could foresee something like this being implemented on autos.  It could be wired directly into the power supply for the ignition or injectors bypassing the engine management ecu or cutting power to that ecu to make it fail-safe.  Engine management systems are now so complex that a tiny short or open in a harness can cause the computer to do any number of weird things, and a primitive thing like a kill switch wired into the ecu power supply could be the only way to achieve a totally reliable engine kill.

Sounds a little far-fetched but it's not really unprecedented.  The Audi problem back in the 80s, after thorough investigation, proved to be caused by the driver inadvertently pressing the gas instead of or in conjunction with the brake pedal when shifting from Park into a drive gear--exacerbated by the fact that the two pedals were unusually close to each other.  Audi used the same pedal placement on Automatics as for manual transmissions at the time and people with wide feet sometimes had problems mashing the correct pedals.

The ultimate cure was the now universal feature that prevents shifting out of Park unless the brake pedal is applied.
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#10 of 75 Patrick Sun

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Posted February 25 2010 - 12:29 PM

Does driving a manual transmission side-step the demon-gas-pedal issue?

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#11 of 75 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted February 25 2010 - 01:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cafink View Post

This impresses me as more of a media/political frenzy than anything.  Before the media picked up on this story, there were 19 fatal accidents attributed to faulty gas pedals and floor mats over the last decade; that's less than two a year.  There are 40,000 fatal car crashes in the U.S. every year.
 
The current number or claimed fatalities related to Toyota accelerator pedals is 34.  Of the 40,000 fatal car crashes per year, only a tiny percentage are primarily caused by engineering or manufacturing defects.  Also, non-fatal car crashes can be pretty unpleasant, too.


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#12 of 75 DaveF

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Posted February 25 2010 - 01:44 PM

Toyota is a big company and acts accordingly. They chased marketshare too rapidly, expanded their product line excessively and quality has suffered. And like any big company, it seems they've attempted to minimize or even hide serious flaws in their products. So what are you going to do? All the auto makers have had these problems and these behaviors.

If Toyota can fix the problem and maintain their actual and reputation for superior quality control, they're overcome this in time.

More personally, my wife is a Toyota loyalist (I drive a Honda currently). She said if she had to buy a new car tomorrow, she doesn't know what she'd do. I said we wouldn't buy a new car tomorrow, and we definitely wouldn't buy a Toyota tomorrow. We'd get by and wait and see what develops.


#13 of 75 BryanZ

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Posted February 25 2010 - 02:17 PM

Without getting too political, you have a car company being questioned by two of it's competitors (remember the car bailout) and asked to air their dirty laundry.

While I will say Toyota should have acted faster and admitted and fixed their problems I will also say they are being questioned by the wrong branch of government.

Something just doesn't seem right in that scenario.


#14 of 75 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted February 26 2010 - 02:58 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanZ View Post

Without getting too political, you have a car company being questioned by two of it's competitors (remember the car bailout) and asked to air their dirty laundry.

While I will say Toyota should have acted faster and admitted and fixed their problems I will also say they are being questioned by the wrong branch of government.

Something just doesn't seem right in that scenario.
 
Because of the bailout,  the Legislature is the wrong branch of government to be questioning Toyota?  That makes no sense.  If GM or Chrysler did what Toyota did, their executives would be summoned to the Hill to face the grandstanders just as assuredly as Toyota was.  Heck, a good chunk of the people in Congress will no doubt be telling their constituents how opposed they were to the bailouts all election year long.

In any case, NHTSA, the Department of Justice, and several judges will no doubt be asking Toyota questions for months to come, so they will have all three branches of government covered in due course.

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#15 of 75 KevinGress

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Posted February 26 2010 - 04:42 AM

But should the Legislature be questioning them - that's the question.  I say no, the legislature has too many messes of its own to clean up.  This is better left to the judicial branch, and more importantly, the people.  It should be up to people like DaveF and his wife to decide whether Toyota is taking the necesary steps to ensure that its products are safe.



#16 of 75 Philip Hamm

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Posted February 26 2010 - 04:50 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanZ View Post

Without getting too political, you have a car company being questioned by two of it's competitors (remember the car bailout) and asked to air their dirty laundry.

While I will say Toyota should have acted faster and admitted and fixed their problems I will also say they are being questioned by the wrong branch of government.

Something just doesn't seem right in that scenario.
 
I've read this elsewhere.  IMO this is paranoid conspiracy nonsense.  The government response has absolutely nothing to do with the bailouts of US automakers.  If this was a GM or Chrysler problem we would be seeing the exact same response from all parties involved.

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#17 of 75 DaveF

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Posted February 26 2010 - 04:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinGress View Post
It should be up to people like DaveF and his wife to decide whether Toyota is taking the necesary steps to ensure that its products are safe.
If you believe in a fully informed, rational and perfectly competitive marketplace, then perhaps. But we clearly don't have that, shown at least by the way Toyota has apparently kept safety information secret for a few years. I guess one might have the opinion that the gov't has no role in public safety.


#18 of 75 Jason Charlton

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Posted February 26 2010 - 07:33 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Hamm 

If this was a GM or Chrysler problem we would be seeing the exact same response from all parties involved.
 
I really don't think so.  Even though many people don't realize that a Camry is more "made in the USA" than many Fords and Chryslers, I really believe that Toyota is being eviscerated more by the public because it's a foreign auto maker.

Add to it, that in recent years, Toyota surpassed GM as the #1 manufacturer of automobiles worldwide and it's like a feeding frenzy.

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#19 of 75 Jason Charlton

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Posted February 26 2010 - 07:40 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cy Jervis 

As a result of all of this my vehicle lost about $4000 in value  recently according to kelly blue book(based on numbers I ran two weeks ago and this week).  While there is the possibility of some of the value coming back I don't see it all coming back.
 
Sadly, your vehicle lost a lot more than $4000 the moment it was first driven off the lot.

Automobiles are the worst investment out there.  Worrying about car values is wasted effort in my opinion.  They are big-ticket purchases separated by many years - hardly a commodity that can (or should) be tracked like stocks.

I currently own two Toyota's (neither one affected by the recall) and have had three other Toyotas in my life (both used and new).  I have never had a problem with any of them.  They are well-built, reliable cars.  I will always consider purchasing a Toyota and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

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Posted February 26 2010 - 11:37 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Charlton View Post




Sadly, your vehicle lost a lot more than $4000 the moment it was first driven off the lot.

Automobiles are the worst investment out there.  Worrying about car values is wasted effort in my opinion.  They are big-ticket purchases separated by many years - hardly a commodity that can (or should) be tracked like stocks.

I currently own two Toyota's (neither one affected by the recall) and have had three other Toyotas in my life (both used and new).  I have never had a problem with any of them.  They are well-built, reliable cars.  I will always consider purchasing a Toyota and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.
Losing thousands on a new vehicle by driving it off the lot is expected.  Suddenly losing thousands on a 2 year old vehicle is not a common thing.