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Old 2 Feb 2010, 08:22 (Ref:2624223)   #31
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wow that ABC interview was nice and balanced wasn't it? I've seen better reporting in The Sun. Why not start recalling all cars by BMW / AUDI / MERCEDES because none of their indicators work?
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Old 2 Feb 2010, 10:29 (Ref:2624298)   #32
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Seems that citroen/peugeot will be joining toyotas "campaign"

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/01/31/t...troen-in-euro/

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Old 2 Feb 2010, 15:08 (Ref:2624450)   #33
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wow that ABC interview was nice and balanced wasn't it? I've seen better reporting in The Sun.
If this was a Big Three automaker they'd've been raked through the coals a lot worse than that exec was to the point there'd be hearings in Congress. Look at the Ford-Firestone issue where Ford was at no fault in the end from a design perspective yet the media treated it as such and the sales of Explorers plummeted. This issue has been going on since August or September and the national media are only now starting to pick up on it in the last week in deference to Toyota's historical position. ABC though was able to duplicate the unintended acceleration with no floor mats in the front seat.

Reading around the internet, appears the pedal fix is just a red herring and that while the car is in recall Toyota is/will be fixing a fault in the ECU.

If you want "nice and balanced", read Peter de Lorenzo. http://www.autoextremist.com/

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The Toyota implosion…what it really means.
By Peter M. De Lorenzo
(Posted 1/30/10, 6:30PM) Detroit. A corporate image for a company directly involved with consumers is a very fragile thing. A savvy company can carefully cultivate and nurture an image over a period of years. It can forge an identity by exploiting its nuances and crafting its effectiveness, and it can even create an aura for itself that may or may not be completely true, but if done expertly enough can convince legions of consumer/believers that you are who you say you are.

Over the past 35-plus years Toyota has burnished one overriding message into consumers’ minds in this country, and that message revolves around the idea that Toyota-built cars and trucks are the highest quality vehicles on the road, and that if consumers adhere to by-the-book maintenance schedules they just do not break. Ever.

And Toyota has enjoyed considerable success in this market by riding that reputation for all it was worth, as more and more consumers bought into the idea that - though bland transportation conveyances for the most part - Toyotas just wouldn’t let you down.

Until the events of last week, that is.

Actually, last week was the culmination of a series of negative events having to do with quality – or the lack of same – that has vexed Toyota for years now. There was the oiling-sludge problem in a brace of their engines. And there was the severe rust problem in Toyota pickup trucks, to the point that the spare tire carriers would simply fall out and on to the road it was so pronounced, just to name a few of the most noteworthy examples.

But Toyota skated through these “hiccups” as they quickly and for the most part quietly addressed consumers’ problems and moved on, escaping the harsh light of a frenzied media too busy holding the domestic manufacturers accountable for myriad transgressions, both real and imagined. For years and years if there was ever a Toyota recall the news of it would quickly come and go, while in comparison, if there was ever a recall from a domestic manufacturer it was the top story on Internet news sites and leading the evening television news for days.

As I wrote about it in The United States of Toyota, there was a blatant bias at work in the media that fueled the notion that Toyota=Good and Detroit=Bad – not that Detroit didn’t contribute to its atrocious quality reputation, because it emphatically did – and Toyota’s heretofore impenetrable and unimpeachable reputation for quality could never be sullied by a few rusted pickups here and there. After all, its cars and trucks – and its reputation – were bullet proof.

That attitude came across in spades when the executives of the Detroit
Three ended up in Washington, D.C., begging for financial help at the end of ’08 too. In those disastrous hearings it became crystal clear by the intensity of the bile spewed against the Detroit executives that the “notion” of Toyota=Good, Detroit=Bad wasn’t a notion at all, but a fact that had not only burrowed into the American consumer consciousness, but into the gaping maw of the Washington political establishment as well.

Until the events of last week, that is.

Last week the automotive world as we know it became unequivocally and irrevocably altered when Toyota was forced to admit that not only did they have a severe problem with sticking accelerator pedals – or sudden unintentional acceleration incidents in their vehicles – but that they didn’t really have a grasp of the scope of the issue or just how they were going to fix it, either.

Toyota plants were idled and dealers were ordered to stop selling the vehicles in question immediately as the severity of the problem blew up into the American consumer consciousness. Rental car companies removed Toyotas from their fleets. Automotive auction houses ordered an immediate cessation of all activities involving the affected Toyota models.

And the media of all stripes went absolutely crazy.

After all, this just wasn’t another auto company recall - no, it was the end of everything great and wonderfully righteous about a brand that had basically enjoyed a free pass with consumers and the media for years.
Don’t forget that as part of Toyota’s orchestrated image offensive its U.S. marketing and Public Relations arms had purposely gone after something that no import automaker had ever attempted to do – or even thought about doing for that matter – and that was to capture the hearts and minds of the American consumer public and convince them that Toyota was indeed an American company, by any measure.

Toyota absolutely believed that they could become part of the American fabric, and they were hell-bent on doing so.

Toyota sponsored everything from local ball teams to NCAA football, PGA Golf, Major League Baseball and NFL telecasts. As a matter of fact wherever there was a quintessentially American sporting event going on you could bet that Toyota was present and accounted for. But Toyota’s calculated largesse didn’t stop there. The company also promoted high-visibility educational scholarships and charitable initiatives, while its exceedingly slick lobbying efforts laid waste to any sense of objectivity left in the halls of Congress, and particularly in the states in which they built plants.

And its jolly green, Prius-driven, holier-than-thou persona as the Greenest Entity on Earth was just the icing on its proverbially self-righteous cake, as legions of consumers and legislators bought into the fact that that not only was Toyota an American company, it was, in fact, America’s Car Company in every possible way. (Except, of course, when it pertained to where Toyota’s profits went at the end of the day. Ah, those niggling little details.)

But now, with last week’s massive recall and the burgeoning fallout from it, Toyota has become something it had so desperately wanted to avoid over the last 35 years: just another car company.

Don’t believe it? Up until last week Toyota had managed to stay above the fray by operating as if it was in another solar system, one not subject to the vagaries of the business or such sordid, untidy, image-killing episodes as the kinds of recalls that other auto manufacturers had to deal with. Toyota believed – and had managed to convince a great number of others too – that it was immune from such nonsense. That it really was above all the rest.

But last week changed all of that.

In this media-intensive frenzy that we all live in today - fueled by the Internet and exponentially multiplied by the new social media outlets – Toyota’s one-word alter ego – “quality” – was eradicated. I was going to say it became something else, but what has really happened is that there’s now a void, as if the one-word descriptor that used to define Toyota has blown away with the prevailing media-driven firestorm.

This Toyota debacle isn’t just another car company recall, because the “Toyota Way” that used to perfectly encapsulate the mindset behind Toyota’s success has now become “Toyota Has Lost Its Way.” And other than the usual assortment of company apologies and platitudes, the company doesn’t have the first clue as to how it will get its mojo back.

A few years ago, when Toyota management embarked on its now disastrous (and now quaintly ludicrous) quest to become the world’s largest automaker, finally dethroning GM from the top spot, little did anyone know that - consumed by its mission - it would walk away from everything it had stood for up until that point in time.

The slow but ploddingly sure Toyota method of incremental sales increases year-over-year followed by a correspondingly gradual increase in capacity - while accounting for its usual high quality standards - gave way to a frenzy of plant building and a complete abdication of what it once stood for when it came to quality.

The Toyota implosion marks a definitive shift in the American automotive landscape. After dominating the hearts and minds of the American consumer public for the better part of three decades, we are now witnessing the end of Toyota’s reign over this market.

With Toyota unable to avoid the kind of national and now international scrutiny - and notoriety - that has humbled lesser companies, we will see Toyota eventually fall back from the top tier in this market, eclipsed by a host of savvy competitors led by a dramatically rejuvenated Ford and an increasingly aggressive Hyundai.

It took 35 years of intense focus for Toyota to get to the top of the industry in this market and around the world, but in just one week Toyota’s masterfully calculated image and hallowed reputation is now in tatters, decimated by a swirling maelstrom of its own hubris and unbridled greed.

It has been a devastatingly painful lesson for Toyota.

And it will be a worthwhile case study for the rest of this industry too - as in how even the best can get caught up in their own delusions and lose focus - for decades to come.

That’s all I got for this week.
Quote:
The New York Times. It's good to see that The Toyota Times, aka The New York Times is comfortable, as always, in its role as the official apologist house organ of Toyota. The last bastion of Toyota=Good, Detroit=Bad cheerleading in the media has been hard at it again with a series of sugar-coated stories underselling the seriousness and scope of the Toyota recall issue, not to mention being woefully late with its coverage of the story in its entirety. You don't even have to read between the lines - the blatantly biased reporting by one so-called journalist in particular speaks for itself - to see that The Times views this as a mere blip on Toyota's radar screen and that it's only a matter of time before Toyota returns to its rightful place as the unquestioned global leader of the automobile industry and everything that's good and right and green with the world. We'll see about that.

Toyota. By not getting out front of this story you have managed to blow it up real good to the point that your reputation will be in the dumper for years. Now the chorus of "what did they know and when did they know it" is growing louder by the day, and your turn in the barrel in Washington, D.C., is sure to be embarrassing and excruciatingly painful. And oh, by the way, what if there is something wrong with your "drive by wire" electronic systems? Because something tells us that this "fix" is a band-aid designed to appease people and take the steam out of the hysteria. What if there is a "ghost in the machine" that you can't detect, let alone predict? Oh, we forgot, there are always "sun spots," right? No, this isn't going away anytime soon, as much as you - and The New York Times - want it to.

James P. Womack. The Toyota author/aficionado/homer tells The New York Times (of course) that, “People forget about a lot of things, betting against Toyota has been a good way to lose money.” Oh, really? And that's our AE Quote of the Week, Part I.

Tom Friedman. Publisher's Note: From the "Dicks We Have Known" File, the last time we checked with the infamous New York Times columnist and High Priest of the Green Movement - who repeatedly went on a witch hunt against GM and the rest of the domestic auto industry for the unforgivable sin of not being "green" enough (at least to his make-it-up-as-he-went-along standards), and other egregious atrocities against humanity - he was suggesting that the American automobile industry should cease to exist and that the United States would be much better off if Toyota became the sole maker of vehicles available here. Because after all, Toyota was just so darn good and green and wonderful. We said it then and we'll say it again, Friedman is a two-bit grandstanding blow hard who doesn't have the first clue as to what he's talking about when it comes to anything to do with cars and the automobile industry - or reality for that matter - and he and his Shiny Happy acolyte-zealots in California and Washington - and the New York Times, of course - can now go back over in the corner, sit down, and shut the **** up. - PMD

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Old 4 Feb 2010, 08:28 (Ref:2626201)   #34
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what do you mean "If this was a Big Three automaker"? Toyota are THE biggest in THE WORLD.

(source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/...ufacturer.html )

Everyone has an agenda. People will want to see them squirm because the Japanese pride themselves on their build quality and saftey. Its one of the reasons why they are so big. And falling Toyota sales mean increasing sales for others, thats already being seen especially impacted by share prices.

I'm waiting to hear if my car is affected, but i'm not going to panic about it. Ok so a few cars seems to have shown this gradual issue with the pedal. So what, name me a manufacturer that doesn't have an issue with a model of theirs? In the US i think they might be more inclined to just deny it because admitting a fault leads to the wonderful world of law suits, by the million.

Don't believe everything you read, no matter who its written by
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Old 4 Feb 2010, 17:15 (Ref:2626660)   #35
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NHTSA is reporting that Toyota knew of the issue in 2006. Lawsuits left and right, this is getting ugly.

In the midst of all this, a new Prius issue:
http://content.usatoday.com/communit...prius-brakes/1
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Old 4 Feb 2010, 17:18 (Ref:2626661)   #36
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what do you mean "If this was a Big Three automaker"? Toyota are THE biggest in THE WORLD.

(source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/...ufacturer.html )

Everyone has an agenda. People will want to see them squirm because the Japanese pride themselves on their build quality and saftey. Its one of the reasons why they are so big. And falling Toyota sales mean increasing sales for others, thats already being seen especially impacted by share prices.

I'm waiting to hear if my car is affected, but i'm not going to panic about it. Ok so a few cars seems to have shown this gradual issue with the pedal. So what, name me a manufacturer that doesn't have an issue with a model of theirs? In the US i think they might be more inclined to just deny it because admitting a fault leads to the wonderful world of law suits, by the million.

Don't believe everything you read, no matter who its written by
The "Big 3" is a nickname given to the American auto manufacturers.
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Old 4 Feb 2010, 22:22 (Ref:2626881)   #37
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Can i please quote from one of those NHTSA press releases?

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Of the 100 investigations NHTSA opens every year, there are currently 40 open defect investigations, three of which involve Toyota.
Thats 3% for the year, 7.5% of open investigations. Thats open, not completed. So why aren't they pillorying the other manufacturers that make up the other 97% (92.5%) of issues? Wonder if those might, just might happen to be "home grown" firms like Ford, GM etc that they oh just might be inadvertently be helping by making such a damn meal of what is a serious but remote and highly unlikely fault.

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Feb. 3: Today, Sec. Ray LaHood made the following statement on the Toyota recalls: “I want to encourage owners of any recalled Toyota models to contact their local dealer and get their vehicles fixed as soon as possible. NHTSA will continue to hold Toyota’s feet to the fire to make sure that they are doing everything they have promised to make their vehicles safe. We will continue to investigate all possible causes of these safety issues.”
Thats not a balanced, calm and reassuring approach to the situation. Its drum beating. It sure as hell isn't independent and unbiased. The way the US reports this compared to the UK is frankly worrying. Its propaganda at its worst, Toyota are doing probably more than what would be reasonable given the risk assessment of the fault, yet they are being reported as this big evil dangerous manufacturer of cars.

Guess its a **** easy way to help a country out of recession tho
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Old 5 Feb 2010, 02:17 (Ref:2627000)   #38
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I'm not going after Toyota, just reporting what I'm hearing. There have been 19 confirmed deaths from this issue however. They should be put under a microscope and investigated how they responded.

Ray LaHood is a bit of an idiot though.
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Old 5 Feb 2010, 03:40 (Ref:2627023)   #39
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Hepatic, do the other investigations involve issues at this level? While this is the current 'hot' item, I remember a similar level of hysteria (for lack of a better term) over the Ford Explorer tyre issue so I wouldn't agree with a 'conspiracy theory' there. One factor that is probably a bit controversial is the cultural factor about admitting fault, as an example look at what happened to Mitsubishi a few years back (hiding warranty/fault figures). Of course I can't say whether this has any bearing on the Toyota case, and it is as much a 'corporate' thing as anything else.
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Old 5 Feb 2010, 08:25 (Ref:2627078)   #40
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I'm not going after Toyota, just reporting what I'm hearing.
Yeah i know, my gripe is the disparate way its being reported on and the way different safety organisations are reacting to it. I've not seen anything on deaths related to this issue, is it definitely the sticking throttle or the foot well mat?

Quote:
The carmaker has apologised for the problems but stresses that only a small proportion of its vehicles are affected. It says only 26 cases have been reported in Europe.
I can't find the number of total cars, but 26 out of whatever that is is going to be a tiny percentage, so the likelihood of something happening is remote, although the consequences could be catastrophic. I also see little reporting on the fact that the assembly isn't built by Toyota but one of their subcontracted suppliers, as most parts on cars these days. They still owe the duty of care, but their supplier should be grilled on it too.

The point is, the chance of it happening is so remote that the threat is being blown out of all proportion. I had a Cincquento once that had a recall on a faulty fuel tank. The likelihood it would corrode early and cause a fire was remote but they dealt with it just like Toyota are. OK so there are more cars involved in this one but the implications and the way its handled should really have been the same. Didn't see that splashed all over the front pages tho
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Old 5 Feb 2010, 09:01 (Ref:2627096)   #41
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Which manufacturer do you trust? The one who generally turns out the most reliable vehicles on the road and voluntarily embarks on a huge vehicle recall when it identifies a potentially dangerous fault that has caused a real problem in only a tiny handful of cars, or the ones who try to hide known faults and go to court to try and abdicate responsibility?

Maybe I'm odd, or just maybe I'm one of the few to actually think about this properly, but if anything my faith in Toyota has been enhanced by their handling of this defect. I'd certainly sooner buy a Toyota than anything American.
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Old 5 Feb 2010, 13:40 (Ref:2627259)   #42
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http://ow.ly/14bRR

I think that piece in Autocar pretty well sums up how i feel about it
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Old 5 Feb 2010, 18:35 (Ref:2627402)   #43
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Maybe I'm odd, or just maybe I'm one of the few to actually think about this properly, but if anything my faith in Toyota has been enhanced by their handling of this defect. I'd certainly sooner buy a Toyota than anything American.
Agree entirely. I'm pretty sure my wife's Yaris is going to be recalled, but I'm not even slightly concerned about this at the moment, and the insurance is up to date...
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Old 5 Feb 2010, 19:57 (Ref:2627473)   #44
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Yeah i know, my gripe is the disparate way its being reported on and the way different safety organisations are reacting to it. I've not seen anything on deaths related to this issue, is it definitely the sticking throttle or the foot well mat?



I can't find the number of total cars, but 26 out of whatever that is is going to be a tiny percentage, so the likelihood of something happening is remote, although the consequences could be catastrophic. I also see little reporting on the fact that the assembly isn't built by Toyota but one of their subcontracted suppliers, as most parts on cars these days. They still owe the duty of care, but their supplier should be grilled on it too.

The point is, the chance of it happening is so remote that the threat is being blown out of all proportion. I had a Cincquento once that had a recall on a faulty fuel tank. The likelihood it would corrode early and cause a fire was remote but they dealt with it just like Toyota are. OK so there are more cars involved in this one but the implications and the way its handled should really have been the same. Didn't see that splashed all over the front pages tho
I agree, but I also agree with Ryan. I don't know if the press would be worse with an American manufacturer, but this is certainly a similar reaction.

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Which manufacturer do you trust? The one who generally turns out the most reliable vehicles on the road and voluntarily embarks on a huge vehicle recall when it identifies a potentially dangerous fault that has caused a real problem in only a tiny handful of cars, or the ones who try to hide known faults and go to court to try and abdicate responsibility?

Maybe I'm odd, or just maybe I'm one of the few to actually think about this properly, but if anything my faith in Toyota has been enhanced by their handling of this defect. I'd certainly sooner buy a Toyota than anything American.
I don't trust any of them. While this recall is voluntary, they were receiving pressure from the NHTSA to resolve the issue. Or that's what I've heard anyway.

Well I hope you wouldn't buy American... you can't get anything we sell in the UK (with exception of the 300 and vettes). I on the other hand, have never owned anything but GM and Ford products.
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Old 5 Feb 2010, 20:46 (Ref:2627496)   #45
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the piece on "GOD FORCED TO RECALL HUMANS" is the funniest damn thing i've read in ages

http://www.sniffpetrol.com/

Last edited by Hepatic; 5 Feb 2010 at 20:46. Reason: forgot the sodding link
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