The Toyota two-step

Tsk, tsk, Toyota. What a mess you’re in. We, the American consumers, don’t really know what to believe right now.

We’ve purchased your cars for several decades, confident that we had one of the most reliable vehicles on the road and one that would last a long, long time. I, for one, have been reasonably certain my next vehicle would be a Toyota.

But now you have this huge recall thing going on and we don’t know who to believe. Should we believe you? It seems like you first had a problem several months ago when we heard about floormats causing gas pedals to jam. It didn’t seem like a big deal then, but now you’ve issued two more, increasing larger recalls for gas pedals that stick. Same problem? Sure sounds like there might be a connection that you just aren’t admitting.

Priuses weren’t included in the recalls until yesterday. Then the word went out that they had a possible electronics problem that was causing unexpected acceleration. Now it’s electrontics? Do you people know what you’re doing?

The media, of course, are going nuts with the story, but you know that. What you don’t seem to be doing is getting ahead of them with your own explanations about these things. So pols in Washington are speculating, pundits are speculating, and you’d better believe consumers are speculating!

I hope CNN is wrong when they say your fix is a shim. In my experience, a shim is a make-do, work-around, down-and-dirty way of fixing something that should have fit properly in the first place. A shim is something you jam into a space to bring two misaligned parts into alignment. You wouldn’t use it against a moving part because it might work loose. I wouldn’t feel safe thinking my accelerator relied on a shim to keep working properly.

Let’s just say I’m worried about my relatives who drive Toyota vehicles (at least three come to mind immediately). And I’m just about ready to cross Toyota off my list of possible next cars. I have a long memory about these things, too. Explorers and Firestone tires — to this day I wouldn’t touch either with a ten-foot pole. Whatever time you had to solve this problem and salvage your reputation is rapidly running out.

One comment

  1. I almost bought a Toyota once, but I felt it was too overpriced for the comparable Honda. I’m suffering through a Nissan Frontier purchase right now – which won’t happen again. Yeah, they look cool, but they fricken fall apart. My AC lasted two months after the warranty ran out, and you have to replace the entire unit to fix it. Next time I buy a truck, it will be a Ford, and I’m sticking with Honda for cars. In twenty years, I haven’t had a bad Honda.
    ______________
    My first Japanese car was a Honda Accord, back in the ’70s. Then came an Acura Integra. Then the ’93 Mazda MX-6 I’m still driving. I’ve loved them all. Hondas, in particular, do seem like the Energizer bunnies or Timex watches of the auto industry, don’t they?

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