Before you make another joke about Toyota.

ToyotaToons_30.jpg R.J. Matson, The St. Louis Post Dispatch / Politicalcartoons.com image by 2b2
Toyota is getting a unfair shake by some people out there.
What is upsetting is how people put so little research in their claims and make one of the finest and most dependable cars made into a sort of pariah.
It’s a little sad to me when people make up their minds on partial information . . . the side effect is it can make people look really stupid, even when they are quite bright.
I recently had a very brilliant client ask me about getting rid of her Toyota for a Honda because she didn’t feel safe because of the recent news surrounding Toyota’s accelerator recall . . .
So I asked her, “Are you having any accelerator issues,” and she said “no” . . .
Now, most car dealers just want to make sales and they really want you to be scared of whatever you are owning if that means they can sell you another car . . . as for me, I think it’s wrong to make people scared and I believe it’s best to keep people informed and help them make good choices that are well thought out and educated.
I was bothered by how this very bright and successful woman could have been so easily swayed to believe her car is a danger to her, but she’s not alone . . . many people have reacted this way and, well, this bothers me.
It’s not that I’m immune to being like this . . . In fact, it’s universal,  when we are not educated in an area, this is what we do . . . we react and it’s usually in fear.
Times like this remind me of  a loud crashing noise I heard outside of my house one morning a few months back . . . I though something exploded. I walked outside to investigate what the noise was and it was actually a pallet of roofing tiles that fell about 25 feet onto my neighbor’s driveway, slapping flat and hard into the cement.  It seems the roofers let this one slip away . . .
But I thought is was something worse for a moment . . . maybe an explosion or a crash or something . . . I don’t know . . . bad .  . . it was my first gut reaction.
Anyhow.  .  . by going outside to see what happened, my suspicions were all false and it was nothing . . . it was just a loud noise . . . nothing was damaged. . . and, in the end, it just a very boring story.
However, if I said something horrible did happen . . . I bet your ears would have perked right on up.
I know mine would have . . .
So this is why I’m writing this now . . . .  sensationalism sells books, radio space, tv ads, and gives egomaniacs something to say, but it’s not based on really informing you . . . it’s what will keep you coming back.
This rant aside. . . . I know that it makes no point to argue, so I’ve decided to research this issue and see what really up and provide some facts to help me and you see what’s going on and give this whole incident some perspective.
First off, what I’ve found, is the incidents of sticking accelerators was vary small in proportion to the media fervor thrown at Toyota.
According to the NHTSA, of the 9 million cars recalled by Toyota, the total complaints brought against the company were an alleged total of 37.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009%E2%80%932010_Toyota_vehicle_recalls
Second, Ford had the same issue with the Escape on a much larger scale, but it was never publicized.
http://www.fordforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11259
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/918817-escape-throttle-sticking.html
Beyond this, Ford has actually had some incredibly large national safety recalls . . . one of the most recent is very concerning and it bothers me that it seems no one has heard about it . . . so I don’t get off track, I’ll mention this a little later on here.
Fact is, Toyota has decades of producing some of the most reliable cars made on this planet and have been the benchmark for quality control and their Kaizen business philosophy is considered to be an innovation in how many successful companies operate today: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen
Fact is, they took accountability and took an extreme measure to rectify this issue in recalling millions of cars to ensure their owners would be safe . . .
Fact is, all of the U.S. manufacturers have had or are currently having similar issues with sticking throttles and accelerators.
Here is just a small list of some cars that you probably haven’t heard about, there a many more cars I could list and if you do a little research you’ll find them out there . . .
1. The Dodge Caliber:
http://auto.freedomblogging.com/2010/05/03/dodge-models-being-probed-for-sticking-accelerators/33311/
http://www.leftlanenews.com/nhtsa-launches-dodge-caliber-sticky-accelerator-pedal-probe-supplier-cts-involved-again.html
2. The Chrysler Pacifica
http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f15bdd2
3. The Ford Escape:
http://forums.focaljet.com/team-tech/386310-sticky-throttle.html
4. The Ford Tarus:
http://repairpal.com/throttle-sticking-342
http://www.fordforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12534
5. The Ford Escort:
http://www.cartalk.com/content/columns/Archive/1997/July/03.html
6. The Ford Explorer:
http://truckexplorer.com/1999-ford-explorer/99-explorer-throttle-sticking-problems-97920.html
7. Chevrolet Trucks:
http://www.carcomplaints.com/Chevrolet/Tahoe/2000/investigations.shtml
So here’s what is amazing to me . . . In regard to Ford and the recent news, I can’t believe this hasn’t been widely publicized  . . . “On October 13, 2009, Ford Motor Co. expanded its largest-ever recall by about 4.5 million vehicles equipped with  a faulty cruise-control switch linked to at least 550 vehicle fires nationwide, and the destruction of many homes and other properties.  Ford has now recalled more than 14 million vehicles in eight separate recalls over a 10-year period because of the problem.”
(http://www.switchfires.com/)
What amazes me is that is seems no one knows about this and it’s been going on for 10 years.
What’s also amazing to me, is  when the top competitor to Ford, GM, and Chrysler has a minor issue that has happened to all of them . . . we don’t hear about their faults. In fact, we didn’t hear a story about any of these cars on the news.
Is it a coincidence that after an incredible blow hits the U.S. manufacturers in 2008 and as Toyota, a foreign company, overtook their market share, and, as the Federal Government took control of General Motors, that this issue received such high press coverage recently?
What are your thoughts on this matter?

9 Comments

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