backtop


Print 42 comment(s) - last by rudy.. on Feb 7 at 10:14 PM

Toyota just can't catch a break these days..

Toyota just hasn't been able to catch a break in the past few weeks. The company has been faced with loads of bad press surrounding the accelerator pedals in eight of its most popular vehicles sold in the U.S., including the best-selling car in the country: the Camry.

In order to fully grasp the situation at hand, Toyota (which was prodded by the NHTSA) took the drastic step of stopping sales on on the eight models in order to solve the problem. Luckily, Toyota was able to find a fix for the problem and dealerships are staying open late in order to accommodate the influx of customers rushing to have their vehicles fixed.

To make matters worse, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood poured more salt on the wounds earlier this week by stating, “If anybody owns one of these vehicles, stop driving it. And take it to a Toyota dealer.” LaHood later backtracked from the statements, adding, “What I said in there was obviously a misstatement. If you own one of these cars, or if you’re in doubt, take it to the dealer."

Unfortunately, the damage had already been done and already worried Toyota owners were sent into a frenzy over the TV, print, and internet reports parroting LaHood's comments.

And if the past two weeks haven't been bad enough for the company, there is now bad news in store for its crown jewel: the 2010 Prius. Toyota posting the following blurb on its press site regarding the problem:

In certain 2010 model year Prius vehicles, Toyota has received reports that some customers have experienced inconsistent brake feel when the vehicle is driven over potholes, bumps or slippery road surfaces. 

Toyota is currently in the process of confirming these reports and investigating the vehicle driving conditions under which the reported phenomenon occurs. It would be premature to comment until the investigation has been completed.

Apparently, the problem lies with an ABS software glitch that causes less than a second delay between when braking pressure is first applied and the actual brakes engage. "The driver steps on the brake, and they do not get as full of a braking feel as expected," said a Toyota spokesman to CNN.

According to Toyota officials, the problem occurs most frequently on bumpy or icy roads.

Toyota said that it fixed the software problem in Prius vehicles manufactured since January. However, the company has made no mention of when it plans to apply a fix to the 2010 Prius hybrids produced before January.

Toyota's third-generation Prius has been a hit around the world. It was the best-selling vehicle in Japan during 2009 and it trounces the hybrid competition in U.S. sales on a continual basis. The Prius' domination is so apparent that Honda engineers/designers are going back to the drawing board -- again -- to develop a hybrid vehicle that can actually beat the Prius in fuel efficiency.

Toyota is going to have a rough few months ahead as safety concerns surrounding its vehicles continue to play out in the media. The company's sales are already suffering -- January U.S. sales were down 12 percent (year-over-year) for the Toyota brand while sales at rival Ford were up a whopping 24 percent. Up-and-comer Hyundai also saw its sales rise by 24 percent during the same period. February sales numbers for Toyota will likely be a blood bath.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Lives Lost....
By UncleRufus on 2/4/2010 9:31:18 AM , Rating: 1
Every car kills people. It's just a question of how many, and if the cost of settling out of court with the surviving family members is more/less than doing a massive recall.

That's how corporations work. They don't do what is right...they do what is right for their shareholders. They are required to.

That said, Toyota is an excellent company, and I'll definitely be a short term shareholder once I feel the stock has dropped far enough.


RE: Lives Lost....
By theapparition on 2/4/2010 9:47:17 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
That's how corporations work. They don't do what is right...they do what is right for their shareholders. They are required to.

Reguardless of any corporate goals, a company is required to operate within the laws of the country it is doing business. Toyota has a legal duty to properly investigate and provide truthful accounting to the NHTSA. Period, end of story. Shareholders are quite aware of the companies duties listed in it's 10K filing.

It certainly would benefit a company's bottom line and shareholders to disreguard EPA and OHSA reqirements by dumping toxix waste into the streams behind the building, or letting it's workers paint without resporators and such.

When taken in context, you start to see how ridiculously pathetic your argument is.

Back on topic, so what's the count now of issues that Toyota has tried to cover up? Accelerator pedal fix. Prius brake problems. Rollover whistle blower.


RE: Lives Lost....
By theapparition on 2/4/2010 9:55:17 AM , Rating: 2
Plus I have my serious doubts with this:
quote:
Luckily, Toyota was able to find a fix for the problem and dealerships are staying open late in order to accommodate the influx of customers rushing to have their vehicles fixed.

They "fixed" the same problem last year with the floor mats, too. I said it before and I'll say it again, I'm still speculating that they have a more endemic issue with the design than just a sticky pedal.

Quoted from another news source.
quote:
Many industry experts and consumer groups have questioned whether Toyota's gas pedal fix will work and have asserted it could be connected to problems with the electronic throttle control systems.


RE: Lives Lost....
By Hiawa23 on 2/4/2010 10:37:58 AM , Rating: 1
Reguardless of any corporate goals, a company is required to operate within the laws of the country it is doing business. Toyota has a legal duty to properly investigate and provide truthful accounting to the NHTSA. Period, end of story. Shareholders are quite aware of the companies duties listed in it's 10K filing.

It certainly would benefit a company's bottom line and shareholders to disreguard EPA and OHSA reqirements by dumping toxix waste into the streams behind the building, or letting it's workers paint without resporators and such.

When taken in context, you start to see how ridiculously pathetic your argument is.

Back on topic, so what's the count now of issues that Toyota has tried to cover up? Accelerator pedal fix. Prius brake problems. Rollover whistle blower.


I agree 100%. Apparently there was some sort of cover up or maybe someone thought this would just go away, which is probably how many companies think. I own a Honda & a Mitsubishi so I may be in the clear.


RE: Lives Lost....
By UncleRufus on 2/5/2010 4:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
I'll disregard your condescending comments.

It would be very costly for a company to disregard federal regulations by dumping toxic waste into streams or letting workers paint without respirators. I don't feel I've argued otherwise. Without those regulations, however, corporations have done these things. It's why we have them.

Also, the requirement that a corporation must always operate within the law has certainly never guaranteed that they do so. Their first loyalty is to profit.

You have argued that my statement is incorrect, but then given an example supporting my statement by saying Toyota has tried to cover up several issues.

And so, I will accept that we are in agreement on this matter.


RE: Lives Lost....
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/4/2010 11:23:51 AM , Rating: 1
I agree, like the Corvair and Pinto and Mustang and Explorer and Firestone tires every ten years or so. They were all business decisions. The Pinto and Mustang internal analysis specifically mentions the cost of lost lives and court settlements versus the cost of properly designing the gas tank, or using a tank liner.


RE: Lives Lost....
By 67STANG on 2/4/2010 2:18:59 PM , Rating: 2
The worst case of this was GM and the saddled gas tanks on their GMC trucks in the 70's and 80's. They determined that the revision costs (around $3) wouldn't make fiscal sense based on what they were paying in wrongful death cases. Thousands have died and GM never admitted to any wrongdoing.

Any vehicle with fuel tanks that aren't protected well enough are going to have issues. Hell, even vehicles with protected fuel tanks have problems if they are hit hard enough.

It seems like manufacturers take turns on making flawed engineering choices. It's now Toyota's turn.


"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki