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Toyota stops sales of 8 models in recall


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Would GM get the same break from folks if this happened to them?

Toyota, just like the Big Three is always pointed out, tried to discredit drivers with unintended acceleration claims as being 'Driver Error' or just stuck floor mats. The L.A. Times had brought up other issues and at this point Toyota is suspending production. I don't think it's necessarily just because Toyota always does the right thing.

This is a huge issue.

Bill

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It appears to me that Toyota is simply doing the right thing - not to sell automobiles that have a large safety issue. I commend them. People before profit.

Yes it is getting media attention commensurate with it's importance. It was the third story covered this morning on the Today Show.

Peter's quote here is almost word-for-word the comment made on that show. In the days of the Ford/Firestone debacle I doubt anyone would have said the same thing about either company, and one of them is also Japanese based.

This is likely going to cost Toyota more money (in relative terms) than anything any car company has done since Henry Ford dropped production of the Model T. One can only imagine what this world would have been like if every business was run like this (AIG, Bear Stearns, Citigroup, GM, etc.).

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What is amazing is that this actually made the front pages of most newspapers including the Wall Street Journal today. Usually Toyota gets a pass on all recalls or problems with their vehicles. If there is any note of it in a newspaper it is usually relagated to about one inch of column on page 16 b in the galley. An example is the engine sludging issue. They blamed the consumer for not changing the oil enough.

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The unprecedented move to cease both sales and production of 8 Toyota models might be summed up as CORRECT or CRAZY. Correct if the problem is swiftly found, fixed and consumer confidence along with sales are not damaged. Crazy if such a move shifts Toyota bound customers to other Asian or American brands in significant, trend setting numbers. This may be the first Asian Edsel. Stay tuned.

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I suspected that this would draw the battle lines pretty quickly based upon personal prejudices. The fact is that Toyota had no choice but to do the right thing. Other companies have done the same. People forget the unprecedented things Saturn did to step up to the plate.

This is a different world today and corporate morality is in some cases driven by the mistakes of the recent past. Toyota did the right thing but to think their motivation was more noble than GM, Ford, Honda or anyone else is just plain ludicrous.

Again, crap happens to all companies whether it is a supplier problem or an engineering problem or whatever. These things do and can occur. The important thing is they get corrected.

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I think it's a good thing.

Toyotas have been priced on the high side, and maybe with some lost sales, they'll be willing to deal a little better once the dust settles. I looked at buying the Toyota Tundra, but at this point and time Toyota doesn't build a 3/4 ton truck. As for my wife, she's been eyeing new cars, and I told her not to buy anything until she drives the Toyota Camry. She drove a Camry, and she's convinced that once she does decide to get a new car, that's what it'll be.

I wonder between this and the rusty frame recall how much Toyota can endure before they are in a crisis situation.

Knowing how a lot of the throttle linkages on the newer vehicles are electrical versus mechanical (I don't know what Toyota is using), I wonder if the problems are electrical.

I know with the newer fire trucks, not only are the throttles electrical, but even the throttles and water valves on the pumper are electrical. Personally I don't like it. The mechanical method may be antiquated technology, but there's something to be said about reliability.

All kidding aside, when you have Toyota plants in the U.S. and you have American built vehicles assembled with Japanese parts (even my Harley) what's the difference??

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The destination of the profits, Pat

Exactly.

And with Toyota it is "Oh well, they had a problem, but they are doing the right thing and stopping sales because they care about people."

If it was GM, it would be about what lousy quality/design/inferior parts they have, and how they don't care about people.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)
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First, there is no way you can not acknowledge Toyota builds a good product, especially if you live in the South where there is virtually no salt used on the roads in the winter (unless, of course, someone spills their margarita....).

However, the two things I find so unbelievable about all of this is halting production (including the Tundra plant here in SA) and the fact that this is NOT a recall. With a recall, the owner brings in a car or truck for a fix; with this, there is no fix yet.

When this first started, I remember reading that the Toyota computers do NOT disengage the throttle when the brakes are applied. Chryslers, Mercedes, BMW, VW and others have this feature built into their computers. Consumers Union noted the lack of this feature in a report filed last November, when the villan was supposed to be those rascally floor mats:

Scott Burgess: Consumer Reports Floored By High-Tech Brakes After Toyota Recall

The Detroit News is quoting Federal regulators, saying U.S. law required Toyota to stop selling those models with the defect:

Toytoa required by law to stop selling 8 models.

I don't want to bash Toyota; just because people bashed GM, Ford and Chrysler for years doesn't make it right to kick Toyota when they are down. But, this will probably go a long way in advancing the reality that the Japanese sell cars no better or worse than anyone else. This halt and quality problem will probably help Toyota's competitors faster than a thousand J.D. Power awards or 30 years of the American companies building cars as good or better than the Japanese.

And, if someone is determined to buy an import, this will probably push a lot of people to a Hyundai (made in Alabama) a Honda (made in Ohio) or a BMW (made in South Carolina).

Just don't get the floor mats.....

Edited by Reatta Man (see edit history)
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As usual for me, I'm interested in the technical side of this problem.

I am 99.9% sure that these models have electronically controlled throttles (our '04 RAV4 has one). I also suspect that almost all domestic & imported passenger models also have them. When Toyota figures out what is going on, I bet it won't be mechanical. The PPS (pedal position sensor) mounted on the accelerator pedal mechanism sends a varying voltage to the computer. In turn, the computer probably goes through thousands of calculations each second & determines what output voltage to send to the servo which operates the throttle valve. Heaven knows what might be intermittently going haywire in the translation between right foot & throttle valve. The intermittent nature of the problem will make it tough to solve. 'Drive by wire' does scare me more than a little (and I've been in the computer business for 30 years)...

There is no getting away from technology to help improve fuel economy & reduce emissions. This technology is allowing the internal combustion engine to stay alive for the foreseeable future (IMHO)...

I do take comfort knowing that my daily driver uses a simple cable between the accelerator pedal & the throttle valve.:)

Paul

PS: As a side note, at 40,000 miles / 4 years, the PPS suddenly failed on our '04 RAV4. The 'MIL' lamp came on & the engine would not rev above idle no matter how the accelerator pedal was pressed. It was a very eerie feeling... The special order Toyota part was $500 and the 'out the door' cost (trusted private shop) was probably $750. Ouch!

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All kidding aside, when you have Toyota plants in the U.S. and you have American built vehicles assembled with Japanese parts (even my Harley) what's the difference??<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
The destination of the profits, Pat

Not really.

It's been posted here before that the most "American" car you can buy (in terms of keeping your money inside the country) is now the Toyota Camry. Imported parts on all models of cars (relative to where they're assembled) water down any easy comparison of economic benefit, and the profit margins on vehicles are too small to make much (or sometimes any) impact.

Edited by Dave@Moon
wild typos in last sentence (see edit history)
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Paul,

I read somewhere that Toyota is buying cable assemblies from a company called CTS.

Since many of the reported accidents seem to be occuring at highway speeds, (hot engine compartment, engine at +/- 2,000 RPM) I would bet you lunch that, in the end, they are going to discover the outer shell of the cable assembly is expanding and somehow seizing up the inner cable shaft.

AND, I wouldn't be at ALL suprised to learn that CTS was buying supplies from China that turn out to be out of spec, no where near spec, or included foreign material that made the materials operate outside of the parameters of Toyota's requirements. It seems these days that if something is going to get screwed up on a HUGE scale, China is somehow involved in it.....

Ultimately, we will probably never know the real reason for this, but we will end up with some new government-mandated safety interlock on all cars (think 'press brake to move from Park') that will not make cars safer for 99.9% of the drivers, but will add to their cost and complexity.

Dave,

As for the Camry having the most content of any car you can buy.......you can't buy one now. Sorry, just couldn't resist that......

Joe

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Take comfort people. 'Fly by Wire' not only is in many of the current day vehicles we drive but also the airliners we fly in. Captain 'Sully' or whoever you get in the left seat is merely suggesting input to 2 or 3 flight deck computers that analyze the request, balance that with real-time data constantly acquired from the aircraft then issue commands from algorithims deep within the complex computer programs that electronically command & control the servo's and such that interface to the flying surfaces as well as the power plants.

All of the latest Airbus aircraft are configured in this way. If I'm not mistaken, Boeing leaves a mechanical link in place should their 'FBW' fail. I'm not sure this link still exists on the 787 Dreamliner, Boeings latest - anyone know?

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It's been posted here before that the most "American" car you can buy (in terms of keeping your money inside the country) is now the Toyota Camry

I googled "North American content" and I got this list for 2008-made cars. Ford F-150 was Number 1 in content and Chevrolet Cobalt (hey, I own one of those!) was Number 2.

The Cars.com American-Made Index - Cars.com

Bill

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It's been posted here before that the most "American" car you can buy (in terms of keeping your money inside the country) is now the Toyota Camry

I googled "North American content" and I got this list for 2008-made cars. Ford F-150 was Number 1 in content and Chevrolet Cobalt (hey, I own one of those!) was Number 2.

The Cars.com American-Made Index - Cars.com

Bill

Try the 2009 index: The Cars.com American-Made Index - Cars.com

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I googled "North American content" and I got this list for 2008-made cars. Ford F-150 was Number 1 in content and Chevrolet Cobalt (hey, I own one of those!) was Number 2.

Camry wasn't even on the top 10..............

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Not really.

It's been posted here before that the most "American" car you can buy (in terms of keeping your money inside the country) is now the Toyota Camry. Imported parts on all models of cars (relative to where they're assembled) water down any easy comparison of economic benefit, and the profit margins on vehicles are too small to make much (or sometimes any) impact.

What I'd like to know is who owns the companies they buy their parts from..........I bet they are not American.

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Bob,

If you haven't been inside a factory in a while, things have really changed.

I toured the Tundra factory here about a month ago. The suppliers are on the same property as Toyota; Lear, for example, is in a seperate bay. When they finish a seat, it goes down a conveyor belt to the main assembly line and meets up with the truck it was made for. Same with the company that made the wiring harnesses and many other components. Built on site, virtually the same hour the part goes in the truck.

The idea of buying and shipping parts thousands of miles away and then storing them in a warehouse has gone away, now that more and more companies are embracing Deming's processes. This includes "Just in time" delivery of parts.

I saw virtually the same thing in the Detroit/Hamtramack plant several years ago, as they were making the Cadillac STS and Buick Lesabre on the same line. The engines came in the door, and sat there about an hour or two at the longest, before they went in a car.

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A few thoughts:

I think Toyota IS getting as much attention on this as did the Ford/Firestone debacle, at least here initially.

This is a huge PR issue for Toyota in light of their reputation for quality. And probably a huge problem for the dealers being told not to sell the (heavily financed) cars on their lots.

Toyota and some media are successfully spinning this as a Tylenol "do the right thing" exercise, but according to this article (see link) they are not just doing it to be noble but because Washington mandated it.

Click here: Fallout grows in Toyota sales halt | detnews.com | The Detroit News

Will be interested to see what the fallout is here, some industry watchers think this could linger in the public mind for years. Todd

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It appears to me that Toyota is simply doing the right thing - not to sell automobiles that have a large safety issue. I commend them. People before profit.

Lets see. 2,000 reported accidents (so far) x $1,000,000 average settlement = $2 billion + legal fees + class action settlement, plus...... Yeah, they did the noble thing.

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Why the drastic change from 2008 to 2009? The only thing I can think of is that they don't make the Camry Solara anymore. Toyota added "Camry" as a sales come-on (not unlike Olds using "Cutlass" on about everything twenty years ago), but the whole car was massively Japanese.

I must admit that I am unsure what 'sales' has to do with the rankings, as the website says they take that into consideration. I know that Cobalt sales are down this year, which must account for it not being in the Top Ten this year. The car's the same (except they now charge extra for a spare tire).

Bill

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Let's not let this thread (which I myself am guilty of I guess) get out of control. Rants and Raves is not returning!

GM bashers will continue to bash GM and Import bashers will bash the imports. In my opinion they all are making high quality cars these days BUT they never know if a supplier will let them down with a problem, have a glitch in manufacturing, get a bad batch of raw materials, etc. I really do not think any major manufacturer in the last decade would not do the right thing presented with an issue like this. They have learned their lessons the hard way.

It has been a bunch of years but when I worked at GM and sat on committees it always amazed me that they could do hundreds of thousands of miles of testing and in a few months of the general public getting a car problems would surface for the first time. I did warranty analysis at GM in the old days and it was sort of shocking at times. We actually were able to pin point a single worker on the assembly line who was installing gaskets on oil pumps with a faulty piece of machinery!

In fact, if you ever spent any time in an automotive plant, worked in a dealership or worked around the automotive world the big mystery is why there are not more problems!!

Someone in a major publication asked the question is Toyota becoming today's Oldsmobile! Ouch that hurt but there is a bit of that analogy as Sky and Dave point out. Trying to be all things to all customers, ignoring your core constituents and trying to stay number one for the sake of the title will soon spell trouble. At Olds we were at the top of the world and Pontiac was fighting us for a few years to get to the #3 position too. Both gone now.

Edited by Steve Moskowitz (see edit history)
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I don't know about you(s), but I'm looking at buying Toyota stock, this might be an opportunity, y'know?

"The sun'll come out, tomorrow.

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow...."

:D

That's probably the best advice I've seen on the forum in years. :)

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GM bashers will continue to bash GM and Import bashers will bash the imports. In my opinion they all are making high quality cars these days BUT they never know if a supplier will let them down with a problem, have a glitch in manufacturing, get a bad batch of raw materials, etc. I really do not think any major manufacturer in the last decade would not do the right thing presented with an issue like this. They have learned their lessons the hard way.

You're right Steve. There's good and bad in everything. You can have 9 models of a particular vehicle that is a great vehicle, and the 10th vehicle can be total junk. It happens to them all. From a reliability standpoint, Toyota has had a pretty good track record, but these problems illustrate the human element in manufacturing.

As for a previous post that may have been deleted. The automotive market is just a drop in the bucket in relation to many other industries that are owned by foreign investors, where the profits go abroad. Another thing to consider is how much of the tooling that make american products that may be made by foreign built machinery.

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Time to call in damage control if Toyota puts the factory above the customer.... 1/29/2010 - The Associated Press has learned that Toyota is sending new gas pedal systems to car factories rather than dealerships who want the parts to take care of millions of customers whose pedals may stick.

Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons confirms information in a company e-mail obtained by the AP that says parts were shipped to factories. Lyons says that's how the company normally distributes parts.

But some dealers say they should get the parts first because they now have no way to fix the pedals on any of the 4.2 million recalled vehicles affecting eight U.S. models.

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Almost every current generation car & light truck uses electronic pedal/throttle control, typically 2008 -2010. A few models go back into the 90's. Toyota buys their electronic pedal/throttle controls from CTS Co. of Elkhart, IN. Damn those American manufacturers! CTS supplies the same or similar designed controls to many other manufacturers, including Ford. Apparently the only vehicle that Ford uses the exact pedal parts is in one truck model that Ford makes in China. Ford has just announced suspension of that one model although they claim they are not experiencing trouble reports. Every manufacturer except Toyota employs an automatic throttle down signal to the computer when the brake is applied. Even if a floor mat jambs the pedal wide open, the brake should drop the throttle down. This safety link has been a recognized industry standard since the Audi debacle 15 years ago.

Toyota does have their damage control in place. As typical Toyota, they are tight with facts and shift blame away from their engineering blunders. Since the floor mat excuse hasn't worked, they have now shifted to wet carpet and worn out materials as the cause.

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Toyota does have their damage control in place. As typical Toyota, they are tight with facts and shift blame away from their engineering blunders. Since the floor mat excuse hasn't worked, they have now shifted to wet carpet and worn out materials as the cause.

CTS used Toyota's specifications ....................

CBC News - Consumer Life - Faulty pedal maker points to Toyota design

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