By on February 4, 2010

Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had a reassuring message for Toyota owners: “My advice is, if anybody owns one of these vehicles, stop driving it.” He said it in front of cameras at a House of Representatives hearing, cameras rolling (or whatever cameras do these days.)

“LaHood’s explosive comment,” writes Reuters, “sent shares of battered Toyota Motor Corp plunging.”

After LaHood’s remarks, Toyota shares dropped to 6.14 percent at the close. Loose lips sink ships, but LaHood’s oral diarrhea did cost Toyota shareholders a round $7b in a matter of minutes. Afterwards, LaHood said it was an obvious misstatement. But the damage was already done. Stealing from the phrasebook of personal injury lawyers, widows and orphans living off the 401Ks of their dearly departed, suffered severe mental trauma just from looking at their diminished stock holdings.

LaHood should have consulted his (government provided) physician, who would have prescribed a healthy dose of Imodium, to be kept in the mouth.

He did not. If you consult the front page of the NHTSA, you will find a fresh hoodish comment: “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.”

That was not an off-the-cuff remark. It is an official, supposedly carefully vetted statement. In light of certain government departments’ recent fondness of “enhanced coercive interrogation techniques,” that colloquialism may be misread. Especially when translated into Japanese.

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51 Comments on “LaHood Threatens To Torture Toyota, Destroys $7b With Loose Mouth...”


  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    sure Toyota screwed something up majorly. But not worse than all the steering, tranny problems you have with GM/Chrysler. and Toyota make much effort resolving.

    the thing here is (and I’m not a friend of conspiracy theories), that the government owns the major competitors.

    also, the government has approved the brake/accelerator technology while federalizing the cars. Obviously the tests they require are designed to keep competitors out of the country and not to enhance safety (fuel tank location of Ford Police interceptor??)

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Re. Federalization: The fed sets standards, and the OEM’s self-certify. The Fed does run NCAP-tests, but because DOT does not test 100% of an OEM’s offerings every year, NCAP is, at best, an audit of the OEM’s results.

      Re. Panther fuel tank placement … Your argument is a Red Herring. Consider the age of the platform. Tank above axle was considered a major step-forward from tank suspended under trunk or the even more primitive “drop-in” style tank. Panther does fulfil norms. Vehicle was obviously safer after additional shield was added to keep suspension link from puncturing tank. Just as most new foreign platforms don’t go for this location (in part because most don’t have a live-axle), neither do most new domestic platforms.

      Tell me, who would be fighting to keep FMVSS as a tool to prevent foreign encroachment? Ford, who pulls B-, C-, CD-, D-platforms from its foreign subsidiaries or affiliates? GM who does similar with Opel and GMDAT? Chrysler who can’t rebadge Fiat platforms fast enough?

      FMVSS grew-up separately and in parallel to japanese and the various european regs.

      Even if FMVSS had morphed into a defacto trade barrier, what would be the benefit of defending at, and to whom would this benefit accrue? (Possibly only to the gov’t bureaucrats looking to keep their jobs; but this doesn’t support your trade-barrier hypothesis.)

    • 0 avatar
      superbadd75

      Please refresh my memory, as I can’t recall any recent GM or Chrysler recalls in regards to loss of control, inability to brake, or anything of the like. I think the current Toyota recalls are worse than any from domestic automakers, at least in the recent past. Coupled with the aparrent trouble with the Prius and Toyota’s really dug a hole for themselves. I’m not saying that Toyota’s a bad company or that I’d never buy one of their cars, but most Americans don’t know how the industry works, and they aren’t looking big picture. They see Toyota in the news with cars that accelerate on their own, and it scares them. Not a good place to be in an economy that’s already tough on the auto industry.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Please refresh my memory, as I can’t recall any recent GM or Chrysler recalls in regards to loss of control, inability to brake, or anything of the like.

      Well, currently there’s an open recall for about a million Cobalts and Pursuit/G5s for loss of steering control. GM had a similar (and very nasty) one for the Corvette as well a few years back. There have also been recalls at several manufacturers’ recalls about brake line corrosion and wheel separation**. There is, of course, Ford/Firestone.

      Right now the media is hypersensitive and Toyota is more or less forced to be more open than is perhaps helpful. Last year Honda recalled my Fit for a salt-corrosion-related issue that would have seen the airbag not deploy and it was a non-event. If this had happened now, they’d go ape; other marques must be counting their blessings that nothing’s opening up, because it’ll turn into a circus no matter what.

      ** Wheel separation and steering lockup scares the hell out of me. I can stop a car any one of three or four ways, but if my front wheel fell off at speed I’d be in real trouble. Steering lockup or loss would be second on my personal “OMG” list. Again, I can stop a car three or four ways, but I only have one steering system.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      The Cobalts are being investigated and should be recalled. From what I have read, the steering manufacturer and GM are already not on good terms. GM suing them for noise and vibration problems with these units and now, the units stop working. Currently, not recalled, but I think in a very short time, it will be. I think this shows that no manufacture, Toyota, GM, Honda etc, will never have problems because they all use the same suppliers and all of the suppliers don’t make perfect products.

      On the Corvette, what recall are you talking about? The only one I can find recently is problems with the detachable roof staying attached.

      The wheel separation would scare anyone. The problem with the cobalts isn’t lockups, but that the power steering fails, causing much more difficult steering (and I mean tough for anyone to turn the wheel). But I would actually take the opposite approach on this. While, I know what to do if the car accelerates uncontrollable, and you do to, the average driver doesn’t seem to. Hence the large amount of accidents being blamed on UA. When your steering goes out, most people are going to try to muscle it, which will work, but they can stop the car. I would say that is a much safer scenario then unintended acceleration. Not everyone has found ways to stop the car and people have died. If I had to rate them on how much each scared me…

      Ford/Firestone Problem, UA from Toyota, then lossing power steering in a Cobalt.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The Corvette steering wheel lockup was an old one; it applied to the C5, not the current C6. It was a pretty high-volume recall (as I recall: basically every MT-equipped C5, and most AT C5s.

      Mind you, the Corvette gives you all sorts of ways to kill yourself even when the steering is working fine; ways that aren’t accessible to your average Camry driver.

      It wasn’t a huge problem, but then the Corvette is in fewer hands.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    Let me play a little devil’s advocate here…Isn’t he, as the secretary of transportation, merely doing his job?

    I have no strong opinion on this as it seems that there’s not enough info yet to vouch for his statement. But it’s better than Brazilian authorities response up to now, which has been: No response. As cases keep popping up down here, too, and both Honda of Brazil and Toyota of Brazil continue completely and resolutely ignoring the problem, I think maybe a little overreaction is better than no reaction. Well, maybe. Definetly, maybe.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Let me play a little devil’s advocate here…Isn’t he, as the secretary of transportation, merely doing his job?

      No, his job would be to work internally with the NHTSA to see that, if there’s a culture of “the customer is an idiot” than it gets resolved. His job is not to act as point-man for a public lynching, nor to use the NHTSA’s public relations channel for grandstanding.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      But his job is to answer questions in front of congress when asked. Remember he said, stop driving it, take it to the dealer and have them fix it. Most people seem to forget all of what he said.

      I think the line about putting feet to the fire is bad though.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Careless commercial channels communicating clumsy-casual congressional conversation caused calamatous collapse of confidence. Common cause: Circumspectlessness.

    First of all, I’ve posted here before that LaHood gives me a case of maliase just about every time I see him talk; he is not the most charismatic, articulate or telegenic.

    That said, I saw his testimony before Congress, and it does not end at the period in Bertel’s quote. Replace the period with a comma and continue on with something like “, go to your Toyota dealer and have it fixed.” Before that sentence, a congressman had asked LaHood what NHTSA was doing about the issue and (IIRC) what the recommendation to consumers was. The first sentence was “We are working to get the cars fixed.” followed by the parsed and mis-contextualized and sensationalized second sentence.

    Problem is that his testimony was on live feed, and as soon as the words escaped his mouth, the news orgs were flashing this quote everywhere … no time or inclination to wait for clarification, just get it on the wire, net, or set.

    Outside the testimony hall, he was asked by CNN to clarify, and he, again, was not terribly articulate, but he made his point, that if your car is affected, get it fixed, if you are not sure if it is affected, get it checked.

    I chalk this episode up to a somewhat careless response, taken out of context, not adequately clarified before being broadcast to the public and then further shaved-down (as done here) to make it more titillating.

    In a similar vein, CNN juxtaposed the Prius brake problem with the Wolf Blitzer interview of Steve Wozniac … making it look like Woz was condemning the Prius’ brakes … no such thing … Woz (who seems to have trouble answering a question is a simple and coherent way) was bemoning the fact that he had found an issue where, at extra-legal speeds, if he manipulates his cruise control in a certain way, it acclerates the vehicle beyond what was expected fromt he driver’s inputs. Woz never talked about the brakes.

    • 0 avatar
      criminalenterprise

      My VW sometimes surges a little more than I expect if I toggle the + switch on the cruise control the right way.

      I must admit it’s an unsettling sensation, even though it lasts no more than a full second. It gives me some insight into the experience of what a truly stuck accelerator input must be like.

  • avatar
    criminalenterprise

    The stock cratered the day they halted sales. The bad news train keeps rolling, so it’s only natural to see further weakness. Plus, it’s a stock in a very volatile industry. The auto industry is trading like tech stock, not industrial stock.

    If you picked up shares at any point between Oct 08 and Mar 09 you’re still pretty deep in the money. If you held it from 2005 you’re flat and banked four years of a healthy ~1% dividend. If you ask me, the forward P/E at current prices is too high. They’ll recover and return unless they slip into the denial that haunted GM for decades (and continues today).

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Great article.

    I think you guys should start a new site called “The Truth About Politicians”, to embarrass and expose morons like this guy getting too high salaries and perks from taxpayers. There would be as much if not more fodder for such a site, on a daily basis it seems.

    It would bring the type of focused Truth upon idiots like LaHood who, in anything but a government job, would have been fired for gross incompetence for his comments. And its not even his first major blabbermouth “event” either, he’s done “it” before!

    Just for the record I don’t own a Toyota and haven’t liked what they had to offer since my last one, a Supra. Its just that people like LaHood are much worse than sticky throttles, even brakes can’t stop him! Fire him!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Just this morning Toyota has admitted to a problem with the Prius’ brakes, said that they have fixed cars for post January sale, and are “considering” if and when to recall those in the field.

    LaHood isn’t the problem here, Toyota’s problems are very much of its own making. Toyota’s stock fell because Toyota has been bungling some very serious quality and safety issues in recent years, not because LaHood is talking tough.

    Some people seem to take the simple view that anyone working for the government is a bad guy and anyone working for a large corporation is a good guy. Reality is not so simple as that. Take, for example, this latest gem by Toyota senior managing director Takahiko Ijichi:

    “We have not sacrificed the quality for the sake of saving costs,” he said. “Quality is our lifeline. We want our customers to feel safe and regain their trust as soon as possible.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100204/ap_on_bi_ge/toyota_recall

    Do you agree with Ijichi’s statement?

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      John, wasn’t there more to that quote, something to the effect of: “the automotive basics like start, stop, turn, will Never be comprimised due to cost-cutting.”?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      LaHood isn’t the problem here, Toyota’s problems are very much of its own making.

      No, the media is the problem. LaHood isn’t saying the smartest things, but this gone beyond responsible journalism and into feeding frenzy territory.

      Do we really want to air every manufacturer’s dirty laundry in public? Because I think you’ll not only find that a) Toyota is still on top of the quality heap in objective measures and b) expanding the lens will result in none of these people looking particularly good.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      psarhjinian,
      When it comes to public safety, everything should be out there. I don’t think the media is the problem at all. I doubt that there would be any recalls if the media didn’t grab on to these stories. How many complaints and fatalities would it take (in this case Toyota) for manufactures to make a recall? I also think that the Jeep case should be getting more news as well. How does safety become more important when the manufacture ignores the problem?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      How does safety become more important when the manufacture ignores the problem?

      It’s not so much ignoring the problem as refusing to conflate it. No one is served by throwing the general public into an unreasonable panic about something that, honestly, has affected less than fifty vehicles out of five or six million.

      When you hear stories about people panickingly trading in Toyotas when you have the same chances of experiencing SUA as you would being struck by lightning, then something has gone very wrong with how the issue is being portrayed.

      You know it’s gone even more wrong when you have the Secretary of Transport making off-the-cuff remarks and using the NHTSA as a vehicle for his own personal aggrandizement.

      Finally, you know something has gone even more wrong when individual, unverified problems are given automatic credence, and that routine investigations on the part of the manufacturer are Chicken-Little scenarios.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      psarhjinian-
      So your saying that the manufacture shouldn’t ignore the problem, just not let anyone know about? I really don’t understand that. And, there hasn’t been 50 instances of this. There have 2000 reports, almost 900 accidents, and 19 deaths. For Prius brake issue, there have been 124 reports of the problem. While it might be the case that lightning might be as likely to strike you, but then again, what was the rate on the audio problem, the ford/firestone problem, the ford pinto, the corvair, GM’s side straddle gas tanks etc. Most dangerous recalls only effect a small fraction of people. But again, I don’t think the odds of dying in a particular way should matter here. If that was the case, I guess the only think that should make the news with people dieing is heart disease, which, as of 2006, kills about 1 million Americans a year.

      The big problem I have is why Toyota ignored all of the complaints until people died. Had they investigated this problem more actively, it would have been a smaller recall, could have been reported with no fatalities, and it wouldn’t have made the news that it has. It is just interesting that Toyota can find problems and solutions when it because a big issue in the media. Till then, Toyota sees it as unimportant.

      So why did Toyota now wait till the Prius brake issue is being investigated to admit that they know there is a problem, one that they already have a fix for? Why didn’t the notify the owners when they had the fix?

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    Hopefully this incident, and the related commentary, will serve as a wake-up call for Toyota to address its quality control procedures.

    There are many on this site who are posting comments such as, “People and the media would be singing a different tune if it were [insert name of domestic manufacturer here].”

    Perhaps that’s true. But the difference is not so much in how this is being handled in the media now; the difference will be seen in how this is handled by Toyota over the next few years.

    It’s a tragedy and I’m sincerely sorry for all who have lost loved ones, well-being and money over Toyota’s woes, but I’m equally sincere in my hope that lessons are learned from this situation, resulting in better leadership at all auto makers. That’s the answer – good, responsible leadership – and not government regulations or electronic controls that do the driving for us.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      “That’s the answer – good, responsible leadership … ”

      I agree in principle, but in practice that is an ideal which will never happen. Corporations do not attract and promote based primarily on high standards of integrity.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      You’re right, John – that’s how it’s been in the past few decades, when corporations were managed to the needs of funds managers.

      My hope is that somehow the tide will change, and corporations and leaders will see the problems inherent in taking short-term gains at the expense of long-term viability. I also hope it’s more likely to happen than the introduction of a car that runs on Kashi bars and spews rose petals out of its tailpipe.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I thought that Toyota was THE example of a company that planned for the long haul and used processes and procedures that were more likely to prevent problems from happening in the first place.

      Toyota is the last auto company I would expect to see accused of being guided by the needs of fund managers.

  • avatar
    Roxer

    Maybe it is just me but if I was forced to drop the quality of my product I would make sure the safety systems were still top notch, and drop the quality of any/all creature comfort systems (a/c, power items, etc). Wait a second, isn’t that what GM and Honda have done?

  • avatar
    segfault

    Maybe Toyota will be the next automaker to receive a bailout from the US Government.

  • avatar
    97escort

    It seems to me that the root of Toyota’s problems is the use of too much electronics. It is bad enough with all the sensors, warnings and buzzers/beepers going off every time I get in my car, but when electronics are used for critical safety related applications they have to be near 100% reliable.

    Electronics used in automobiles are subject to harsh conditions of vibration and temperature charge. Few computers could withstand the elements automobile electronics have to endure. Then there is the problem of programming.

    Anticipating every possible variation that electronic devices have to deal with may not be possible.

    But the big problem is that electronics are driving customers nuts.
    They are constantly complaining about something when they should really should shut up. I want a car that does what I tell it to do and not one that talks back and blinks and beeps warnings at me for every little discomfort it sees or feels.

    Automakers love electronics since when the car is new they work fine but as the circuits get old, connections oxidize or rattle loose, customers have to either run to the dealer for glitch fixes or trade. I bet that is the plan.

    I want a vehicle that does what it is told and keeps its mouth shut. I will decide when it has failed, not the car. That is the way cars use to be. I yearn for those times to come back.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike66Chryslers

      Since that’s not going to happen, I suggest you start shopping for a 1966 Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar
      criminalenterprise

      Yes, the good old days when you had to master the art of hovering over a carburetor with a screwdriver, had to re-ring pistons every 50,000 miles, change spark plugs every 20,000 and tetraethyl lead ate your engine from the inside out.

      Glow plugs #1 and #4 on my car have been replaced so far, with #2 and #3 being original. I replaced them only when they began to fail and throw codes, and I knew which one was going before it was causing issues with drivability and was able to replace one and only one at a time because I can hook up my ECU to a laptop and pull the codes off.

      This technology has saved me thousands in garage repairs that I was able to diagnose with precision myself.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I want a vehicle that does what it is told and keeps its mouth shut. I will decide when it has failed, not the car. That is the way cars use to be. I yearn for those times to come back.

      Then you had better buy yourself a bicycle or start walking.

      Objective statistics prove that modern cars have fewer problems, are less expensive to own, run longer and run longer and better, largely because of electronics.

      Do you want to go back to carburetors? Mechanical brakes? Crank-ignition? Really?

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    The problems with Toyotas are Toyota’s problem. The problem with Ray LaHood’s mouth is Ray LaHood’s. One of the key aspects of being a politician is knowing how to say what you need to say without sending the market into the tank, creating a crisis in the media when there isn’t one, and generally not shooting yourself in the foot and making your job ten times harder.
    More Obama administration fumbling and bumbling. I never thought I’d miss the Clintons.

  • avatar
    tedward

    He is kind of just doing his job (as per FromBrazil’s comment), but I also have to see it as him showing everyone that he is, indeed, doing his job. I would respect a quieter approach more, I would have prefered to find out that his office had taken a personal interest and communicated with all parties throughout the process and to see it release full reports to the public detailing all the problems and fixes. He should have been offering the public and media a full illustrated report on the brake pedal systems etc… right from the start (and they should have beat TTAC et al. to the punch). Instead we’re left with the slight taste of political opportunism.

    On the other hand, it is nice to see a member of government flex their political muscles when it comes to industry regulation (regardless of motives or competence). I think it serves a useful reminder and a more meaningful check on misbehavior than use of legal remedies in some instances. Spitzer was very good at this, but perhaps a little late to his particular cause to have any preventative effect.

    From what I’ve seen a company will defend itself from a criminal or civil complaint because of the perceived reputation hit that would occur were they to simply roll over. It’s not just an immediate penalty or recall cost they will be afraid of here, it’s Lahood jumping in and doing the reputation damage that a public prosecution or civil loss would, and doing so immediately for maximum effect. It is absolutely within his power to do so, and he hasn’t really yet. I think Toyota is on notice.

  • avatar
    Moparagain

    Since I am new to this blob. I can see that Mr. Schmidt must work for Toyota. He thinks that widows with low paying 401k’s is worse than widows from Toyotas gas pedal fiasco. Mr. Schmidt people are dying from this, if there was a person my family driving a Toyota i would tell them to STOP driving it. If they need a ride I will give them one.
    How novel a politician that tells the truth once in awhile.

    • 0 avatar
      dougjp

      People are dying? Who? Just put foot on brake, and stop! Oh, maybe shift into neutral, or perhaps shut off the engine? End of story!

      This is a lying manipulating politician from the domestic auto State of Michigan, for heaven sakes. How obvious does this have to be before people finally and collectively jump on the politician and say, NO MORE, shut up!

    • 0 avatar
      Contrarian

      Just a point, but being new to a blob [sic] may actually be a reason that you don’t know about its contributors.

    • 0 avatar

      Mr. Moparagain, Sir:

      Since you know that I’m working for Toyota, could you please remind them to finally send the goddamn money? And ask them, please, to spell my name right. Chinese banks are very picky if the name of the recipient doesn’t match the name on the account. Highly appreciated.

  • avatar
    kol

    If the NHSTA doesn’t work out for Mr. LaHood, he should have a career as a local news broadcaster. They love scare-mongering shit like this.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Ray LaHood’s remarks certainly seemed biased against Toyota. As a cabinet-level member of the Obama Administration, the administration needs to take responsibility for the damage control. Perhaps Bob Lutz could give the man some speaking pointers.

    FYI for those who think this is a pro-labor, anti-Toyota Democratic conspiracy, it should be noted that Ray LaHood was a REPUBLICAN congressman from Illinois.

    • 0 avatar
      panzerfaust

      No, I for one don’t think its a pro-labor ant-Toyota Democratic conspiracy. It was an ignorant thing to say, and the person who said it is among many who have been selected by the Obama administration who are at best marginally competent, but mostly beyond their depth, the living embodiment of the Peter principle.

  • avatar

    I work in the Auto Industry and have dealt with NHTSA thanks to FMVSS139, and can say that one thing that NHTSA does not like is a company that drags its feet when in come to responding to safety concerns. The US government has little leverage on companies based outside of the US. Toyota has been slow to respond to real data and has clearly ticked off some people in the wrong places by not adhering to US regulations. They continued to sell recalled vehicles illegally until US officials got on a plane and went to Japan to remind them of their obligation to comply US law. Response now is take this to the court of public opinion since it is not a US owned company. This goes back to what most of learned as children…better to fess up to what you did ASAP, because denying / hiding it will only make it worse when it finally does come to light.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    It would be best if you would post his whole comment in the article.

    He said his advice would be to stop driving it, take it to the dealer, because Toyota says they have a fix for it. If I had a family driving one of the vehicles effected by the recall, I would absolutely have them do the same.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    “We’ll hold their feet to the fire”.

    This reminds me of the GWB quote, “We’ll smoke them out of their caves”

    Ray, how about some constructive advice to Toyota owners such as,

    “If this happens when you’re driving, here are the four things you need to do – a, b, c, d. While we urge you to take your car to the dealer for the fix asap, please do these things should something happen in the interim”.

    Instead, we have yet another quote from this bufoon that does more to scare than inform. There was better detail on the C4C website than this tool was able to generate!!

    No, he didn’t install or design the crappy brakes or floor mats or gas pedal, but his job needs to be public safety. He’s certainly not doing that, or perhaps is doing so in half measures.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      jkross22
      Giving advice would be opening it up to lawsuits. People do these things, get into an accident, sue the gov’t. This is also why the NHTSA doesn’t approve the fix, they don’t want the liability.

      But what he did say was, stop driving it and take it to the dealer, they say they have a fix for it.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, if giving advice means opening up NHTSA to lawsuits, then they would be wide open. On their website, they say:

      “Actions Consumers Can Take If They Cannot Stop Their Vehicle. Regardless of the cause, if a consumer is experiencing unintended acceleration in their vehicle, they should take the following steps:

      * Brake firmly and steadily – do not pump the brake pedal
      * Shift the transmission into Neutral (for vehicles with automatic transmissions and the sport option, familiarize yourself with where Neutral is – the diagram may be misleading)
      * Steer to a safe location
      * Shut the engine off (for vehicles with keyless ignition, familiarize yourself with how to turn the vehicle off when it is moving – this may be a different action than turning the vehicle off when it is stationary).
      * Call your dealer or repair shop to pick up the vehicle. Do not drive it.”

      It just doesn’t get the play the hoodish remarks get.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Steven02 – How do people get the car to the dealer?

      Perhaps Toyota should pay to have all Toyotas affected towed to dealerships. Short of that, people will need to drive to the dealers.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      jkross22
      I think people understand that the car will have to get to the dealer. It is between the dealer and the owner on how the car gets there. My guess, if someone has experienced the problem, the will ask for the car to be towed at dealer’s expense.

      Bertel
      I am surprised that they posted that. I would actually expect them to post a link to the Toyota site that gives the steps to take if the problem happens.

  • avatar
    Moparagain

    Sorry about the earlier mispell. My english not so good. Interesting story this morning on CNN about the grandma driving her Toyota through her neighborhood at 80 mph, going airborne and crashing into a tree. Yes she died. Not as exciting as burning gas tanks or blown out tires.
    Why is it so hard to believe that this is serious. That the answer is not put both feet on the brake pedal, shift to nuetral and turn off ignition.

    • 0 avatar
      panzerfaust

      No sweat, welcome to the best blob around.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      There are 30,000 Americans died of car accidents per year. Did CNN care to report the other 29,999 fatalities?

      I am no car safety expert, but at least I still have common sense. 19 fatalities for 6 million affected vehicles is next to nothing. In that time span (since 2007), almost 100,000 Americans died of car accidents.

      If you look at IIHS death rate statistics, Chrysler drivers “enjoy” a much much higher fatality rate than Toyota. Is it because so many things went wrong with Chrysler that there isn’t any pattern?

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      wsn
      Do really know how many people have died in Toyota cars? Ever accident that involved a Toyota with excessive speed might be this problem, or might now. It is hard to say. It isn’t obvious as a fire after an accident like the current Jeep problem. Even with the current Jeep problem though, it doesn’t say how the fires started. I am not trying to marginalize the Jeep issue. One thing to note, the Jeep fire issue isn’t the cause of the accident. It is the result of an accident.

      Besides, there is more to this than fatalities. People may live with severe injuries because the car has a defect. Again, I am not trying to marginalize the Jeep issue, but saying one issue is worse is also bad doesn’t make this issue less bad or acceptable.

  • avatar

    that Ray LaHood! He’s such a kidder!!!

  • avatar
    Moparagain

    msn, Exactly right.
    About 100 deaths per day for decades. In spite of all the new safety innovations, regulations, speed limits, etc. No car company should get a “pass” just because we like them and they have a good PR dept.


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  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India