Toyota Recalls 472k Domestic Models for Fuel Line Defect
Agencie France-Presse (AFP) reports that Toyota is recalling 472k Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) vehicles for a faulty fuel systems. Although no related accidents or incidents have been reported to date, the defect could cause gas line leakages. All told, the company's recalling eight different JDM models, including the flagship Toyota Crown, which occupies the same slot in Toyota's JDM line-up as the Camry occupies in the good ol' USA. Arriving hot on the heels of Toyota's decline in Consumer Reports' reliability ratings, the news is sure to arm the pro-domestic crowd with more ammunition against the automotive world's new king of the hill. Interestingly, the recall includes models manufactured from 1999 – 2004, when Toyota was thought to be the far-and-away leader in reliability and initial quality.
Be honest everyone, if this were an American manufacturer, the insults and ridicule would be piling on....right?? How is this a good thing? Toyota's lack of quality control has put customers at risk. They HAVE to do something about it.
Kurt Cobain said it best . . . "All apologies" Or, all apologists.
I will make no excuses for Toyota, but I have to shake my head when I see the supporters of the "D" students (Big 2.8) get excited when the straight-A student finally brings home an A-. Toyota is having a few public stumbles as of late, but that does not change the fact that the quality levels are still generally quite high and that the Big 2.8 still lag behind them. None of this news makes the Cobalt or Impala any more exciting today than they were a week ago. If anyone is going to benefit from this, it will be Honda, not anyone operating out of Detroit.
I'm not a staunch Toyota loyalist (you probably wouldn't know it from my recent posts, I suppose). I've never owned a Toyota, never considered buying a Toyota (except, briefly, an ancient Landcruiser), and frankly don't particularly like any of Toyota's current offerings (though I respect them). When it comes to cars, Honda is my one true love, though I'm currently having a fling with Audi. Having said all that... seriously, not all recalls are created equal. I owned a 1998 Honda Prelude from 2003-2006, and during that time I received at least 3 "recall notices" for issues so minor I didn't even bother bringing it in. Granted, a problem with the fuel line is nothing to laugh at. But a mass recall for something that "could cause" a problem, and has not caused a problem to date, sounds to me like outstanding and proactive customer service, not the death knell of Toyota. Toyota has its reputation because it's not afraid to issue recalls early and often. Contrast this with Ford's handling of the famous Explorer/Firestone issue.