Post-Elk Test, Toyota Halts Sales of Big-Wheeled Hilux
Last month. we broke the news (to the English-speaking world) that Toyota's Hilux pickup truck failed Sweden's now infamous Älgtest (Elk test). News flash from the frozen north: Toyota has admitted the problem and is taking drastic if limited action to correct it. According to Teknikens Värld, Michel Koch of Toyota Europe confirmed that the Japanese automaker is halting sales of the Hilux with 16" wheels. Although the Swedes found that a Hilux shod with 15" wheels Elk-tested just as poorly as one with 16" wheels, ToMoCo "does not consider the 15" version to perform dangerously." When faced with the same issue re: their new A-Class, Mercedes fit ESP to the car, and retrofitted a few thousand customer cars at the company's expense. While Toyota has the technology to add stability control to the new Hilux, given the vast number of Hilux that have already hit the highway (hopefully not literally), the money needed to retrofit existing Hilux would make the A-Class expenditure look like pocket change. The extra (some say needless) expense would put the product at a competitive disadvantage/dramatically lower Toyota's profits. But this could be the start if a general move towards stability control on pickups– as U.S. federal law is already mandating the systems for SUVs.
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