MT Bashes ToMoCo on Rust-Related Warranty Extension
TTAC's no apologist for any automaker. And we're big fans of the editorial equivalent of the arched eyebrow. But we call foul over Motor Trend 's coverage of Toyota's decision to extend its warranties on Tacoma pickups sold between 1995 and 2000 due to problems with rust. The mag's online scribe Andrew Streiber reports the facts– well, edits the press release slightly– with studied impartiality. "Though Toyota says the problems have been limited to trucks in states where salt is used to de-ice roads in winter, the company is extending rust-perforation warranty coverage to all 1995-2000 Tacomas regardless of location. The coverage will last 15 years from the original date of sale with no mileage cap. Owners who think they may have a rust problem can simply visit a dealer for a free inspection, and if damage is found Toyota will either repair or repurchase the truck (they decide)." But Streiber can't resist finishing with a cheap shot. "Given the well-publicized problems in early examples of the new Tundra, it's still another blemish on their reputation for quality the company didn't need." Note to MT: if the domestics had adopted a similar approach to similar problems, they wouldn't be in the mess they're in.
I have to agree with Quasimondo on this one, in that I don't see the bash, either. To put the statement into context, the article said: "Toyota is quick to point out that this is just a warranty extension and not a recall. However given the well-publicized problems in early examples of the new Tundra, it's still another blemish on their reputation for quality the company didn't need." Now, I'm no fan of Motor Tripe myself, but the sentence in question here needs to be considered in the context of the one that preceded it. The first sentence addressed Toyota's publicly stated position on the rust issue, while the follow-on second sentence put the official announcement in the context of previous news regarding another newer truck, the Tundra. MT was making inferences about the possible impacts of negative PR impacts on the corporation, not on the vehicles themselves. And in this case, MT has a point -- these announcements may not be so good for business. Domestic truck buyers tend to be highly loyal and Toyota will need to gain their confidence if they wish to increase the number of conquest sales. Since taking this segment away from the 2.8 would be the beginning of the end for the domestics, Toyota's success or missteps are important here, to Toyota as well as the competition.
The irony here is too funny. Isn't this the same MT that named the Tundra its Truck of the Year?
210delray beat me to it. Looks like M/T needed some street cred so they bashed ToMoCo after cashing that TOTY check.