And In Other Toyota News ...

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
and in other toyota news

Don’t bogart that joint: Toyota will recall about 8,000 model-year 2010 Tacoma pickup trucks in the US. Not for unintended acceleration, or brake gremlins, but for good old cracks in the joint portion of the drive shaft, says Reuters. The front drive shafts are manufactured by Dana Holding Corp, and the affected vehicles were produced from mid-December 2009 to early February.

Don’t ruin more jobs: Toyota has dispatched two dozen workers from plants around the U.S. to visit Capitol Hill. According to a Reuters report, the company is also using other means, such as a $5.2m lobbying budget, to remind lawmakers that Toyota employs 33,400 people. Indirect employment, including dealers, accounts for another 160,700 jobs, says Toyota.

Don’t think GM profits from Toyota’s weakness: GM’s vice chairman Bob Lutz said GM will gain market share regardless of safety problems, Reuters reports. “If the competitor’s weakness at some point results in lower sales for them and better sales for everybody else, that’s something that obviously we’ll accept,” Lutz said. “But as far as we are concerned, it is not a factor. We’re not planning on that. We were going to gain share anyway.” GM’s U.S. sales jumped 14 percent in January from a year ago and its market share rose to 21 percent, while Toyota’s sales fell 16 percent to the lowest level in more than a decade. Some industry observers are seeing weakness in February sales and blame Toyota for it.

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  • Mcs Mcs on Feb 13, 2010

    Dana Corp ships cracked drive shafts to Ford, Nissan, and Toyota. Ford and Nissan decide they aren't going to recall their vehicles. Toyota decides to do the right thing and issues a recall. Why is it that Toyota gets dumped on and the real bad guys here, Ford and Nissan, get away with neglecting the problem? Bertel's article left out the part about Nissan and Ford. You need find the articles with the entire story and read them.

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    • Christy Garwood Christy Garwood on Feb 15, 2010

      Robert, yes, GM has provided me with the opportunity to have varied experiences while working continuously for one company. I went from a plant that made 25 large gas turbine engines and 400 small enginees a month to GM truck volumes of 100,000 per month. While there isn't much styling that has to be done to a turbine engine (LOL), designing, testing, validating and building those engines versus passenger cars/ trucks has a lot in common.

  • 50merc 50merc on Feb 13, 2010

    Flashpoint, when your broker calls to tell you Toyota's stock has stopped falling, please let me know. I'll then check for any sign that Toyota's premium-plus pricing model (few incentives along with price padding by both distributors and dealers) has been abandoned. It'd be nice if a Camry carried rebates like a Sonata. I was going to check Toyota's website, but my anti-virus software blocked their site as having hidden threats. Anybody else have this experience? Do they now need to recall their Web pages?

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    • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Feb 14, 2010

      50merc: Maybe your software needs a recall, or at least an update. Zonealarm declares as safe, "does not contain any known risk."

  • Ohsnapback Ohsnapback on Feb 14, 2010

    From Bloomberg: "•Regulators Hired by Toyota Helped Halt U.S. Safety Probes, Documents Show" Link: But it's probably just plaintiffs' attorneys fault. (In the famous words of TTAC articles; or not)

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    • Baldheadeddork Baldheadeddork on Feb 14, 2010

      Big differences, Bertel. Lawyers have responsibilities as officers of the court that guide their actions no matter who they are representing. Lawyers also present their cases to a judge or jury who have a separate responsibility to be impartial, and the procedure and evidence is open to the public for a real-time examination. None of that exists with NHTSA and the investigation of defects.

  • Baldheadeddork Baldheadeddork on Feb 17, 2010

    Yes, Bertel - it appears the other automakers are stupid enough to not use former NHTSA employees to lobby for them on defects. While all automakers have employees who handle NHTSA issues, Toyota may be alone among the major companies in employing former agency staffers to do so. Spokesmen for General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC and Honda Motor Co. all say their companies have no ex-NHTSA people who deal with the agency on defects. The whole article is worth reading.