By on February 9, 2010


Reuters reports that Toyota has informed the NHTSA that it will voluntarily recall over 7,000 2010 Camry four-cylinder models. According to a Toyota document sent to dealers:

2010 Camrys equipped with a 4-cylinder engine might have a shorter-than-required power steering pressure hose in the engine compartment. That could deplete the brake fluid, increasing the brake pedal stroke and making it more difficult and requiring more time to stop the vehicle

For the record, Ford would have just called this a “Customer Satisfaction Program.”

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

71 Comments on “And The Hits Keep Coming: 7,314 Camrys Recalled...”


  • avatar
    86er

    For the record, Ford would have just called this a “Customer Satisfaction Program.”

    No need to equivocate, I think we’re all aware of the D3’s sins, past and present. Toyota is nothing without their quality halo.

    • 0 avatar
      PennSt8

      Exactly…..the inclusion of the Fusion/Milan Hybrid braking situation seemed a bit out of place, almost as if there was some sort of agenda.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      Especially considering that the Fusion hybrid will stop, it just skips the regen and goes straight to fluid, where the prius actually is having a 1-2 second delay between the regen deactivating and the fluid kicking in. At 60-70 mph a one second delay in braking is an accident waiting to happen. Ford’s car will stop, just not in the way most beneficial to hybridness, so what ford is doing in reality is a customer satisfaction program.

  • avatar
    baldheadeddork

    How could a power steering hose deplete brake fluid? Are the power steering and brake hydraulic systems integrated?

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      Some “power” brakes are from vacuum assist (from the engine’s intake manifold). I’m not familiar with Toyota’s braking system but maybe they connect it instead to the power steering system and use the same fluid? Losing either the vacuum assist would only require you tot push the pedal harder for braking – losing fluid from a leaking hose would make you lose all the brakes.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      I have a cousin that was pretty much pronounced dead and in the grave by some distant members of the family after they had heard from another distant family member that he was gravely ill. Turns out he smashed his finger with a hammer and broke it.

      Let’s see a copy of the dealer document…..something has obviously been lost in translation…..

    • 0 avatar
      IC Turbo

      From: http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/toyota/toyota-consumer-safety-advisory-102572.aspx

      “Separately, Toyota will conduct a voluntary safety recall on approximately 7,300 early production – 2010 model year Camry vehicles equipped with the 4 cylinder engine to inspect for a power steering hose that may be in contact with a front brake tube. This contact could lead to a hole in the brake tube and cause a brake fluid leak, increased brake pedal stroke and greater vehicle stopping distance.”

      The TMS statement makes more sense than the Reuters blurb above.

  • avatar
    210delray

    Wow, 7300 cars — what’s that, about a week’s worth of production?

    Big news here!

    • 0 avatar
      Jack99

      It’s noteworthy because this could be the start of another onslaught. It also brings us to wonder whether any of the Camries already recalled have this problem as well.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    At this point, I suspect that in their heart of hearts, the Toyota people all know just what many of us on civvy street know; this is just a witch-hunt. So, Toyota figures they may as well get all of their potential recalls done all at once (and are probably out actively searching for ANYTHING which might potentially become a recall at some point and pulling it ahead to “right now” in order to concentrate all the bad publicity all at one time).

    Personally, I think the administration is playing with fire.

    This administration has royally p*ssed off the two nations which hold most of the debt of the United States government – China and Japan. Just at the time when the debt load is exponentially increasing and the need for “fresh blood” is becoming dire, you go ahead and drive away your two largest “blood donors”?!

    What a way to run a railroad. I swear to God, I think this administation is actually trying to destroy this country – in everything they do.

    Perhaps they are so and the conspiracy theorists who’ve been saying there are people in charge of “everything” who want to simplify simplify simplify and simply directly control everything without the ruse of playing games with elections in various “nations”.

    What does Gerald Celente describe as the definition of fascism? The merger of business/corporate and political interests at the expense of the people.

    What exactly have we had over the past 1/2 century or so in the United States and much of the rest of the western world?

    Left and right, Demopublicans and Republicrats, and the mass media are all side-shows to keep our eyes off their other hand, which is rapidly stealing the majority of Americans blind.

    Unlike Chrysler, Toyota could wash their hands of the entire US auto market and survive. In fact, they probably would flourish after about 5 years (which is nothing in the long-term thinking of the Japanese), especially given the potential of growth in China for them – compared to the profitless, high-cost, litigous nature of the US auto market – in which 2 of 3 major domestic players are owned and operated by the government and union, both of which clearly think they can hobble competition.

    Guess what? The US auto market is peanuts compared to the world market. And Toyota departing would dent the unemployment rate in this country a LOT. 300,000 Toyota jobs vaporized? The knock-on effect would probably add 1 1/2 million to the unemployment ranks.

    Toyoda could tell Obama “go ahead, keep on and we’ll see who blinks first”.

    • 0 avatar
      baldheadeddork

      I’m not going to get into how Barack Obama ordered a few mm off the needed length of a power steering line. I knew he was good, but that’s really impressive.

      Anyway, whatever potential Toyota has in China is untapped. They sold 600,000 cars in China last year, which gave them a market share of 4.4%.

      It’s probably not going to get a lot bigger than that. China and Japan have a rivalry and mutual dislike that goes back centuries. The actions of the Japanese during WWII have left a relationship that is comparable to the feeling of most Jews towards Germany, except Japan has been very slow to acknowledge and atone for its war crimes. Beyond what happened in the past, the two countries are shaping up as the strongest contenders for economic dominance in the region in this century, and neither side has a lot of excitement for helping the other.

      Toyota has also underperformed in the European market for decades. They had 5% market share in 2009 and just 5.3% before the carpocalypse.

      Toyota absolutely needs the US market.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      For a Witch Hunt, there seem to be a lot of Skeletons in the Closet world-wide, with even members of the japanese gov’t (P.M. and ministers) chiming-in to give Toyota a public dressing-down (and humiliating offers of help and expressions of apology to the U.S.) in the japanese media.

      What is going on here is no localized phenemenon.

      Also given Toyota’s recent history of obstruction, slugishness and clumsyness, I have to question their new found religion … they are starting to say the right things, but along with these displays of contrition, their revisionary justification of their actions has the feel of political expediency about it.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I’m sure that Toyota will be able to flourish in the future even if they did do a complete overnight pull-out from the North American market.

      Trouble is, they’ll be flourishing as a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group…

    • 0 avatar
      areaman

      I’d love to see comments like this one moderated. Those of us who come here to read about cars would appreciate it.

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      Lenders rarely lend money because the recipients are really swell guys. They do it because they have money to put to work and they profit from the interest.

  • avatar
    Detroit Todd

    For the record, Ford would have just called this a “Customer Satisfaction Program.”

    For the record, you have no idea how Ford would handle an issue of a too-short power steering pressure hose. In fact, even Ford probably doesn’t know either, since it hasn’t happened to them.

    Does all TTAC Toyota reportage have to include references to other automakers and/or allege conspiracy by the U.S. Government?

    • 0 avatar
      Ernie

      Click the link:
      “While Toyota may or may not recall the Prius, Ford is not recalling its Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrids for what appears to be a similar issue (poor transitions between regenerative and conventional brakes). Instead, Ford is instituting a “Customer Satisfaction Program” involving free software upgrades it says will fix the problem, which was first reported by Consumer Reports.”

      Geeze Ed, yer gonna need onna these:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:M1HelmetDiagram.gif

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit Todd

      Ernie,

      You’ll note that the Ford link is regarding the hybrid/brake issue — not a too-short power steering pressure hose/brake issue, which Ford has NOT encountered.

      Not a valid comparison, and complete conjecture on Ed’s part as to how Ford would handle a hypothetical situation.

      I’ll leave you to figuring out your helmet.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      Some people take stuff so literally!

      I believe the Ford-Customer satisfaction is a semi-humourous reminder that Toyota is being held to a different standard than other manufacturers.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit Todd

      I’ll ask the question again — why does nearly all TTAC coverage of Toyota reference another automaker, and/or allege conspiracy on the part of the U.S. Government against Toyota?

      Secondly, and also again, if TTAC is going to reference another automaker, why should they use an apples-to-oranges comparison?

    • 0 avatar

      The reference was intended to add a little levity. So much for that then.
      I would submit that the Prius and Fusion situations are apples-to-apples in the sense that both involved temporary perceived brake failure and both are fixed with a simple software flash. And yet one is being recalled and the other is being handled with a “Customer Satisfaction Program.”
      I wasn’t trying to suggest that Ford is lying or deceiving, rather I was trying to point out that at this point in the media frenzy, Toyota should probably try to avoid using the “R-word” at all costs.
      Does all TTAC Toyota reportage have to include references to other automakers and/or allege conspiracy by the U.S. Government?
      Would you like me to sweepingly generalize your comments on the Toyota situation into a convenient box? I’m happy to try… and your handle should make it real easy.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      Levity only works for those with a sense of humour.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Todd,

      You’re missing the point … the comparison is valid because both of these issues are safety related (admittedly different systems and failure modes, but that is beside the point that is being illustrated here.)

      Toyota got behind the publicity and opinion curve, didn’t learn, and instead of proactively shaping events, events are reactively shaping Toyota’s response.

      By the time the Prius brake issue emerged, so much dirty water had been under the bridge, suspision was to be expected; Toyota’s continued sluggish performance only enhanced the situation.

      Ford (admittedly was able to take some cover behind Toyota’s problems) but they proactively moved to bring the product back before the media and the Feds began to lean on them.

  • avatar
    TR4

    WTF?
    First, how does a “short hose” deplete fluid? A leaky or broken one, maybe…
    Second, what does power steering have to do with brake fluid? Typically they are totally separate systems.
    The article was probably written by a slushbox driver who doesn’t know how to shift into neutral!

  • avatar
    cdotson

    From what I had read about the Camry recall, the power steering hose is short enough to pull across and vibrate against a brake hose. This may lead to wear-through of the brake hose and the subsequent loss of braking fluid and braking power.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    I don’t get it. Why is this all happening at once? And why is Toyota so quick to announce recalls and freeze vehicle sales? GM just denies it. The Vibe is the same freaking car as the Matrix but there is no recall. I’m also not sure why it’s as big of a story as it is. Recalls are announced all the time, many of them involving safety (potential fires, airbags not going off), but all of a sudden we’re in recall hysterics.

    If Toyota actually had anything that I wanted to buy, I’d be excited about this. Let the rubes freak out and quit buying so that Toyota busts out the incentives.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Does this not count as a recall:

      10V018000, dtd 21 Jan 2009: “GENERAL MOTORS IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2009-2010 PONTIAC VIBE VEHICLES. DUE TO THE MANNER IN WHICH THE FRICTION LEVER INTERACTS WITH THE SLIDING SURFACE OF THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL INSIDE THE PEDAL SENSOR ASSEMBLY…”

    • 0 avatar

      This didn’t happen all at once, and that’s why it’s significant.

      Toyota screwed up by dragging the accelerator issue out forever and NHTSA apparently screwed up by not flagging the issue long ago. When finally forced to address it, Toyota looked horrible, especially juxtaposed with their Quality rep. The other recalls wouldn’t be such a big deal, but for their poor handling of the the pedal recall. That recall gave credence to the analysis of Toyota’s 20 year quality decline, and now the company’s in a vicious circle. I think Toyota is handling this Camry recall well, and I expect more of the same if they’re serious about changing their ways.

      Short term sales will be hurt, but that’s not the problem. Toyota will most definitely survive this mess, but it’s up to their management to decide whether the lesson was learned.

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Ford would not have recalled these vehicles, under any guise, let alone published the recall. I’ve watched them walking around known issues for FAR too long to think otherwise.

  • avatar
    Ion

    A quick look at Toyota’s past TSBs tells me they would’ve called this a customer satisfaction program too

  • avatar

    I don’t see this recall as anything significant in and of itself. A small number of potentially affected cars are being recalled early in their lives to address a potential problem. Regardless of manufacturer, that’s a good thing, right?

    Lump this into the barrage of Toyota recalls, and it may indicate a change of stance by Toyota, which should be what everyone wants, politics be damned. Given the model year, the company seems to be ahead of the typical recall curve, and should be given a little credit for the effort.

    Ford and Toyota’s regen brake issues are being handled differently, but as the problem has been described, both approaches seem valid to me. Nothing actually failed with either system, but the perception of failure is there and could impact safety. Both companies are retuning their braking schemes, and all concerned should be happy if the fix works. Again, I don’t see a problem with either approach, and I thought Ed’s jibe was funny.

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Ion,

    I leased Rangers and Taurus for 15+ years. I can walk you through the Ranger history of ignored problems, and their decontenting matrix over time. The idiots even once left me on the side of the road one time. They decontented the low fuel warning lamp I lived by, and as I burned down the dealer-supplied first tank, guess what happened? I called my salesman from that roadside spot, and chewed him a new one, but what was he to do? Never mind the stripped out insulation that made the rig sound like a wind tunnel. They musta saved real big on those, at least $8-9 or so.

    Taurus? Junk transmissions. Sloppy. Cheap cost, no doubt. But none of this junk would have been in my driveway if I had to purchase it for more than 2 years. Their restyled oval was junk, fugly and the worst Taurus of the bunch.

    Yes, Toyota does TSB’s. They screw up, just like any maker. Let me know when Ford’s 5-year cost of ownership catches up with Toyota, however. I’ll give even money that it won’t happen within this decade, and that is the only measure of true value in my eyes.

  • avatar
    crash sled

    The Ranger fuel gage worked fine, but the 50-mile clock for the cheapest gas station around never started.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      You let your car run out of gas and it’s Ford’s fault?

      Alot of cars didn’t have the low gas light until the mid-90’s you can’t decontent something that wasn’t there in the first place.

      Furthermore I never said Ford was a great, bad transmissions, poor ball joints, noisy power steering pumps all things that have plagued Ford in the past.

      The point is lets not pretend Toyota’s so novel because they issued a recall for something they would have put out a TSB for or ignored if the world media didn’t have the spotlight on them.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      I used Edmunds a 2010 Ford Fusion SEL auto has a base price of 25,309 “true cost” is 39,395, a 2010 Camry LE has a base cost of 25,676 “true cost” is 41,427 that’s about grand higher than the Fusion which costs about 300 less. Edmunds is regional though.

  • avatar
    Odomeater

    It is now an everyday event. Another Toyota recall! It is unbelievable how the Japanese giant’s many obvious flaws are now apparent to all. The freefall and downward spiral is at full throttle!

  • avatar
    kevnsd

    There’s a well known saying in engineering circles… “Good, fast or cheap. Pick two”. Toyota has in their public statements and like most of the auto industry chosen “fast and cheap”… which is exactly what taking the “fat” out and “de-contenting” means in the real world. That their quality has slipped in real terms for them isn’t a surprise for anyone that designs, engineers and builds things for a living. It will be interesting to see how Mr Toyoda chooses for future products since the die has been cast for the autos they are now selling.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      That their quality has slipped in real terms for them isn’t a surprise for anyone that designs, engineers and builds things for a living.

      Except that, in real, objective terms, their defect rate and total cost-to-own have actually been going down since decontenting.

      It’s not as cut and dried and “decontenting = poor quality”, especially since the actual quality hits for Toyota and Honda came from ~1997 to ~2000 and have long since been addressed. Toyota and Honda had a real cost problem coming into the end of the last decade, and compared to how GM or Mercedes (or Nissan, to use a Japanese example) handled similar challenges. Yes, they had to take some of the more cost out of their cars and they had to stop making bespoke one-offs like the NSX and SC, but the actual statistics don’t bear out this quality drop off.

      This message has gotten lost in the hysteria of Pedalgate, but it bears repeating: the current, recalled woes are not quality issues, at least not when you use “quality” (or lack thereof) to define one of the major reasons the American marques pissed in their customers’ cornflakes. The Corvair and Pinto were bad moments for their respective marques, but the real damage was done not by the few flipped Chevrolets or burned Fords, but by the thousands of safe, mundane, unremarkable vehicles whose sin was to cost their owners lots of money in repairs.

      By that metric, Toyota does not have a quality problem. What they do have is a public-relations problem.

    • 0 avatar

      @ psarhjinian:

      You’re absolutely correct about quality not being a cut and dried matter. Toyota may not have raw defect rates that indicate lower quality, but one could subjectively argue that dead people are a defect multiplier. I don’t know how many GM transmission rebuilds equal a Toyota UA death, but it’s a powerful ratio, as Toyota management has learned.

      Your reminders of Toyota’s overall record of quality, low defect products rings true, which is why I discount the pig pile of hate Toyota has found itself under. The Big T is at a crossroads, and we should all hope they make a turn for the better.

  • avatar
    VerbalKint

    Who is the supplier of the hose? In what country was the incoming QC done?

  • avatar
    kevnsd

    psarhjinian: Wholeheartedly agree that this is a complex issue and most surely a public relations problem. And also agree that Toyota total cost of ownership has been number 1. That being said respectfully disagree that this isn’t at the highest levels a big Q quality matter. Toyota design & build defects and the system that allowed the defects to be made have killed and will continue killing human beings until they are fixed. With much admiration for this truly world class organization, Mr Toyoda and the entire Toyota eco-system has much to apologize for and much work to do to appropriately respond to this terrible situation.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Ford would have just called this a “Customer Satisfaction Program.”

    Ah, but this latest Toyota recall is a customer satisfaction program. For Hyundai customers.

  • avatar
    rockit

    Oh yes, your right.

    Well almost right..how about a customer satisfaction program for any car customer…except Toyota’s.

    Or maybe this latest Toyota recall is a customer satisfaction program for every customer in the WORLD regardless of industry!!!

    NOT

  • avatar
    lprocter1982

    Toyota can recall every car they produced in the last two years, and it won’t make a lick of difference in the long run. How many American manufacturers recall the same car multiple times? In three year’s time, Toyota will have limited recalls, while the Detroit (okay, the Detroit, Washington, and Italian) automakers are still having some quality issues. Toyota will fix what’s wrong and get back on track, and in three years time, these quality issues will be a forgotten memory.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Man there’s a lot of angry people on here today.
    I’m inclined to agree with Mr Niedermeyer though, if Ford and GM can get away with the likes of “Customer Satisfaction Programs” why are Toyota committing the equivalent of… I won’t say it… suicide – by issuing recalls for EVERYTHING? Do they honestly think this will win customers over with “Look, look we ARE fixing it”? In a world dominated by a majority of people getting their daily ‘truth’ through media outlets jumping on news stories and blowing them out of all proportion, it just seems dumb. Has Toyota’s PR department gone on holiday or something?

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Yes. You clear the deck of all bad news (recalls) in as short of time frame as you can. Business 101: Consolidate your losses.

    Toyota has made one stupid blunder after another and continues to do so. Getting this right is the exception.

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Ion,

    As mentioned, Ford ignores problems regularly, and I have 15+ years of customer experience in all the things they ignore. And I was only leasing, and didn’t have to pay the costs to repair their junk, which would have made it even worse.

    I also have 8+ years in Ford vehicle product development on the program management side, and direct hands on experience with the precise issues they ignore… statistics, dollars, all of it, including the first quality build issues that they’ve only recently decided to pay attention to, which they absolutely ignored for decades. In both first quality, AND durability and reliability, Toyota has always cleaned their clock. Ask any Ford guy who’s honest, and he’ll tell you.

    Second, stripping out a low fuel indicator lamp and allowing a customer to run out of gasoline has to be one of hte STUPIDEST things an automaker could possibly do. The rest of the decontenting they did was maddening enough, but that one takes the cake. You have to be braindead stupid to pull that. I can tell you, Ford’s decisions are historically braindead. They didn’t get where they are by accident, believe me.

    Tell it to my next door neighbor. A few years ago, his garage caught fire, and it spread to his house and gutted the interior. He had to move while it was being rebuilt. I wonder if that fire had anything to do with the 2 Fords parked in that garage? Maybe a little cruise control barbecue? He lost his kids’ parakeets in the fire, but if it’d happened at night, maybe it woulda been the kids. Another longterm Ford fiasco and death hazard, to go along with the transmissions that had people getting run over by their own cars here.

    It’s Toyota’s time in the box, and that’s fine. Let’s keep in mind who’s been making the vast majority of the junk and deathmobiles in this country, however.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      Engine sludge, rusty frames, leaky transmissions, engine block failures. You can not say Toyota does not have problems with their cars just like any other manufacturer. Their quality has been on a decline in recent years too their fit and finish in interiors are on par with Hyundai’s. Their amenities and standard features are behind other automakers.

      Toyota has become GM and lured themselves into a false sense of security thinking that people will buy their products on brand name alone.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      Where you part of a RIF program by any chance?

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Ion, whatever Toyota is, it’s above GM and Ford. That’s not just me saying that, that’s the market saying that. Let me know if that ever changes.

  • avatar
    Suprarush

    I don’t have any literature to back up this statement so its more of a question. How many manufacturers have issued a voluntary recall(s), which is what Toyota did for both the Prius software and the sticking accelerator pedal??

    What’s funny in this entire matter is the sense of stupidity which filters from the media on down. When the public hears that their (insert Toyota model here) can accelerate down the highway doing 100mph they fail to use the brakes which we all know overides the power from the engine and secondly its not like you take your foot off the gas and it depresses by itself again and takes off. The problem is it fails to return in a timely manner. How dumb is the media???

    And its quite funny to hear people talk about Toyotas quality and how they are trying to find ways build crappy vehicles that they hope the public will buy based on 40+ years of reputation. Tell that to the 2500 Engineers employed on the Prius project alone!

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Prius is part of Toyota’s problem. They’ve taken on that initiative, a money pit for sure, and a certain calibration and control nightmare, no matter how many engineers you throw at it, and coupled it with an initiative to drastically increase market share. Either would have been tough, together you’re just asking for trouble.

    Build cars people actually want. Build them right. Build more and grow incrementally if you can, build less if you must. Make money. Follow that simplicity and you’ll be fine. They forgot that, and Prius is the perfect case study.

    • 0 avatar
      Suprarush

      Build cars people want??? Prius is a global success, how can you say people wouldn’t want that car when it has sold over 2 million units worldwide. Toyota never strived to be the “biggest car company in the world and it defintely didn’t happen overnight. They DID build their vehicles in increments and sold what they had. You have no idea how frustrated Toyota customers were when they had to wait 8 weeks for a car. Industry average is 45 days for inventory, Toyota was working on 15 days, and they didn’t have cars sitting in fields like the Big 3 did/do always will. Can you honestly say customers were lining up to buy Corolla, Camry etc because they had 0% finance, $5000 rebate and a free coffee-maker? Not at all! Toyota doesn’t push their vehicles that way and they lag in incentives. Their Engineers were stressed to the max, the amount of overtime they were allowed to work in Japan was substantially reduced and demand was through the roof. Now what were saying about cars people want???

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Prius is an R&D project, prematurely implemented. It fails the “make money” test.

    People may want the cars, but you’re forgetting the other portion of my little test, that you have to “build them right”. And if you’re growing explosively, that becomes a difficult propositoin.

    All portions of this test are valid, and must be followed. You can’t pick and choose. Multiple major initiatives can’t be undertaken, not if they involve short circuiting your own process. That’s what Toyota did, and Prius is the perfect case study of this. It’s certainly a money pit, and I’d love to see the inside numbers for the cash flow on it.

    Any guesses from the crowd? I say it’s been at minimum a $15B development exercise, maybe more, and you can likely throw in some piece cost losses for each of those 2M you’re claiming sold. At a couple % points of NA market share, with zero hope of rising, you think they’re even coming close to balance? I don’t.

    Watch and observe this case study. This and Volt will be in the text books for the next century, I bet. And not in a good way.

    • 0 avatar
      Suprarush

      That is the type of innovation needed and with Toyota’s three year focus on cost savings, there is a good chance they can pull this off.

      Remember, Toyota sold 200,000+ Prius last year alone and a reasonable sampling of other models. Call them applied R&D but Toyota has over a decade of hybrids running ‘in real life,’ not PowerPoint engineering and ‘concept cars.’ They have been putting 10-20,000 of their higher powered hybrids out for real-life testing and learning the lessons of what works and doesn’t work.

      Toyota is in business to make money and this generation Prius will be profitable sooner than the last generation Prius. Economies of scale, especially with the unanticipated volume of the new Prius, will make that happen even earlier than initially projected.
      Hence the additional upfront cost of purchasing a Hybrid which is $4000-$6000 above and beyond a conventional vehicle. The cost of the R&D is ammortixed over the life of the vehicle, NOT the first car sold…..

  • avatar
    crash sled

    The last generation of Prius didn’t make money, and that seems clear. No reason to think another generation will make money. You’ll need to provide the numbers that Toyota and the other hybrid diletantes are hiding, if you want to convince us otherwise.

    I guessed at least $15B spent to date, and that is a minumum figure, remember, perhaps not including buried costs, other direct and indirect costs, and thus the real number is far greater. Management energy absorbed in this initiative has likely eaten into their time and market share drive, and compromised both.

    There is no economy of scale here. You’re looking at the top end, right now, today, and hybrids are a 5-year cost of ownership DISASTER. Nobody I know will drive one. Once Hollywood is fully stocked, and all the university professors, that’s it. That’s your yearly segment… 1-2% of the market, if you’re lucky, and the certain to come calibration disasters might even preclude that. Enjoy.

    You have to make money in the car business. To do so, you have to sell products that compette in the marketplace. Hybrids do not. They fail any reasonable test. It’s an R&D project, and an expensive one.

    Wait for Volt, and watch the real fireworks start. And this one will be on CSPAN, because it’s Government Motors.

    • 0 avatar
      Suprarush

      lol here I did some quick math for you.
      Maybe we are approaching this the wrong way. Perhaps we should calculate how much money Toyota has given away by selling their hybrids for the past 11 years at a loss.

      $40,000 – Volt projected price (since the ‘analysts’ don’t volunteer the $$)
      $25,000 – estimated average Toyota hybrid price
      ———
      $15,000 – Toyota’s loss/donation per hybrid

      x 1,000,000 – Toyota’s hybrid production
      ————-
      $15,000,000,000 – Toyota’s total donation to hybrid owners

      Yippie!! Toyota has given away $15 B. by under pricing their hybrid costs.

      What great humanitarians! What a wonderful Santa Claus!

      What brilliant accountants who have hidden this $15 B. loss from their share holders and ‘the industry.’ After all, we have these unnamed ‘analysts’ who claim Toyota has been losing money all along. Let’s agree and tell them how much has been lost per unit.

      And BTW the Prius out sells the Fusion worldwide, should Ford pack up shop in Mexico since it reaches an even smaller margin?

  • avatar
    crash sled

    You’re correct, Toyota has hidden their hybrid cash flow from “the industry”, and your guesses shed no light on this. Is it hidden from their shareholders sa well? I’d say so, as it also appears to be hidden from Volt’s GM shareholders to this point, and Government Motors is making no overtures to disclose it, and WE are that shareholder. Think Toyota is operating more openly than that? I don’t.

    Yes, Ford should pack up and get out of hybrids. It’s a cost of ownership DISASTER, and customers dont’ want it, any more than they want Toyota hybrids. Hollywood and Ivy Leaguers don’t count as customers, by the way.

    Let me know when you produce real numbers. Mine are based upon some years spent on management of vehicle and powertrain automotive product development programs, and preparing documentation for board of director review, the REAL numbers, all of which indicates to me that the $15B I mention is a LOW figure.

    Hybrids are a loser, and the customers know it. Let us know when you find real data on how much this loser is costing Toyota, or any of them for that matter.

    • 0 avatar
      Suprarush

      Since it was your opinion I beleive you should be showing “true data” otherwise. Obviously you are against hybrids and thats up to you, but give everyone the hard facts of what its costing Toyota before you do anymore calculations on your abacus. You could spend all the time on drivetrains and management, that means nothing to me! Dana corporation spent a lifetime building a global parts conglomerate, do you mind telling me how they’re doing now? X amount and management specialists and y amount of board of director reviews landed in them filing for bankruptcy cause they didn’t read the market. Up until recently it was so bad they requested everyones petty cash and wanted inventory counts on toilet paper.
      Fact is Toyota spends money and gets its return, they have the assests to purchase 75% of the automotive industry (not that they would) but you seemed to have underachieved via your own profession if you’re attacking what has made Toyota so successful.

  • avatar
    crash sled

    You’re the one bleating that Prius is profitable, absent any data whatsoever to support your position. Provide some, as requested, else you’re left listening to experience… and that experience says a minimum of $15B spent so far on that program, and likely far more. Toyota certainly isn’t providing data, and that’s telling. We have the customer data of course, and they don’t want it. Why should they? It costs them more money than market based alternatives.

    And I’m underachieving enough professionally to be dumb enough to believe the customers. You should try paying attention to that sometime. You might learn something.

    • 0 avatar
      Suprarush

      Very clever although I’m the one who introduced that Toyota wasn’t taking a nap with their quality as mentioned above with the 2500 engineers working on the Prius project alone. It was you whom declared that it was none other than a lesson in futility. It was “you” who touted that there isn’t a market, it won’t last, Ivy leaguers, Professors and Celebrities will be fully stocked (your words not mine) and the market share will only be 1-2% in NA. Again your first words about Toyota seemed to be an agenda about Prius being a make money fail test yet you’ve still shown zero relevance in terms of numbers and data other than what you “think” you know and what is reality. You opined, now back it up!
      Keep trolling I do declare I do!!
      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/prius-profit-made-in-america/
      And the grass is greener in philly today too!

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Hmmmm, so you searched and searched, and finally tracked down some guy’s blogged question from 18 months ago, asking whether Toyota’s claimed reduction in the cost of their hybrid system was real or fake?

    THAT’S the response you give, to a request for you to provide data to support your absurd claims about making profit on the Prius?

    Look kid, let me know if you can ever, at any point, track down some proof of what you’re rambling about here.

    And I’d suggest you check current and recent historical sales numbers, as a start to your education on this topic.

    Oh, and save the personal insults, as it’s really not helping you make your case. You’re clearly not very knowledgeable in automotive neigneering, finance and vehicle program development, but that’s no reason to act like a boor on the internet.

    • 0 avatar
      Suprarush

      Ha ha ha Looks like somebody has no back up AGAIN!!!

      You’ve been had and shown for what you are, a hybrid troller. You go on about the dynamics of a POS Excursion and all its glory, the profit over CAFE restrictions and the aligning of Super Duty to allocate potential customers but tear down the R&D of a Prius and its profitabilty. Take your Excursion to Wal_Mart and I’ll keep an eye out for you when the next email slide-show hits my inbox. Good work!
      Whats next the disection of United Fruit and how it applies to Toyota?

      Thanks for the entertainment the lesson endth here!

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Whatever, kid. Let us know if you ever track down that alleged Prius profitablility data.

    As for me and the rest of North American customers, we won’t be spending much time tracking down a new Prius, because it don’t pay.

    Same as it ever was.

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Ford Fusion. Nice rig, a little tinny but acceptable for my purposes. I’d do ‘er again. I like it better than my run of Taurus in past years. Still a mite claustrophobic in such vehicles, but such is life. Performancewise, I get what I need out of it, and most importantly, it hasn’t left me on the side of the road.

    Toyota Tacoma. Ford refused to sell me a 4-banger Ranger, even when I strapped on an explosives vest and stood in front of my salesman demanding one. So I did the unthinkable, and went riceburner. FAR superior than Ranger. Zero down, 2 years in, and I’m long past right-side up on resale value, a data point I don’t think you can ever reach on Ranger. But it’s a fuqqin riceburner.

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Don’t say that too loud, Richard Perry Jones might be reading this. Maybe he’s Sir Richard by now, I don’t know.

    Ford has a real nice Ranger rig out of Thailand, that would kick Toyota’s behind I’m sure, if they ever brought it over, but they can’t get it over the docks without paying the chicken tax.

    I still can’t believe they killed 4-cylinder RIGHT as gas skyrocketed. They were even planning on ’08 being the last Ranger, if you can believe it.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Imagefont: The Fluke 87V is the standard. I have two, a backup so I can get the other one calibrated annually.
  • EBFlex: Muskrat has been a delusional snake oil salesman from the start.
  • DenverMike: To be clear, that’s 26K lbs combined truck and trailer, gross/max for non CDL. 2wd regular cab...
  • spookiness: This car seems to have a goiter problem on it’s roof. Get some iodine bro!
  • Arthur Dailey: But no replacement in Windsor for the discontinued Caravan. Unless Voyager and Pacifica assembly steps...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber