By on February 7, 2010

Readers of the Nikkei [sub] were greeted this morning with the purported news that by the end of this month, Toyota “is expected” to recall its Sai and Lexus HS250h hybrids, which use the same braking system as the Prius hybrid. Furthermore, “the company is believed to have decided” to recall the current Prius, “and is expected” to notify the Transport Ministry of the plan early this week.

The Nikkei notes that Toyota “told the press Friday that there was nothing wrong with the braking system for the Prius, which hit the market last May. However, it appears to have decided that a recall was the best way to address growing customer concerns and complaints worldwide about braking problems.”

Translation: Toyota has retreated to an undisclosed location and has cut all communication links with the outside. When they emerge with the official recall announcement, it will be greeted with “haven’t they been recalled already?” Some really confused customers will think, the cars have been recalled again.

Update: As the sun set over Toyota City in the Japanese evening,  the headlines were that the stock market doesn’t like Asahi Brewery’s new president, and that Danone will double its yogurt output in Thailand.  Toyota continued to maintain strict EMCON in the interest of OPSEC.

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9 Comments on “Toyota Recalls: (Un)intended Ambiguity?...”

  • avatar

    A Hybrid recall seems like a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” situation for Toyota. If they do recall it this close to the pedal fiasco they run the risk of further damaging their reliability image. If they don’t they run the risk of looking like they’re covering it up or ignoring it.

    I think under normal circumstances this would have been a TSB ala Ford. It’s not like Toyota doesn’t have TSBs out for a myriad of reasons on several of their models already. The problem is the press is likely to have a field day with it now.

    • 0 avatar

      They might be able to get away with a TSB for the Sai/HS250h if there are not many complaints filed and call it a proactive move (comes down to if there have been any serious accidents and volume of complaints), but they obviously need to do a full-blown recall on Prius’ considering how they’ve handled it in the media, anything else will be met with cynicism.

      At this point, if there is any question or doubt surrounding the HS250h/Sai they need to act on it. After the Prius recall they shouldn’t wait till a news agency starts questioning the HS250h and this whole PR mess drags on again. The congressional hearings on the 10th and 25th (and a possibility a fine) are all that’s left that will feed this story, and unless Lahood opens his mouth again this Toyota Recall news should fade down during the Winter Olympics.

  • avatar
    Detroit Todd

    Damned Bolsheviks!

    I’m sure that Pelosi and Obama dropped the engineering problems into Toyota just so this very scenario would work out! How (eventual) Finland Station of them!

    (Bertel in five, four, three, two…..)

  • avatar

    Blue’s (B.S.) lack of SIGINT for OPSEC due to Red’s (TMC) EMCON, and lack of local HUMINT and confusion w/in Red’s C2 (Command & Control) struture due to defecit of “EMO(tional)INT” or “CUL(tural)INT as secondary and tertiary exacerbating factors respectively.

    Willoughby, Maj. Gen.
    dictated, not read

  • avatar


    • 0 avatar

      Even though Willoghby was a german-born spook, Fertig was orders of magnitude cooler!

      This Fertig quote is the essence of Kaizen: “I am called on to lead a resistance movement against an implacable enemy under conditions that make victory barely possible even under the best circumstances. But I feel that I am indeed a Man of Destiny, that my course is charted and that only success lies at the end of the trail. I do not envision failure; it is obvious that the odds are against us and we will not consistently win, but if we are to win only part of the time and gain a little each time, in the end we will be successful.”

  • avatar

    Anyone else think Hyundai is gonna take Toyota’s rep for quality after watching the game yesterday? Some good Super Bowl car ads. See ’em here:

  • avatar

    BREAKING: AP reports Toyota will recall 270k Priuses Tuesday, 1 day ahead of congressional testimony (denied by Toyota spokesperson, and unknown to recall-responsible man in Jpn govt.)

    If it is just a software issue, why the foot-dragging … I am beginning to have a feeling of unease that software re-flash is only part of the story and that there is a hardware-related issue going on here too … (maybe changes in the ECU, or, or…) … and that the extra cost of tearing out something, or of calling-attention to something is the cause of the foot-dragging …

    • 0 avatar

      Robert.W: “I am beginning to have a feeling of unease that software re-flash is only part of the story and that there is a hardware-related issue going on here too…”

      I have had this feeling as well, almost from day one of this circus. I suspect in the future we’ll hear the entire sordid story, and that there was a confluence of softwear, firmware and hardware issues, and that ToMoCo was scrambling for answers for a lot longer than we know presently.

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