Toyota Pickup Scores Below-Perfect on Safety

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Toyota Pickup Scores Below-Perfect on Safety New York Times 03/20/07 by Nick Bunkley c. 2006 New York Times Company
DETROIT, March 19 -- Detroit's automakers are getting some help from
the federal government, at least in terms of their efforts to find flaws in the new pickup built by their Japanese rival Toyota Motor.
The Toyota Tundra failed to achieve a five-star rating in head-on crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- tests that have given perfect scores to all full- size pickups made by Detroit.
Given Toyota's reputation for building safe cars, the Tundra's four- star rating is viewed by many as an embarrassment for the automaker, which has acknowledged the Tundra to be the most important vehicle it has ever sold in the United States.
"It's surprising, because people just kind of assume they'll get the five," said Dan Edmunds, director of automotive testing at Edmunds.com, a Web site that gives car-buying advice to consumers. "I'm sure they're not happy with that rating."
Five stars indicate that the chances of suffering serious injuries are less than 10 percent, while four stars mean the chances are 11 percent to 20 percent. The ratings do not show how close the Tundra came to earning five stars -- all consumers will see is that the Tundra rates one star less than its competitors, Mr. Edmunds said.
The government has proposed changes to its crash-test rating system because it says too many vehicles receive five stars.
"The Big Three are certain to try to capitalize on this from a marketing and promotional standpoint, because the Tundra is a pretty strong truck," Mr. Edmunds said. "They're going to be looking for a weakness to exploit."
A Toyota spokesman, Bill Kwong, said the automaker "would have loved to see five" but noted that its own testing found that the Tundra meets or exceeds all crash-protection standards.
"If somebody's tests show that our vehicle is not quite there, we need to go back to the drawing board and find out why," Mr. Kwong said. "I'll bet our engineering team is crawling all over this thing as we speak and trying to find out what went on."
Detroit's automakers began trying to pick apart the Tundra long before it went on sale in February. Recently a General Motors sales manager sent an e-mail message to dealers disputing claims Toyota makes in its ads for the truck.
A Ford Motor Company spokesman, Jim Cain, suggested that the Tundra's rating could be incorporated into Ford's advertising campaign, which compares the abilities of vehicles like its own F-series pickup with those of competing products.
"Why wouldn't we?" Mr. Cain said. "They can't beat us on capability and now they can't match us on safety."
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I think it would be stupid for Ford or GM or Dodge to make a big issue of this. I am sure that by next year the Tundra will have 5 stars. I am shocked that it didn't form the beginning. Stooping to Toyota's level would be stupid. Every time you compare "your" truck to "their" truck, you are putting their truck on a plateau and telling peopel you are just trying to be as good. Far better to just tell people what your truck can do and make sure it is the best.
Ed
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I think GM should use it.
Then we could see the replays of the 'saddle tank' fires....
http://www.autosafety.org/article.php?didP4&scid
--

Scott in Florida




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BUT, the facts are that trucks with the side saddle tanks didn't have a higher fire rate than trucks that did not.
I am old enough to remember when pick-up truck fuel tanks were inside the cab, right behind the seat and the filler neck was right behind the driver door. Compared to this, the side saddle tanks were rally safe.
Maybe we could see the phony NBC video where they used rocket motors to ignite a fire during a crash test so that they could "prove" the tanks were dangerous.
Ed
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Who cares? Four or five is still pretty safe. Plus the Tyota will last much longer and be more reliable than Detroit's attempts. Ford and GM are scared, plain and simple, now that Toyota has beaten them in the big truck dept that US makers had a monopoly on for many years. Toyota already has taken a great deal of market share from US brands. If Toyota was smart they would market a vehicle in every niche that is still a stronghold for Detroit. Take a v8 from a lexus and put it in a sports car to have mustangs running, a convertible suv to take on the Wrangler etc. Then Americans will have no trouble finding quality vehicles to meet all their needs

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*snipping rest*
Chewing gum flavor lasts longer than many of their cars.
Natalie
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My father had a 1970 Chevy C10 with a 250 that lasted around 20 years. Most of its trips were about 300 m. He had a Chevy S10 and a Toyota SR5. The Chevy lasted about 20 years and is still going. The Toyota has been recycled at the junkyard after about 15 years. And both trucks did extra duty. The guy who mostly drives them now puts an extra load on it when he gets in.
The Chevy trucks were definitely better than the Toyota.
I think the Toyota will be a good truck. If I were considering a truck to replace my car or as a supplement, I would consider a Ridgeline or a Toyota as well as the trucks from the Michigan 3. If I were considering a truck as a work truck or to plow snow or something real, I would stick with the Michigan 3.
The Toyota may turn out to be as tough as the Michigan 3, but until Toyota proves it (Just like they have with their cars), I'd stick with the Michigan 3.
Jeff
Jeff
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"Jeff" <...

Let me rephrase that.
Chewing gum flavor lasts longer than many *late model* GM cars. And I've conceded many times that I think GM/Ford trucks are at least as good if not better than Toyotas, based on what I've seen with owners.
Better?
Natalie
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I'd suggest toyota make a real Landcruiser- with a removable top. Great off road and better quality than the Wrangler. Then I'd sell a v8 sports coupe to put mustang, camaro, etc out

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--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
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Nice to be a loyalist and you are entitled to your opinion but what make you think Toyota trucks outlast domestics? They certainly have not shown any ability to do so today. The Camry is the best selling mid size car because more Americans believe it is a better car on which to spend their money, but Americans in 2006 bought 35% of the trucks sold from Ford, 32% from GM and only a measly 5% from Toyota. Apparently truck buyers do not agree with your opinion.
Toyota wisely only puts V8 in their RWD cars. As for a sporty car they already have the Solara, but it is only a six that drives the Wrong end do the vehicle to be a performance car. It costs at least 25% more than the V8 Mustang to drive home.
Mike

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Look at worldwide markets. How many Ford, GM and dodge trucks are working in South America, Africa etc. I will buy a Jap truck anyday and KNOW it will last a long time. The solara is not a sporty car, Its a 2 door camry. If they sell a coupe equivalent to a camaro 'stang or Daytona they will rule that market too

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Isn't that what the Celica was?
Ford and GM sell many trucks in South America.
Ed
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Any proof that Toyota trucks last much longer and are more reliable? I've never seen Toyota make this claim. I have seen both Chevrolet and Dodge make this sort of claim. I'd sure like to see some figures that actually prove any particular truck brand is longer lasting and more reliable. Of course the figures will have to break it down by usage. I am sure a Toyota truck being used as a commuter vehicle will last much longer than a Ford truck being used in a rock quarry.
Ed
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and what does this have to do with ford trucks???

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wrote in message<...>

You need to learn to stop top-posting.
You're going to get like Mike. ;-)
Jeff
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why do people insist on posting nothing???
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This is akin to picking on a straight A student getting one B one a test. Ford is surely getting desperate.
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