Following in GM's footsteps: Toyota Stupidity

Stupid is as stupid does. Dexcool, gaskets, etc., etc. Toyota follows the GM example. The Feds protecting their investment.
Toyota: Recalls Won't Totally Fix Gas Pedal Issues
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/23/toyota-recalls-wont-total_n_473775.html
WASHINGTON — The president of Toyota's U.S. operations acknowledged to skeptical lawmakers on Tuesday that the company's recalls of millions of its cars may "not totally" solve the problem of sudden and dangerous acceleration.
"We are vigilant and we continue to look for potential causes," Toyota's James Lentz told a congressional panel. However, he repeated his company's position that unexpected acceleration in some of the company's most popular cars and trucks was caused by one of two problems – misplaced floor mats and sticking accelerator pedals.
He insisted electronic systems connected to the gas pedal and fuel line did not contribute to the problem, drawing sharp criticism from lawmakers who said such a possibility should be further explored – and from a tearful woman driver who could not stop her runaway Lexus.
"Shame on you, Toyota," Rhonda Smith, of Sevierville, Tenn., said at a congressional hearing. Then she added a second "shame on you" directed at federal highway safety regulators.
Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton cautioned his colleagues early in the hearing against conducting a "witch hunt" and said "We don't want to just assume automatically that Toyota has done something wrong and has tried to cover it up." But midway through Lentz's testimony, Barton said of Toyota's investigation of the problems: "In my opinion, it's a sham."
Lentz said the company had not completely ruled out an electronics malfunction and was still investigating causes of the sudden acceleration. Still, "We have not found a malfunction" in the electronics of any of the cars at issue, he said.
As to Smith's harrowing story, "I'm embarrassed for what happened," Lentz said. "I want her and her husband to feel safe about driving our products," Lentz said.
Three congressional panels are investigating Toyota's problems, which affect a huge number of Americans. Toyota has recalled some 8.5 million vehicles worldwide – more than 6 million in the United States – since last fall because of unintended acceleration problems in multiple models and braking issues in the Prius hybrid. It is also investigating steering concerns in Corollas. People with Toyotas have complained of their vehicles speeding out of control despite efforts to slow down, sometimes resulting in deadly crashes. The government has received complaints of 34 deaths linked to sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles since 2000.
Lentz, who choked up while discussing the death of his own brother more than 20 years ago in a car accident, said he understood the pain. Story continues below
"I know what those families go through," he said.
Lentz has said in the past that he was confident Toyota's fixes on the recalled vehicles would correct the problems.
But when pressed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., on whether the two recalls Toyota put in place to deal with the issue would completely solve it, Lentz replied: "Not totally."
Still, he said chances of unintended accelerations were "very, very slim" once the recall was complete. Lentz also said Toyota was putting in new brakes that can override the gas pedal on almost all of its new vehicles and a majority of its vehicles already on the road.
Meanwhile, Toyota president Akio Toyoda, who will testify before a separate panel on Wednesday, said he took "full responsibility" for the uncertainty felt by Toyota owners and offered his condolences to a San Diego, Calif., family who were killed in late August, reigniting interest in the problems.
"I will do everything in my power to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again," Toyoda said in prepared testimony for Wednesday's hearing to the House Government Oversight Committee. "My name is on every car. You have my personal commitment that Toyota will work vigorously and unceasingly to restore the trust of our customers."
Lawmakers heard a brief, but riveting, description from Smith, the Tennessee woman whose Toyota-made Lexus suddenly zoomed to 100 miles per hour as she tried to get it to stop – shifting to neutral, trying to throw the car into reverse and hitting the emergency brake. Finally, her car slowed enough that she was able to pull it off the road onto the median and turn off the engine.
Fighting back tears, she described her nightmare ride of October 2006, calling it "a near death experience."
"After six miles, God intervened" and slowed the car, she said. She added that it took a long time for Toyota to respond to her complaints.
In an often contentious full day of testimony, lawmakers returned again and again to the question of whether electronic malfunctions may have contributed to the speeding cars.
"We are confident that no problems exist with the electric throttle control system in our vehicles," Lentz said. He cited "fail-safe mechanisms" in the cars that were designed to shut off or reduce engine power "in the event of a system failure."
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the panel in prepared testimony that possible electronics problems were being looked into by his agency. He said the company's recalls were important steps but "we don't maintain that they answer every question."
Toyota hired a consulting firm to analyze whether electronic problems could cause unintended acceleration. The firm, Exponent Inc., found no link between the two. But committee investigators said the testing studied only a small number of vehicles
Tracking down an electrical problem can be far more difficult, expensive and time-consuming than finding a mechanical problem. Electrical problems can have more than one source, and they can come from inside or outside the car. Mechanical problems often leave clues such as physical damage, where electronic troubles can be hidden in software or leave no trace at all.
House investigators who reviewed Toyota's customer call database found that 70 percent of the complaints of sudden acceleration were for vehicles that are not subject to the recalls over floor mats or sticky pedals.
Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., chairman of the subcommittee, said Toyota "misled the American public by saying that they and other independent sources had thoroughly analyzed the electronics systems and eliminated electronics as a possible cause of sudden unintended acceleration when, in fact, the only such review was a flawed study conducted by a company retained by Toyota's lawyers."
Lentz apologized anew for the company's slow handling of problems. "We have not lived up to the high standards our customers and the public have come to expect from Toyota," he said.
"Put simply, it has taken us too long to come to grips with a rare but serious set of safety issues, despite all of our good faith efforts," said Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales USA. Inc.
Separately, among hundreds of Toyota dealers lobbying members of Congress Tuesday, there seemed to be widespread rancor toward a federal government they view as picking on the automaker, at least in part because of the government's investment of billions of dollars in General Motors and Chrysler.
"That's hard for me as a citizen to understand why my tax dollars are going in that direction," Paul Atkinson, a Houston-area Toyota dealer, said at a news conference that also served as a pep rally for the visiting dealers. "To compete with the government as an individual entrepreneur is pretty tough."
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Civis Romanus Sum

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Did you hear that woman's "story?" I have one word for it - IMPOSSIBLE. If anyone should be ashamed, she should be. She was either lying or demented. And the Congressperson that invited her to speak should be ashamed for allowing such obvious drivel to be presented.
Toyota may deserve to be roasted, but not based on that crap.
Ed
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I heard it. And I had some misgivings about her dramatic presentation as well.
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wrote in message

I don't doubt the acceleration, but she said it continued even after shifting into neutral. How could that be? Is the shifting electronic also?
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She said it continued even after she left the car.
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On 25/02/2010 7:39 AM, C. E. White wrote:

Toyota is being targeted. The populatiy effect, pounce on the mouse.
If I was Toyota, I would stop investing in the USA. Make money or start closing plants.
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wrote:

I'm not so sure they're being "targeted" as much as the teflonฎ has finally worn off. Their "legendary quality" has been a figment of their marketing deptartment for a long time. Not that their vehicles are necessarily all bad, but when you pound away with how quality-conscious you are, you'd better deliver and not stonewall when there's a problem. This mentality has been around there for a long time, they just got away with it before. Keep in mind that every time GM or Ford has a safety issue it's page one. For the longest time Toyota's problems were a couple paragraphs buried in the business section.
If I was Toyota, I'd cut way back on redundant models and/or models that are only minimally successful instead of trying to cover every possible market niche. If they want to be seen as the "green auto company" what are they doing building big gas hogs like the Turdra, FJ Cruiser, etc. Except for the kleenex box, the whole Scion line is a dog, get rid of it. Why do they need multiple compact wagons, 2 minivans, etc.
That's what I'd do...focus on a market segment and do it right like Honda or Suburu have done instead of trying to have something for everyone and doing it half-assed. Those days are gone.
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Actually Toyota growth came buy emulating what the domestics where doing, building what American buys want to buy.
Toyota grew by making their cars bigger and more powerful, building SUVs and trucks a well as adding a line of high profit luxury cars.
If they had continued to make only the small and midget cars they were importing they would not have grown to what they are today.
Toyota biggest market is the USA, over half of the profits if earns come from the US and taken back to Japan, US Federal Corporate Tax free

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Mike,
The bit about US taxes is not true. If you would do a deep search of the super secret IRS web site, you would find that Toyota is paying trillions in taxes. I'd post a link, but I know how much you hate other people doing research for you.
Ed
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Perhaps, but if you did search the Treasury site you must have discovered there was not a penny to the US treasury, in the form of US Federal Corporate Income taxes.
The only taxes Toyota pays in the US are State, local and FICA taxes.

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I jsut checked the super secret Treasury Department Web Site. It comfirmas that Toyota paid 2 trillion dollars in gold directly to the tresury. You must have miss spelled Toyota when you did your search. Try again, I am sure you'll find it this time.
I'd give you the link, but I know you hate it when someone actaully provides a verifiable reference.
Ed
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Ya' right

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Once again our friend Canuck57 is telling us the sky is falling. LOL

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On 23/02/2010 3:19 PM, Jim Higgins wrote:

Not really, Toyota has a long way to go to catch up to GM.
Even GM's new partner NHFTA numbers show that.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/23/toyota-recalls-wont-total_n_473775.html
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Once again our friend Canuck57 is telling us the sky is falling. LOL

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