On Wed, 03 Feb 2010 15:48:16 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Toyota denies all problems that have potential widespread repair cost
or potential human liability concerns until they become so flagrant
and the uproar so great that they can no longer deny them.
The did it with sludge problem, denying it was their responsibility
and claiming that it would not happen if the owner changed oil
regularly. Then enough documented cases of where the owner HAD changed
the oil regularly and HAD documentation and proved that it still
happens under proper maintenance. Even so, despite having had it
PROVED that the problem was NOT directly tied to incorrect oil change
frequency, Toyota still refused to pay for the extraordinary repairs
to any car where the owner could not produce detailed documentation of
changes. Nice policy.
Next we had the truck frame problem... more denials, until the uproar
became deafening. Now we have the accelerator problem, very wide
spread, and Toyota again denies any responsibility (for years) until
every excuse they have come up with is proven wrong and the problem
grows to most all their car lines.
I had my own experience with Toyota's policy of "deny everything" back
in the mid 80's. My $300 warranty claim was denied by corporate and I
quickly worked my way to the regional director. He refused to discuss
the specific issue, but instead repeatedly read me a letter from the
corporate lawyers denying responsibility. The issue was not the
validity of my $300 warranty claim, it was the fact that it exposed
Toyota to admitting to improper design in an area where loss of life
was a serious possibility.
This isn's about the "big three". We all know they suck. This is about
Toyota and their real colors showing, again and again. "We build a
great product - unless there's a design defect that will cost us big -
then you are on your own, sucker".
Well, I've had different experience with Toyota than you have - from
the other side, albeit quite a few years ago.
I was a dealer service manager.
Warranty on Toyotas was a WHOLE LOT EASIER than it was on American
stuff at that time.
As service manager I had a lot of "discression" - If it was a problem
I fixed it and fought with Toyota Canada if I had to. I can't remember
ever losing the arguement.
There WAS a cultural thing - no "whitey"- particularly a simple
mechanic - could ever tell a Jap - particularly an engineer - how to
I made a lot of suggestions - and showed how I had fixed certain
problems - and eventually a little Jap engineer would come up with a
fix for the problem - which very often was the fix I had come up with
- but now it was the Jap Engineer's fix.
And I dissagree there too. At least to a point.
When a problem shows up and is proven, they come up with a fix - and
they fix it. If under warranty, at their expense. If not, it depends
what the problem is and what the fix is - not what it is going to cost
them. Some of the more expensive solutions were covered, with a lot
less fuss than some of the cheeper ones.
Their solution of buying back and scrapping pickups with possible bad
frames is more expensive than supplying replacement frames on the long
run - but it gets the "problem" solved permanently.
Now the BIG question- - - - - -
IS the pedal sticking the WHOLE problem with the throttle systems???
It is definitely PART of the problem, and I trust the fix they have
come up with will solve THAT problem. And it is a very simple fix .
Is there a deeper problem???? Perhaps - but untill that problem is :
1 - confirmed
2- isolated and identified
it cannot be addressed. Just like the pedal problem.
When it IS confirmed and it IS isolated and identified, you can be
sure it WILL be addressed and repaired. And the repair for THAT
problem, whatever it proves to be, will also be done right.
At this point they could dig into and rewrite all the code for the
controller and just make it WORSE instead of better, not knowing what,
if any, problem exists in the code.
They could add layers of protection to hide whatever the problem is -
and just mask it untill it becomes even worse because the real cause
is ignored. Toyota does not do it that way, generally speaking.. They
want to identify what REALLY is wrong and solve the problem at the
source. Generally the most cost effective as well as the most
effective way overall to solve a problem - and learn from it so THAT
problem won't catch them again.
On Fri, 05 Feb 2010 18:10:33 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
Not my experience as a three time owner. Sure, run of the mill stuff
got fixed. As soon as I ran into an issue that (repair of) would have
triggered a widespread recall and millions of cars to repair, it hit
the legal channels. The proof was in teh pudding - My claim was worth
about $300 for parts and labor to fix, but instead they paid a
regional manager to talk to me and for the corporate lawyers to draw
up a letter with specifics concerning my class denying my claim.
Again, their actions in the sludge issue, the frame rot issue, and the
accelerator issue (years of denial) support my opinion.
The only "culture" issue I see is not one of ethnicticity, although it
may be a derivative of cultural heritage and tradition. Toyota comes
on strong when there is a major issue and refuses to accept fault.
That is, in many ways, a traditional Japanese style of management.
Again, not my experience, or that of people with problems like sludge
or this sudden acceleration issue. Were you still at a dealer when the
sludge problem appeared?
They've refused to put time into even finding the problem. Hence the
hard step of the NHTSA into the arena. They kept denying and denying
as long as they could - until the uproar forced them to recognize it.
If they'd spent more time believing owners instead of denying the
problem, it would probably be fixed already.
Yeah, now that their reputation is on the line, they want to fix it.
They didn't seem to care before it reached critical mass - as with
every major problem.
What were the details - year and model - failure mode???
No - but I DO know, from talking to they guys still there, that NO
vehicle that had it's oil changed every 5000KM or 4 months ever came
into that dealership with a sludge problem. Not a single one.
Same at the local Chrysler dealerships.
That is not totally true. This "uninteded accelleration" or "sticky
throttle" issue has been being investigated by toyota dealer, at least
in Canada for quite some time, but untill they could actually get one
to stick while in a mechanic's hands, there was not an awfull lot THEY
could do about it.
At the time of the recall there were LESS THAN 12 CONFIRMED incidents
of throttles sticking in Canada, and NO ACCIDENTS.
Again. Not my experience in the almost 13 years I worked at Toyota
dealerships starting from 1971 ( with a long break in between).
Almost the same in Europe where there have been four reports of
accidents and no injuries. As Europe has over 500 million people and
USA only 300 million, the problem would seem to be America being a far
more litigate minded society, jumping on the bandwagon of getting
something for nothing.
Doubtful. The news articles about the guys who filed the class action
specifically mentioned they had PROOF in the form of receipts for oil
changes from the Toyota dealers for the required service intervals. Unless
the dealers were selling them sub-standard oil, the evidence clearly pointed
to a bad engineering change. Toyota backed down and extended the warranty,
which speaks volumes to me that the problem was very real and they knew it.
It is not doubtfull at all - and what you said does not contradict
what I said. Read it again. And again -
I said with oil changed ever 5000KM - that is 3000 MILES, or every 3
months. (sorry - I said 4 months - I meant 4 changes per year - every
The A schedule required maintenance allows significantly longer drain
intervals - and it is these longer drain intervals that caused the
problem in both Toyota and Chrysler - as well as Honda..
The vast majority of the cars that had the problem TECHNICALLY should
have been following the "extreme conditions" schedule.
Toyota extended the warranty because they allowed the longer drain
intervals and didn't design the engine to be able to accept those
longer drain intervals under adverse conditions.
According to the Automotive News, the Extreme schedule is 5,000 miles and
the extended is 7,500 miles. NOBODY should have been changing at 3,000
miles if they were following the service manual recommendation. If they
were changing that often, I would expect there wouldn't be any sludging, but
as you point out, Toyota didn't design for that interval!
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