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Toyota on the mend?

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  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Yeah I have an oil burning, dying Tercel. It's a '91, but I hear their engines were underdesigned even before that generation.

    The engine's terrible, but the car does have quality touches that other cars in its class (and time period) don't. The interior panels... no sign of screws. They're well hidden. The steering is better done than Nissan's manual steering. The ride, while pathetic, beats some of its competition (all but the Civic CX, I'd say). The manual transmissions hold up better than Sentras' and Sunbirds'.

    The Echo wasn't bad in its trunkless version sold in the rest of the world (under different names). It did very well. It was basically the same car as the small Scions, and those haven't turned out to be bad. Toyota's improving in the budget car segment, and the current Corolla is popular with buyers (if not magazines).

    So I don't know if I see much degredation in quality, myself.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,711
    that Toyota is having quality trouble. Then again, I am seeing people like the guy above really starting to get up in arms over Toyota quality control problems.

    I happen to really like the new Toyota Yaris sedan and I am eyeing one for later, maybe. One very cool thing about the Internet is that we can constantly study consumer trends. I wouldn't say that one of the latest trends is that Toyota is heading downhill quality-wise. I would say that there are more people unhappy with them than I've ever noticed on the Internet.

    The thing new with the Yaris hatch and sedan is that I really like the body style of them. I am a loyal Kia fan first but am open to looking at all brands for what's new. I am going to look at the new Nissan Versa as well as the new Dodge Caliber and the new Hyundai Accent and, of course, favorite Kia's new Rio LX sedan and Rio5 hatchwagon. The Honda Fit is so homely that one needs to look away from it after a short spell, but early reports on it are that it is the real thing for driving dynamics. So I have a certain amount of respect for Honda's job producing it. I just don't think this little Fit is the Honda I would buy for my wife and I. I could change that view if a great deal came my way but I am more interested in the new Obvio! 828/2 or the new Dodge Hornet, which, incidentally, may be built for Dodge by VW.

    Oh, so many choices for small car enthusiasts, all the while I'm enjoying owning one fine little SUV from Kia called a 2001 Sportage 4x4. Happy motoring and over and out. :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,196
    ...as saying Toyota means :lemon: to younger people as much as it says "Mom's car." Levis suffered the same fate becoming "Mom's jeans."
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Companies struggle to make a perception of 'cool' cross generation lines. Your example of Levis is a case in point.

    It reminds me of the late 60s/early 70s. B-boomers were moving away from their parents GM, Ford and Mopar vehicles to buy Toyotas, Nissans and Hondas.

    I see a lot of first time buyers in Hyundais and Kias now. It should lay a good foundation for the future of the Koreans as their customers age and have higher incomes.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "It reminds me of the late 60s/early 70s. B-boomers were moving away from their parents GM, Ford and Mopar vehicles to buy Toyotas, Nissans and Hondas."

    Yeah but some baby boomers have that "buy american theme" in their heads. I think Honda's are more of a generation X and even Y thing even though they are popular with some of the boomers. One advantage that Honda has had that Honda has over Toyota is that Honda has moved in terms of extertior styling to cater from the boomer to the X and than Y crowd. Toyota really doesn;t move styling wise of what a particular generation of people exterior styling wise. Thats why Toyota is stuck with the boomer crowd right now and maybe Xers that grew up on the brat pack and Madonna. The only thing Toyota has for Generation Y currently is the Scion TC. In the 90's Toyota really had nothing for the Generation X type that grew up on Pearl Jam or 2Pac. The 94-99 Celica really didn't do much on the market. The Celica for 2000 initially did well selling 52K in its first year of sales I think in the US but after that sales of the Celica fell in the US leading to its cancellation in the US market. The 93-97 and 98-02 Corolla's weren't really catered to the youth the way that Toyota's archrival Honda catered the 92-95 and 96-00 Civic to the younger set of people in the 90's. In my opinion the current Corolla while I don;t like the styling of it has won more youth buyers than the 93 or 97 Corolla but it doesn;t have the following of younger people like Mazda 3 and Honda Civic Coupe have. Maybe the 08 Corolla will have more younger buyers than the 03-07 model has had. Time will tell........
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "I see a lot of first time buyers in Hyundais and Kias now. It should lay a good foundation for the future of the Koreans as their customers age and have higher incomes."

    Well as long as Kia and Hyundai make a quality product for their younger buyers they can have customers for life. I do think Mazda, Honda, and Nissan have the best following with young people right now. The Chrysler 300 has alot of young drivers too due to the 300's popularity in rap video's and rappers that are big fans of the 300 themselves.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    engine problems.

    "Toyota.....420,000 vehicles globally over a faulty engine, the latest in a string.....raised doubts over whether the automaker can maintain quality standards.."

    "...police investigated three Toyota officials...negligence.....allegedly shirking recalls for eight years.."

    See details at link.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060718/ap_on_bi_ge/japan_toyota_recall
  • Yep, toyota had its run, it was just to good to be true. All companies have their faults and toyota is beginning theirs I think. They will weather it, but I think that their position and reputation will fall.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I've been defending them on how proactive they are and how happy they've managed to keep their customers, but engine problems do worry me. Especially as I've never been a real fan of Toyota engines (not due to reliability/QC issues though).

    They do need to refocus.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    more serious for Toyota because quality is their best known attribute.

    Message to Toyota: Carlisimo is right, start refocusing now.

    And don't try any cutesy-poo shell games with your customers about quality. It will hurt you if you do.
  • My question is, why aren't any of these recalls hitting the news? At least I haven't seen it. I've seen it a ton of times where the news channels tell about gm or ford recalls, why not toyota?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,897
    They tend to hit the news more often when the engine spontaneously combusts, or when the tires fall off at highway speed. Non-death inducing problems like noisy bushings or short-circuiting radios aren't likely to make the news as often.

    I think it's more apt to be reported if there are a great number on one particular model, or if the defects put one's life at risk, rather than those that are simply annoying or inconvenient.

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  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    changing. Toyota recalls have doubled in the last year and the media is noticing.

    Toyota recalls now make the news. This latest recall affecting 450,000 engines was widely reported yesterday.

    We will see more critical reports on Toyota now. While a company is climbing to #1 the media cheers them on. Once they reach the top they become a target.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    at the Autoextremist discussing Toyota's recall surge.

    http://www.autoextremist.com/page6.shtml
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    yeah, that guy is funny. I have to say, when I heard Jim Press's comment, my B.S.-o-meter went off too! :-)

    proudamerican: I don't know where you live, but here the latest recall was one of the leading items on last night's news.

    Considering it only affected 35,000 vehicles in North America, that's pretty good heat, isn't it?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    will change over the next year or two as it becomes the 'two ton gorilla' of the auto world.

    We saw this with Microsoft years ago. Headlines like 'Can this band of upstarts displace IBM?' and articles filled with breathless excitement about Bill Gates, the visionary leader.

    Same with Wal Mart. The media was full of news reports asking 'Will this unknown Arkansas store group expand nationwide?' 'Will Wal Mart someday be larger than Sears or K Mart?' There were articles expressing admiration of Sam Walton and his entreprenurial skill everywhere.

    Ask Microsoft and Wal Mart how they perceive their media coverage now.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    they get HOUNDED! I don't need to ask them. I can see it for myself.

    One thing about a company with a top-notch PR department like Toyota: when the fit hits the shan, you can guarantee that the B.S. will hit the airwaves in response.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    just comes to mind now...

    Will GM suddenly catch some 'media sympathy' once they are #2 (and slipping) in the auto industry?

    Toyota PR has been effective. All these recalls will make John Q. Public a lot more skeptical of Toyota's claims.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    "Will GM suddenly catch some 'media sympathy' once they are #2 (and slipping) in the auto industry?"

    Yes, I think they will. Also, as time goes by there will be less and less people (journalists) out there who got burned by the truly crappy GM cars of the 80s and 90s.

    But here's a thought too: Toyota's recalls have increased as their volume increased. Won't GM's number of recalls probably go down as their volume DECREASES?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...I think this (Toyota recalls) is much ado about nothing.

    Like the latest one, in which USA Today (I think) showed a photo of the current generation Prius, but when you read halfway down the article, you find that the recalled vehicles include the 2001-02 Echo and Prius, that is the prior generation.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...this particular recall is much ado about nothing in the US, it's pretty big worldwide. And add it to a number of other major recalls from Toyota recently and I would say you had "something".
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...but I have had 3 Camrys (2 currently), and they are all by far the most reliable cars I've owned (along with my '98 Nissan Frontier), going back more than 3 decades.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Sounds like management realizes there is an image problem building for the Toyota brand.

    "The world-class quality that we've built is our lifeline," President Katsuaki Watanabe told a mid-year news conference dominated by questions over Toyota's recent quality woes.

    "There will be no growth without an improvement in quality."

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2006-07-20-toyota-quality_x.htm
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    supposedly hurting Toyota...it sure isn't showing up in their sales.
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    supposedly hurting Toyota...it sure isn't showing up in their sales.

    Agreed. I believe that it is due to the longevity of Toyota's seemingly impeccable quality reputation up until the last few years. A lot of Toyota's recalls haven't affected vehicles that were sold in North America; which is a tremendous portion of their worldwide market share. There are countless numbers of people in the U.S. that still feel as though a bad Toyota is better than the best Ford Motor Co. or General Motors product. I'm not so sure that they aren't correct. ;) Toyota has always been pretty good about standing behind their products--with the one exception that I heard about recently where they tried to cover up a major design flaw that lead to a safety issue. The Japanese authorities are even involved in an investigative probe into the company over their reluctance to disclose information about the problematic vehicles. This particular issue definitely looks bad on the company, but I don't even think that this situation will taint Toyota's 'image' all that much in the U.S.--except with the die-hard domestic vehicle fans that already have their minds made up about Toyota and other "foreign" brands. All I know is that I am hanging on to my 2002 Lexus IS300, mainly due to the fact that it hasn't given me any trouble at all thus far. In fact, nothing that even remotely resembles a quality issue has cropped up yet. The only other car that I have ever owned that has been this good to me was also made by Toyota Motor Co. It was a new 1985 Toyota MR2. That little car turned out to be bulletproof--and I ran the absolute crap out of it for quite some time.

    Ron M.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,023
    A reporter seeks to interview current and former Texans with opinions about the recent Toyota recalls. Please reply to jfallon@edmunds.com by Tuesday, August 8, 2006 with your daytime contact info, a description of your Texas connection and a few words about whether you think the Toyota recalls will affect the Toyota brand.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I think it will affect Toyota some. However Toyota, is still percieved by most of the brain washed public that their cars are still flawless. Co-workers and friends of mine that aren't car buffs didn't even know Toyota had recalls until I told them. :surprise:

    Rocky
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Co-workers and friends of mine that aren't car buffs didn't even know Toyota had recalls until I told them.

    They probably didn't know Ford had recalls recently either. That's not a perception thing, it's a generation not reading the news thing. ;)
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I agree many people my age don't read the news as much as I or you do. They get most of their news from TV, or Radio, which doesn't make recalls a top story issue, especially when it's a company like Toyota. If it would of been GM, the story would of been a top story, and the bias media, would slam GM. ;)

    Rocky
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