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Are Toyota's recent quality problems just a glitch?

bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,027
edited March 21 in Toyota
What is going on with Toyota? The company known as the builder of the most reliable cars on the planet has had more recalls in the last year than they've had over the last 10 years combined. I currently own two older Toyotas (a '93 Tercel and a '99 Corolla), but I honestly don't know if I'd feel comfortable buying a new one. Would you?

I'm very curious to see how Toyota handles this recent rash of quality control problems. Will they be able to right the ship, or will they turn into the next GM?
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Comments

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    Never owned a Toyota myself, but I have friends and family who do and all of them claim in one form or another that Toyota's rep is for real. My conclusion is that while they may not do anything for the enthusiasts among us, they build one helluv an appliance. Something that the core market looks for.

    Recent quality glitches don't appear to be affecting things much as Toyota share and profits keep growing and growing. Even Ford has admitted the loss of the number 2 sales slot this year and it is inevitible that Toyota will steal the top spot from GM as well (Finally, someone who actually deserves the title). But they'd better get their act together or their growth could suddenly stumble and even slide.

    Word to Toyota, don't let your reputation get the best of you.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    If they do steal the #1 spot from GM, they will still have GM chewing on their heels and perhaps our media will perhaps pay more attention to Toyota. :)

    Rocky
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,185
    I doubt very much that Toyota would hold onto that #1 spot for 80 years like GM.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    With more money than god, they could throw everything but the kitchen sink at any model or lineup that they wish... Essentially buying the top spot.

    But, I agree that the competition is just getting too fierce for anyone to hold the title for that long ever again.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I agree lemko. I honestly believe if GM is over taken by toyota that I will get to see GM, be #1 again in my lifetime. ;)

    Rocky
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    I seriously doubt Toyota would ever buy a domestic nameplate... They are picking up the reminants though (Stake in Subaru, Stake in Isuzu) which will prove deadly I predict. With their expertise in Hybrids, they can now add some of the most advanced AWD knowledge to their portfolio as well as a huge jump start in the growing diesel technologies. Will we be buying Duramax Tundras in the coming years? hmmmm........
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Naah, if GM gets bought out it will be by SAIC or somebody.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    SAIC ????

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I seriously doubt Toyota would ever buy a domestic nameplate...

    I know you are trying to be a smart-[non-permissible content removed]. ;)

    Rocky

    P.S. What if the big 3 all merged togeather and bought out Toyota, and turned their cars into washing machines. :P
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,185
    Wouldn't be too much of a stretch as Toyotas are already soulless appliances. Of course I'll be looking forward to purchasing a new Lady Lexus LS460 washing machine with 8 separate cycles!
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    I dumped my 2005 Tacoma partly because it was problematic and the dealer couldn't fix the problems. Had an AC compressor that would often make a horrible crunch noise most of the time and caused the vehicle to buck hard when it engaged, yet the dealer either would say they couldn't duplicate it, or that the noise/buck was normal. Guys, it's either one or the other, but it ain't both. Worried about that one down the road once the warranty was up. That and the vehicle's driver's side footwell would be flooded when it rained, yet the dealer couldn't find the problem when they leak checked it. Other problems as well, but one day a few weeks ago, opened the door to yet another small lake and said enough is enough.

    Now yes I could have driven further to another dealership, and yes the urge to drive something fun again helped make my choice to dump it easy, but that Tacoma was anything but reliable.

    Now that said, if the dealership could have squared away a lot of the problems on the first try (or at all) that would have helped a lot. Obviously though, just one man's experience and you can't extrapolate anything from it.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Do you realized that Toyota's market capitalization is bigger than all three of the detroiters combined.

    Condsider this. There has been/is some talk in Germany of spinning off the Chrysler part to someone else. Renault? Some Chinese investor? Some Indian investor? But when the figures were put together the net value of all of Chrysler was negative.

    IOW they would have to give Chrysler to some Chinese investor and kick in several $Billion just to get them to take it.

    Outside of Jeep and maybe the RAM what excites any one about anythingelse in the line up?

    The 300 is good but it's now in it's aging years of this model.
    The minivans are still No 1 in volume.
    PT from Mexico is aging as well.
    RAM is solid but it needs updating and they are cutting production for the entire month of January.
    Dakota is solid but they are cutting production... you get the point.

    uhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Durango - big Touble with a capital 'T'
    Caliber???
    They have no small vehicle - so they intend to buy them from Chery.
    They have a rental staple in the Sebring.

    GM and Ford are getting all the Press about problems and turnarounds but Chrysler's press is about the dealers revolting against Corportate. They schedule overtime after T'Giving then close most plants for the entire month of January. 'Hurry up and STOP!'.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    ..than there were in the past.

    There is no denying that as Toyota gets bigger and moves into the direct glare of the spotlight that everything it does will be scrutinized in every little detail. Every problem now is a BIG one simply because the volume is bigger than before.

    In addition there is a different environment in the auto industry as a whole since the Ford/Firestone mess. When before problems arose they could be fixed quietly. There wasn't all that much oversight by the Fed Govt and the NHTSA. When the Ford/Firestone fiasco unfolded it turned out that the 'watchers' were more 'rubber stampers' and they paid for it in front of Congress. In addition the heads of Ford and Firestone had to explain, in front of Congress, how they allowed the situation to swept under the rug.

    As a result the Fed Govt is now much more vigilant and the other automakers sure don't want to have their CEO's going to answer questions in front of Congress.

    What to do? Recall EVERYTHING!!! Joking? Maybe not. All vehicles are made by human hands or machines programmed by human hands. There are over 14,000 parts in a typical vehicle. Most of these are purchased from some outside supplier and just installed in the final vehicle. With this much complexity the sheer weight of statistics says that something is likely to go wrong. What if 99.9% of the parts were perfect? That would mean that 14 parts on every vehicle might go bad at some time.

    I wouldn't be surprised that in the future all vehicles are connected to the internet in some form or another. Many/Most (?) vehicles already have a 'black box', like in an airplane, monitoring all the inputs during driving. If
    a) something seems amiss the vehicle could send an email to the 'mother ship' ;) advising of the problem;
    b) vehicles might all be have a RECALL light installed such as a maintenance reminder light; when recalls are sent out then the light comes on. Some are URGENT, others are not.

    There are about 100,000 Durango's being recalled for faulty cupholders!!!
    There are a couple of hundred thousand Highlanders being recalled for faulty carpeting!!!

    The result of the new environment is ..... if it's a potential problem, then recall it. Don't let it get to the Ford/Firestone level. Do It Now!

    Issues with the operation, the quality of assembly and the feel of the vehicles are perfectly valid issues to hold Toyota or any manufacturer responsible for. It is our money. These may or may not have anything to do with faults in manufacturing process.

    Complexity:
    This is a completely new era of personal transportation. How many have you heard it said 'I remember when I could take apart any vehicle and fix anything' Heck I had to do it with my 77 Charger in the middle of traffic in North Jersey - multiple times ( another story ). Now unless you have an electrical engineering degree and/or specialized training by an OEM and $100,000 of analytical devices at your disposal then there is no way to even find out what the problem is. Then if you do diagnose the problem where do you get the original software code to make the necessary modification? In the past some problems could be solved by actually hitting the problem area with a tool.

    Most new vehicles are rolling electronic devices. Hit your laptop with a wrench and see if it helps. :surprise:

    IMO fit, finish and 'quality feel' are the easiest issues to resolve. They only cost money and time. Over the course of a Toyota vehicle's life it seems to get tighter and tighter until any issues that might exist get resolved; e.g. 2000 Tundra brakes; 2004 Avalon hesitation; 2004 Prius software issue.

    The problems come up, they are addressed, they get fixed and they go away. If this doesn't happen then the public will leave for a vehicle maker that is more reliable.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Thanx bumpy :)

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    LOL.....at least it would be a very reliable washing machine :P

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    If the big 3 GM, Ford, chrysler merged they would have no problem finding a loan to buy Toyota, but the question would be would the Japanese government allow such a thing to take place ? ;)

    Rocky
  • What if the big 3 all merged togeather and bought out Toyota, and turned their cars into washing machines.

    That is simply not possible. Toyota's market value is 242B. DCX(MB included, euro business included) is at 62B. GM and Ford are at 17B and 14B, respectively.

    In otherwords, Toyota is 2.5 times the the big 3 combined. Or, alternatively, Toyota is capable of buying all the auto companies in the world (Big 3 + VW + Honda + anyone else) and turn their cars into washing machines or toasters or whatever. :blush:
  • If the big 3 GM, Ford, chrysler merged they would have no problem finding a loan to buy Toyota, but the question would be would the Japanese government allow such a thing to take place ?

    No, the shareholders won't allow Toyota to buy that crap, even if they are merged for a convenient takeover.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Where are you getting these figures ??? :confuse:

    Rocky
  • jkandelljkandell Posts: 116
    "Never owned a Toyota myself, but I have friends and family who do and all of them claim in one form or another that Toyota's rep is for real. My conclusion is that while they may not do anything for the enthusiasts among us, they build one helluv an appliance. Something that the core market looks for. "

    I've owned three used toyotas and one chevy nova (corolla), mostly 80s models. I drive cars till they're worn and ugly; but my toyotas have always run like they're new. Aside from normal expected wear out, I've never had a single unusual surprise problem with a toyota I can recall in my entire car owning life. On my "nova" the paint started delaminating--but that was the American part of that car. So I believe the rep. Having said that, I'm about to buy a Honda Fit, so I hope Honda longevity is as good if I keep it ten or twenty years.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Where are you getting these figures ???

    Market Capitalization = Stock Price X # of shares outstanding

    Those numbers are exactly correct based on the stock prices and shares outstanding at the close of business 12-29-06..

    Toyota is about 14 times larger than GM or Ford.
    Toyota is 4 times larger than DC, Ag.

    Toyota is about 2.5 times larger than all three combined, IOW put the 4 ( MB included ) together and they are only about 40% the value of Toyota. uuuurpp!

    BTW Chrysler is worth less than zero so if Daimler could dump it, Daimler's value would go up.

    The good news is that with the GM/F prices being so low that if they were to make an astounding market turnaround they could double their shareprice and cut the ratio in half.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,027
    ....no one really answered the original question. Are Toyota's recent quality control problems just a temporary thing, or is this something that's going to be going on for a long time? And what's causing them?
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Well without a crystal ball, who knows. Toyota may see their sales truck along just fine and say "eh...who cares we can increase profits by not really getting down to solving some of the problems", or they might be very thorough in hunting down the issues.

    People seem to have their ideas of who is/isn't reliable set it stone, so they may not have to do anything for years and years until it finally catches up to them.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    SAIC = Science Applications International Corporation.

    A huge corporation (44,000 employees with offices in over 150 cities worldwide). And, a leading provider of scientific, engineering, systems integration and technical services and products to all branches of the U.S. military, agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other U.S. Government civil agencies, as well as to customers in selected commercial markets.

    A large, but stealthy, company.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    Just a glitch then. 06 is a low point in Toyotas rise to the top, that's all. There was a public apology if I recall so I think Toyota recognizes the issues and will work diligently to fix them. I highly doubt they would let 30+ years of effort and recognition go down the toilet.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Sorry I didn't put a summary to that long post above:

    a) the higher volume means that whenever there is a probllem it's likely to be a big one; small companies have smaller problems;
    b) small issues that used to be fixed on service campaigns are now official recalls; they existed before now they are publicized;
    c) the Federal Govt is requiring all vehicle makers to issue recalls on all kinds of things that were never safety issues in the past like cupholders ( Ddurango ) and carpeting ( Highlander ).
    d.) all new vehicles are much more complex now so the likelyhood of there being a recall on any vehicle these days is much greater than in the 80's and 90's.

    If you buy a new vehicle these days expect it to be recalled at some point. Make sense?
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    IMO, it's a short-term problem. Toyota delayed several new models that were to be released by now. (TUNDRA, Highlander, and Corolla) The question could be, did the new TUNDRA plant cause all of these models to be delayed or was it the CAMRY transission woes? The TUNDRA should be out within a month, the Highlander is now on for March/April and the Corolla is late-2007.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    In this context, SAIC = Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, one of China's larger automakers.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Toyota delayed several new models that were to be released by now. (TUNDRA, Highlander, and Corolla) The question could be, did the new TUNDRA plant cause all of these models to be delayed or was it the CAMRY transission woes? The TUNDRA should be out within a month, the Highlander is now on for March/April and the Corolla is late-2007.

    I'll have to disagree on all three vehicles you mention for 3 different reasons.

    a) Since early 2006 the Tundra has been scheduled for a Feb '07 rollout. There is a dance between Toyota and GM to place their respective vehicles in the spotlight all by themselves. GM advanced the T900 twins by 3 months so that it could have ALL the press in early Fall. Alternate viewpoint: GM and Toyota are coordinating efforts not to hurt the other by glomming the spotlight. Let the market decide but each should have it's time alone.

    b) The Highlander is not delayed at all. The Rx350 is Lexus' main product. It always comes out first and is given it's time alone to shine without it's less expensive brother undercutting the price. No one can get a word out of Toyota on anything regarding the new Highlander, even though it's already done.

    c) The Corolla is an interesting issue. It too is already done and people have seen the new sedan up close and personal. In addition the very same vehicle that's going to be here in 13 mo's or so is already out in Europe. What's the difference?

    The Tundra launch in the US!!

    Nothing but nothing is taking the spotlight off the Tundra rollout. All the press; all the internal publications; all the training; all the marketing; all the advertising; all the sales efforts are directed toward one single product.
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