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Toyota on the mend?

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  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I mean the car just doesn't do anything for me; its still boring looking no matter how much HID or LED lamps you put on the thing, I mean cmon Toyota, you have to step up your game a little bit more!

    This doesn't extrude any confidence in me that the 2012 Camry redesign will be radically different from the current generation; I mean with the refreshed 2010 Ford Fusion and now the 2011 Sonata, Toyota really needs to hit a home-run with the 2012 Camry or they will really fall into obscurity! they have some tight competition coming out of Ford, Nissan, and Hyundai and will need to make big changes to stay competitive!

    if a conservative company like Ford and Hyundai can make bold styling changes and have a nice balance between handling and ride quality with the Fusion and Sonata there is no reason Toyota can't do it with the Camry; if they can't then they are even more stupid than they already are!

    Dammit Toyota - STOP BEING SO DAMN CONSERVATIVE!!!! arghhhh!!!
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,955
    Well sure, that is what everyone should want. But I just can't help but think that a lot of the absolute attempted savaging of Toyota on these boards is being done by folks with another agenda.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    Is Toyota on the mend for 2010? Well, I didn't realize many of their recalls until I saw the following:

    By Katy Steinmetz
    Time Magazine

    For decades, Toyota and U.S. government agencies have been negotiating over a growing list of safety issues. Here is a history of major events pertaining to Toyota's acceleration-related problems.

    September 1986: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government body in charge of keeping the roads safe, orders its first recall of Toyota cars because of "speed control" problems, according to the NHTSA database (though defects with the two 1982 models involved were related to faulty cruise control). A second investigation into sudden-acceleration dangers with Toyota vehicles takes place this year.

    April 2003: Toyota internally deals with an "unwanted acceleration" incident that occurred during production testing of the Sienna. It determines the cause to be a missing clip that allowed the trim panel to trap the accelerator pedal. In the aftermath, Toyota concludes that it was an "isolated incident," according to the NHTSA report. Five years later, Toyota would inform the NHTSA about this incident when that administration makes a blanket information request.

    March-July 2004: The NHTSA conducts what would be the first of many defect investigations regarding speed-control problems, all of which would lead to the current furor (partially about Toyota and the NHTSA's neglecting to pay attention to the abnormal number of investigations). The first three investigations primarily involve the Camry, Solara and Lexus ES models. The initial case is opened after an owner petitions the NHTSA in February to look into speed-control issues; it is closed when the NHTSA fails to find a "defect trend."

    August 2005–January 2006: The NHTSA conducts a second evaluation after Jordan Ziprin, a Camry owner, reports "inappropriate and uncontrollable vehicle accelerations." In a subsequent questionnaire sent out to owners, hundreds of people report problems with acceleration and braking, but the NHTSA determines that their concerns are of "ambiguous significance" given the variety of defects described. Based on this sense of inconclusiveness, the administration denies Ziprin's petition for further investigate into the 19 Camry and Lexus models that are potentially involved.

    September 2006–April 2007: The NHTSA conducts a third evaluation after William B. Jeffers III, another Camry owner, petitions the administration to investigate the multiple "engine surging" incidents that he has experienced. The NHTSA fails to identify any problems after reviewing the complaint and road-testing the petitioner's vehicle. It cites the need to best allocate limited administration resources as the reason for denying the petition.

    March 2007: The NHTSA begins a fourth investigation into uncontrollable-acceleration problems with Lexus vehicles. In its preliminary evaluation, it suspects the floor mat to be the culprit.

    July 2007: Troy Edwin Johnson is killed when a Camry accelerating out of control hits his car at approximately 120 m.p.h. The driver had been unable to slow the car for 23 miles leading up to the crash. Toyota eventually settles out of court with Johnson's family for an undisclosed amount.

    August 2007: The NHTSA upgrades the investigation to an "engineering analysis," meaning it will do full-fledged vehicle testing instead of just reviewing complaints or single vehicles and crunching questionnaire numbers as it had done in the past. This leads to a floor-mat recall of the Camry and Lexus models in September. The NHTSA believes that 55,000 units may be affected.

    January 2008–August 2008: The NHTSA denies the petition of a Toyota Tacoma owner who has asked the agency to investigate the unwanted sudden acceleration he experienced. It finds the possibility of a defect to be "quite limited."

    April 2008–January 2009: Another investigation, regarding the Sienna, overlaps with the Tacoma petition review for four months. This one gets bumped up to an engineering analysis, which leads to a recall of Siennas. In the event that the clip securing the floor-carpet cover is missing, the NHTSA report reads, the accelerator pedal can become stuck. It is the same problem that had been noticed and dismissed by Toyota in 2003.

    April 2009: The NHTSA receives another petition, this one to investigate throttle-control problems unrelated to floor-mat issues in Lexus ES vehicles.

    August 2009: An off-duty highway patrolman and his family are killed when they rent a Lexus ES350 and have a runaway crash. The NHTSA and the California Highway Patrol investigate the incident and believe the floor mat snagged the pedal, causing the uncontrollable acceleration.

    October 2009: Toyota recalls 3.8 million vehicles on the grounds that floor mats can trap the pedals. Despite reportedly suspecting problems with pedal design following the Lexus crash, the NHTSA denies the petition made in April; in its report, the administration says "the only defect trend" is the floor-mat problem, and since Toyota already issued a recall, the "contentions that any further investigation is necessary are unsupported."

    November 2009: Toyota publicly apologizes to the NHTSA after reporting that the administration found that "no defect exists." Even when closing the book on a complaint, the NHTSA includes a disclaimer in each report explaining that its determination not to look into an issue doesn't constitute a finding that there's definitely no safety-related defect.

    December 2009: NHTSA officials go to Japan to discuss the recall process. A press release from Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood's office states that the "NHTSA indicates that it expects improvement in [Toyota's] responsiveness in the future."

    Jan. 16, 2010: Toyota informs the NHTSA that the pedals themselves have a dangerous "sticky" habit. It's not just the floor mats, after all.

    Jan. 19, 2010: The NHTSA meets with Toyota in Washington to discuss the sticking-pedal business, and Toyota calls the administration later that day to announce its plans for a wider recall.

    Jan. 21, 2010: Toyota recalls approximately 2.3 million more vehicles because of sticking pedals.

    Jan. 26, 2010: Toyota stops selling eight models as part of the recall, which leads to thousands of losses in unit sales.

    Jan. 27, 2010: Toyota announces the recall of an additional 1.1 million vehicles because of pedal-entrapment problems.

    Feb. 3, 2010: Toyota announces worries about brakes in Prius models. As of Feb. 4, 458 complaints would be filed on the NHTSA's website regarding the 2010 Toyota Prius. By Feb. 8, there would be 1,310 complaints. (The 2010 Honda Insight, by comparison, has just two.)

    Also on this day, Secretary LaHood lets slip instructions for Toyota owners to "stop driving." He later says he misspoke, but not before Toyota's stock takes a blow. He also says the government had to pres
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,370
    >I mean cmon Toyota, you have to step up your game a little bit more!

    If this is only a refresh and not a redesign of the basic car, then it's still based on the prior Camry. It's not based on the current Camry which came out after the redesigned Avalon came out.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 317
    Evidently you cannot just exchange it for the Denso unit.

    I haven't read that anywhere. I was under the impression it was the same part just different venders.

    That said, the CTS throttle is not the cause of any of the accidents. This is just a smoke screen to cover up a much bigger problem in the ECUs that can and do fail causing UA.

    I also haven't read anywhere that this has been proven yet. Or has it? One can speculate logically that it would seem to be the cause however.
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    If this is only a refresh and not a redesign of the basic car,

    It has been "boldly redesigned" :shades:
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Toyota has not used brake-by-wire. Mercedes is the only company that tried it in previous years in the E class and SL class. It was a failure as noted before, and caused a lot of fingerpointing between Mercedes and Bosch, the supplier.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You are misreading the article. Most of the quotes, including the comment about the Venza, are from Dan Carney, the writer of the article for MSNBC. Jeff Bartlett is from CR, as is the comment (the horror!) about a crooked glove compartment door.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Looks like you've misread the article also. The story was written by Dan Carney, with quotes from Jeff Bartlett of CR and Art Spinella of CNW Research.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Actually, CR stopped automatically recommending any new or redesigned Toyota models after the first-year 2007 redesign of the Camry V6 turned up more problems than average. The same occurred for the 4WD Tundra the same year.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Well, Toyota is billing the Avalon changes as basically a styling refresh, so I don't expect radical changes. Sales of the car have slowed dramatically, and it wouldn't surprise me if it goes away completely at the end of its model cycle.

    I'd expect the 2012 Camry to be as different from the 2007-11 models as the latter was from the 2002-06 generation.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,370
    The Venza quote is from the author Carney:

    "The interiors in particular are awash in cheap-looking, shiny plastic. Likening the Venza’s apparently ready-to-hose-clean, plastic door panels to something from the toy aisle would insult Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

    "Worse yet, the plastic bits in the test model weren’t installed correctly, so the cut lines between pieces were misaligned in places and the dashboard air vents had shockingly large, irregular gaps around them. These are the things that killed GM’s image. Now Toyota is making the same inexcusable mistakes."

    In fact his whole review is well done.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33605151/ns/business-autos/
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The new PR firms hired in DC by toyota probably are involved in trying to lobby the legislators. But I'm still waiting for some part of toyota's advertising money to start showing up with "people" attempting to improve the image about the magnitude of this problem on the internet. A while after the sludge settlement, I read an article, don't recall the source but it was credible, about businesses employing or having people inhouse involve themselves in discussion on the internet to improve various company's image. I still expect that to start happening around the internet world.

    I'd think we'd all be better served if you could substantiate your recollection about businesses in general (and by implication, Toyota in particular) employing internet "plants" spouting the party line. We did have a Toyota rep in one of the sludge forums (cited by Steve yesterday), but he did identify himself clearly at the outset. Maybe your referring to other less reputable websites than Edmunds also.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I wasn't disputing the Venza comments were from Carney. It just seemed you and revit were attributing all to Consumer Reports.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,370
    I already responded to your recent post that I was wrong in an email to your carspace account. Please check it.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I did; please read my response in CarSpace. It's not clear from your recent post that you were referring to the same person(s).
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I'm wondering if congress will be as nasty toward the Japanese at toyota as they were toward the US CEOs who came to testify.

    You're wondering? Ha, since Bart Stupak from Michigan is going to chair one of the hearings, you know he'll be puffing out his chest in indignation. You think the US CEOs were grilled? Wait till you see Stupak in action, urged on by his UAW supporters. And I'm sure many of the other congressional windbags will be doing the same.

    I still say let NHTSA handle this. As I said yesterday, they now have a permanent administrator and have been kicked in the butt by DOT secretary Ray "foot-in-mouth" LaHood.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Thank you very much Steve for posting the Edmunds.com link carried by Business Wire. Edmunds is to be commended for performing an analysis that was so lacking from the mainstream media's hysterical coverage.

    Good quote here: Edmunds.com analysts also attempted to evaluate the deaths and injuries reported in the NHTSA database, but it quickly became clear that the data is unreliable. For example, one complaint indicated that 99 people had died in one vehicle as a result of an accident. It should also be noted roughly 10 percent of total complaints appear to be duplicates. Finally, this analysis did not rate the reported incidents for severity.

    This is precisely why opportunists like Sean Kane are misguided in using only the complaints, without detailed follow-on investigations.

    Bravo!

  • You're wondering? Ha, since Bart Stupak from Michigan is going to chair one of the hearings, you know he'll be puffing out his chest in indignation.


    I unno, since Toyota is 1. in Ann Arbor, MI and 2. profitable, I don't know if he is going to be the one who is playing hard ball.
  • gavrikgavrik Posts: 35
    The Lexus had great brakes. I kept the brake pedal pressed at all time. I was able to get the vehicle to stop while the RPMs were redlining (around 6.5k). Then, I turned the engine off. I collected myself and started the engine again. No problem after that.

    I did take the vehicle to the dealer and had a chat with my tech guy. He had one of those astonishing looks. Sort of like, wow that was a great story, so what?

    7 months later I turned the vehicle in when my lease expired. I still have the original paperwork with vehicle VIN. If regulators want a test vehicle and need one with a real problem, they can find it in the database.

    I am just hoping current owner is still alive and the car is still on the road somewhere.
  • I repeat what I said earlier, but there is an entire thread on UA concerning the Santa Fe on the Hyundai forum.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    After three months of busy and sometimes frustrated exchanges with Toyota's U.S. staff on safety issues, the U.S. Department of Transportation decided last December to try a very Toyota tactic to get the automaker's attention. Medford got his boots on and headed to Japan.

    In a crowded meeting hall in Toyota's headquarters on December 15, Medford and two other senior NHTSA officials first delivered what amounted to a remedial lesson in U.S. safety regulation for about 100 Toyota engineers and executives, a primer in how the system is supposed to work.

    Then the Americans retired to a conference room to hammer home the no-nonsense warning to a smaller group.

    Across the table was Toyota's top officer in charge of quality, Hiroyuki Yokoyama, and the head of the engineering team that handled consumer complaints, Shinji Miyamoto. In a company that built its reputation on an almost paranoid obsession with quality, Yokoyama and Miyamoto were the keepers of the flame.

    Toyota knew that NHTSA officials were also scheduled to meet with Honda and Nissan and Japan's transport ministry so they were blindsided by this kind of tough meeting.

    "At that point we weren't expecting the discussions to have any deep meaning because at that point we had already dealt with the floormat issue," Toyota Executive Vice President Shinichi Sasaki said.

    Toyota officials in the room with Medford suggested that perhaps the placement of floormats was responsible for the unintended acceleration cases that had drawn tougher scrutiny from the U.S. side.

    NHTSA officials chastised Toyota for "still talking in those terms," Sasaki recalled.

    The irony of the moment was rich. This was a little-known U.S. official in an arm of the government most Americans could not identify lecturing Toyota about quality. The same U.S. government that had bailed out General Motors and Chrysler just four months earlier was excoriating Toyota for falling short.
    Inside Toyota's Epic Breakdown
  • Probably 90% of those problems were linked to the jerky trannies which was cured with a reflash. :shades:

    And as far as the Tundra goes, my buddy was one of the first buyers of the brand new model. They replaced not just 1 but 2 lemon GMC Sierras that were so bad that even as a service mgr for a local GMC dealer he dumped them for a Toyota.

    Axtually talked to him yesterday, has about 65k on his truck and has never experienced the UA in that or his wifes Highlander.

    Still claims that Toyota has won him over and vows never to buy another Government Motors product again (no longer works for the dealer either).
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Not surprised there are other makes/models with alleged sudden acceleration.

    I remember back in the late 80s that NHTSA's oldest ongoing Engineering Analysis (EA) was for sudden acceleration in all GM automatic transmission cars from 1973-86. This was back in the "good old days" of carburetors (for the most part) and mechanical throttle linkages. I had a 1977 Chevy Impala (automatic of course), and was a little concerned, as this was concurrent with the Audi 5000 hysteria.

    The EA was eventually closed with no action taken.
  • dturrdturr Posts: 70
    If Toyota vehicle have caused the death of one person is that not one to many.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You're wondering? Ha, since Bart Stupak from Michigan is going to chair one of the hearings, you know he'll be puffing out his chest in indignation.

    I unno, since Toyota is 1. in Ann Arbor, MI and 2. profitable, I don't know if he is going to be the one who is playing hard ball.

    He'll be playing hardball alright. The R&D center is a comparative hill of beans. He's up for re-election this year and will want to grandstand for his constituents, many of whom are current or laid-off members of the UAW. I would wager that Michigan has the least sympathy for Toyota compared to any state in the US.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 317
    Good report, thanks for the link. A $15 part, I still don't know if the Denso pedal can be used for a replacement. I would rather pay the $15 than rely on 5 cent shim.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I thought the two pedal designs were interchangeable. The problem is the $15 is the price Toyota pays to the supplier. Figure on the retail price being 10 times higher, as is common practice. (Not all of this multiplier is profit; you have to consider the extra cost of packaging individual parts, shipping, dealer inventory management, etc.).
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,308
    obyone....great find. The article is a great peak into Toyota culture, and how it led to the UA and braking issues their vehicles are experiencing. I always felt that this wasn't an over night phenomena. And, that it took year to foment to come to where Toyota find themselves today (as the article points out, in a "crisis").

    Also interesting......how Toyota couldn't/wouldn't "connect the dots" in nailing down the root causes of their safety issues. Were they just too big to see what is clear to everyone else? Possibly.

    But, with every failure, opportunity presents itself. Toyota now has an opportunity to rededicate itself to the quality that they used to represent, and put into their vehicles. More importantly, the opportunity exists for them to reinvent themselves as safety mavens.

    Whether they embrace those opportunities is an entirely different matter. If they don't, they'll just become another example of GM in the '80s....slapping together vehicles as fast as they can, and fighting their safety detractors every step of the way.

    Personally, I'd rather see them become the former, and not the latter.

    But, first things first, they've got to fix the safety problems they have in the present. It would be better if they weren't forced to do it by a gov't agency, whether here in the U.S. and/or in their home country. Do it voluntarily, and with gusto, and they'll be viewed a whole lot better.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 317
    Well, I'm assuming Toyota under these conditions(safety recall) could let the denso pedal go for their cost if a customer demanded it. It couldn't take any longer to install(labor cost), in fact probably faster than messing with the shim which is reported takes over an hour to do.
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