Toyota has suffered several black eyes in the news, a massive recall in the US and subsequently in Canada of Toyota and Lexus cars and light trucks to fix an accelerator pedal problem, a recall of Tundra Pickup trucks in the US because of excessive rust on the frames and 6 Highlanders with ‘immobilizer technology’ stolen in a single night in one neighborhood in Toronto.
A recent article published in the Los Angeles times called
Toyota’s image dented again by latest recall
and republished in the Toronto Star at implies that Toyota has sacrificed its legendary quality to become #1 in sales.
Recalls are not that unusual in the car industry but Toyota has bragged about how few of them they had compared with others. But this past week, Toyota recalled over 4 million Toyota and Lexus cars and light trucks in the US to fix an accelerator pedal problem that could cause runaway acceleration. But they didn’t announce the recall in Canada until 1 day later, leaving Canadian customers wondering. Toyota had announced an ‘alert’ on their website in September, telling customers to remove the driver’s side floor mats from seven models. But is that really acceptable? They took 2 months to decide to do a recall? The recall is for 8 Toyota and Lexus models over multiple years including the Camry and Prius hybrid.
Earlier this week, Toyota recalled 110,000 2000 – 2003 Tundra Pickup trucks in the US because of excessive rust on the frames, that could cause a spare tire to fall off.
In 2005, Toyota had to recall 2.3 million calls with problems like steering defects in some pick up trucks and SUVs and a software glitch that could cause the Prius to stall.
On the same day as the US recall was reported in the newspaper, an article also appeared in the Toronto Star that 6 Toyota Highlanders were stolen in the same neighborhood on the same night. They all had immobilizers built into them. The Insurance Bureau of Canada is now concerned that thieves have broken Toyota’s security code. No one knows how these cars were stolen and investigation is underway but if the code has been broken, watch for more car thefts.
The implications in the newspaper articles about these events is that perhaps Toyota, in its drive to become #1 in the Auto industry dropped its guard on reliability and quality.
Do you think this will have a long term impact on Toyota’s customer satisfaction and repeat buyers?