• Oct 17, 2007
Back in high school, the less popular among us would always take some pleasure in the star quarterback having a bad day on the field. Such was the case yesterday when Consumer Reports revealed that it was no longer recommending three Toyota vehicles: the V6 Camry, V8 Tundra 4WD and Lexus GS AWD. Media outlets including your truly focused on these three vehicles, and CR itself stated that Toyota was "showing cracks in its armor." Certainly those sick of hearing about Toyota's sterling reputation for quality took some satisfaction in the automaker's fumble.
That was yesterday, and today Toyota has a response, which can be read after the jump. It basically reminds us that despite the loss of three vehicles from CR's recommended list, Toyota still managed to garner more models named "Most Reliable" than any other automaker. Toyota, Scion and Lexus still ranked very high among the most reliable makes, and collectively the company came in third place.

In an interview with Automotive News, VP of Toyota Motor Sales USA, Jim Lentz said the company was aware of the problems with the Camry V6, which were traced back to its transmission, but are puzzled as to why the Tundra and Lexus GS were included.

Even though Toyota may have dropped the ball yesterday, it still remains a marquee player in the auto industry and has an enviable highlight reel. Time will tell, however, if yesterday's trouble at the hands of CR will become a repeat performance.

[Source: Toyota, Automotive News - sub. req'd]

PRESS RELEASE

TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota, Lexus and Scion models collectively led the industry with the greatest number of models, 17, ranked "Most Reliable" in this year's Consumer Reports Reliability
Survey. With dozens of models from three dozen makes vying for a spot onthe magazine's "Most Reliable" list, only 39 were chosen. Toyota, Lexus and Scion models accounted for 44 percent of the list.

Toyota, Lexus and Scion earned three of the top six places among most
reliable makes. Collectively they ranked third place in reliability among all automakers.

"Over all, this survey reflects well on our products," said Toyota Motor Sales Executive Vice President Jim Lentz. "However, we're taking measures every day to continue to sharpen quality and enhance customer satisfaction."

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion in the United States, marketing products and services through a network of over 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers in 49 states. Established in 1957,TMS and its subsidiaries also are involved in distribution logistics, motorsports, and research and development.


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  • 36 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      What's left to recommend Toy products? It certainly is not their driving dynamics, fun-to-own, or even reliability. Looks like brand loyalists will have to look elsewhere for all of those attributes.
        • 7 Years Ago
        not reliablity? 17 out of 44 reccomended cars are Toyotas.... 2 GM, 3 Ford.

        :-).
        • 7 Years Ago
        CR isn't bestowing its recommendation on three trim levels, not models, but trim levels of models out of all the vehicles from its three brands. They have a combined 27 model lines at last count and I don't know how many drivetrain combinations. And three didn't make the cut. I think you could legitimately call that "praise by faint damning". Its sure a long way from being able to proclaim that the brand no longer has reliability.

        No fanboy here, as I've never owned a Toyota. But I recognize them for what they are.
      JMessina
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh great. Now all the Toyota haters feel better right? Give me a break! I've been driving Toyota's for 35 yrs. Probably longer than you clowns have been alive. No one said they were perfect. But bet your dollar on this.....unlike the idiots at the BIG 3, Toyota will correct the problems and move on. The BIG 3 will continue to have the same problems year after year after year. Buying a car is a gamble. You want odds in your favor? Buy a Toyota. Class dismissed!
      • 7 Years Ago
      The most overated appliance rolling on four wheels, Toyota.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      And for the record the Crown is the most expensive Toyota in the Japanese lineup (think LS460 type prices).
      Jcam88
      • 7 Years Ago
      People who have this Imports are better than Domestics attitude only prove how stupid they really are. I don't care if you buy a Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Honda, etc. you will have something go wrong with it if you own for any decent amount of time. My college roomate owns a 4x4 Toyota pickup truck and I would not trade my Ford Ranger 4x4 for two of his Toyota Pickups. My Ranger rides smoother, is WAY more comfortable to ride in, Riding in his Toyota feels like riding in a tin can, it's loud, you hear all the road noise, the seats feel like someone stretched cheap fabric over two pieces of plywood. The only thing his truck has over my Ranger is fuel mileage. His Toyota is a Reg. Cab Short bed 4 cyl. 5 speed and gets 26 mpg highway, my Ranger is an Ext. Cab 4.0 V6 Auto. 4x4 and gets 23 mpg highway. We have three other Fords, a '92 Explorer with over 217,000 miles, a '94 Explorer with 195,000 miles, and a '95 F-150 4x4 with 188,000 miles on it. Other than having to replace ball joints in all of them and the Computer in the '92 at 214,000 miles, they have all been very reliable, and trouble free vehicles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The bottom line is that Toyota grew too fast and didn't keep its eyes on what made them successful in the first place: QRD.

      No amount of spin by Irv Miller disputes the fact that Toyota's quality has been declining over the past 5 years while its competition has been simultaneously improving.

      If this weren't the case, and they weren't worried, then why did they trot out their most senior executive for an interview with Automotive News?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota is a nicely built vehicle. Just drove a rental 4 cyl Camry last week and I was impressed. Nicely built, quiet and not as boring as a Buick.
      That being said, It is about time that CR review their own Toyota-Honda-Mazda favorable bias.
      I believe this is a very important event in CR and Toyota history. Remember that they can create a halo effect by praising a make a little bit too much. The fact that they have some reserves about Toyota will most likely encourage subscribers to tell CR that, they too, experienced real problems.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota, Lexus and their dealers have become less attentive to customer issues in proportion to their growing quality, reliability and durability problems. Where Ford deems bizarre malfunctions normal, Lexus prefers the euphemism "performing according to specifications."
      Mike Bates
      • 7 Years Ago
      wait a minute, remember when toyo was involved with incorrect info on there warranty records that were to be reported and were never. So all these years toyo has had a good name but was covering their own tracks to cover up warranty records and now its caught them by the ass
      • 7 Years Ago
      So Consumer Reports won't automatically recommend any Toyota-branded vehicle just because of its nameplate anymore.

      Anyone who knows the smallest amount about the auto industry knows that judging a car merely on nameplate is a ridiculous way of recommending a car.

      In an era when Saturn Vue’s have Honda V-6 engines and transmissions, Pontiacs and Toyotas are made in the same California plant, Mazda rebadges Fords Escapes and Rangers, and Isuzu sells rebadged GM trucks, nameplate means little.

      You can tell more about a cars quality from which plant it is made in, then what nameplate is on the side. If it’s made at a GM Oshawa, Ontario plant its likely a high-quality car. If its made at one of the award-winning plants building Lexus cars, it’s likely high quality. If it’s made at an older plant that hasn’t been upgraded in decades, quality if likely be lower.

      Consumer Reports previously recommended the Toyota Tundra over the Silverado. Why? Because it said Toyota on the side of the Tundra. This was despite that fact that no one knew what kind of quality was going to come out of the brand new Toyota plant with workers who had no automotive experience. The Tundra also had a new engine and transmission while the Silverado had a tried and true drive train.

      Yet nameplate means more for quality?

      Am I glad Consumer Reports finally wised up? Yes. Do I still think they are full of s**t? Yes.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I have no idea why anyone would buy a Toyota over a Honda...
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