• Feb 13th 2010 at 10:37AM
  • 64
There's no arguing that Toyota's recent string of recalls and safety issues is a huge deal. After all, Toyota enjoyed years of rapid growth due in large part to its sterling record of safety, reliability and practicality. When analyzing the actual data, though, an interesting question arises: Are we – both the media and the public at large – blowing the Toyota recall story out of proportion?

The answer to that question is up to each and every one of us to decide, naturally, but Edmunds has taken it upon itself to compile a mountain of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data in an effort to shed some much-needed light on Toyota's recent woes (including its Lexus and Scion divisions) in comparison to the rest of the automotive marketplace. Here's the crux of Edmunds' findings:
Toyota ranks 17th among automakers in the overall number of complaints per vehicle sold... Toyota was the subject of 9.1 percent of the complaints from 2001 through 2010 (through February 3). During this period, the company sold 13.5 percent of all new cars in the United States.
So, what does all of this mean? That's debatable. Consider that these issues, which were reported to NHTSA by consumers themselves and entered into an database that's not checked for accuracy, are not weighted for severity. So, a seemingly trivial issue counts just the same as one that could lead to a serious accident or death. Nevertheless, hit the jump for Edmunds' complete breakdown and ranking of all automakers from 2001 to February 3rd of 2010.


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[Source: Edmunds | Image: Scott Olson/Getty]

PRESS RELEASE

Toyota Recalls Put into Context by Edmunds.com


SANTA MONICA, Calif. - February 10, 2010 - Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, has obtained and reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) complaint database. A key finding: despite being the subject of intense scrutiny of the company, Toyota ranks 17th among automakers in the overall number of complaints per vehicle sold.

According to the database, which consists of complaints filed by individuals and is not checked for accuracy by NHTSA, Toyota was the subject of 9.1 percent of the complaints from 2001 through 2010 (through February 3). During this period, the company sold 13.5 percent of all new cars in the United States.

Land Rover ranks first among automakers, with 0.6 percent of the complaints compared to only 0.1 percent market share from 2001 through 2010 (through February 3).

The following chart sets forth the results for all automakers:

AUTOMAKER RANK (IN ORDER OF MOST
COMPLAINTS PER MARKET SHARE)
PERCENT OF COMPLAINTS
IN NHTSA DATABASE
PERCENT OF SALES IN
US MARKET
LAND ROVER 1 0.6% 0.1%
AMERICAN SUZUKI MOTOR CORP. 2 0.9% 0.4%
ISUZU MANUFACTURING SERVICES OF AMERICA 3 0.3% 0.2%
VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC 4 4.1% 2.4%
JAGUAR CARS LTD 5 0.4% 0.2%
VOLVO CARS OF N.A. LLC. 6 1.1% 0.7%
CHRYSLER LLC 7 16.3% 13.0%
MAZDA NORTH AMERICAN OPERATIONS 8 1.7% 1.5%
MITSUBISHI MOTORS NORTH AMERICA, INC. 9 1.3% 1.2%
FORD MOTOR COMPANY 10 18.3% 17.6%
GENERAL MOTORS CORP. 11 25.3% 24.5%
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC. 12 5.8% 5.9%
HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY 13 4.2% 4.4%
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC 14 1.7% 1.9%
SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. 15 1.1% 1.3%
AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO. 16 6.8% 9.4%
TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION 17 9.1% 13.5%
MERCEDES-BENZ USA, LLC. 18 1.0% 1.5%
PORSCHE CARS NORTH AMERICA, INC. 19 0.1% 0.2%
SMART USA DISTRIBUTOR LLC 20 0.0% 0.0%


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.

"No one should overlook the issues raised by the Toyota recalls, but it is important to keep things in perspective," reminded Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. "A broader view shows that consumer complaints reflect an industry issue, not just a Toyota issue. As Toyota's experience in recent months clearly demonstrates, it is no longer an option for car companies to dismiss consumer complaints, even if the event is difficult to replicate or diagnose."

"Edmunds' CarSpace.com Forums have been a venue for driver feedback since 1996," noted Sylvia Marino, Executive Director of Community Operations for Edmunds.com. "Automakers can easily review postings to uncover issues and discuss them with the consumers who have experienced them."

Edmunds.com has created a free resource to keep consumers informed about the 2010 Toyota recall at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-car-news/toyota-recall.html
.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 64 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      First, I work for GM and here's my take on this:

      - While those recalls will not kill Toyota, they will put a chink in their armour
      - The same lawers and politically correct consumers will most likely take advantage of the big cash cow. Too good to be missed.
      - Consumers will most likely stop believeing that the problem they do have is just an isolated case. They will start filling their questionnaires to Consumer Reports, not blank this time.
      - It is also interesting to watch Dave Champion (CR) saying that he will "temporarily" suspend recommentations on Toyota. How does he know when and how Toyota will definitly have a solution for the sudden acceleration issue? Double standards.

      I do not believe that their fix is the solution. To accelerate, the pedal has to go near the end of it's course; I don't know a lot of little old ladies with their gold Corolla's putting the pedal to the metal. Same with the typical Camry ownners who wear a hat and used to drive an Oldsmobile.

      To be honest, it is impossible for a vehicle to accelerate suddenly out of control. The brakes on any vehicle are designed to be stronger than the engine. If you apply the brakes, even if you try to press on the pedal at it's maximum, the car will not move. You will burn the transmission.

      What kills peolple is the split second of panic where you press on the gas pedal instead of the brake. It has been proven that 55 years old and +, notably woman , are prone to this panic moment. This is what happened to Audi many moons ago.

      In conclusion, I have some friends at Toyota, which I believe is a good corporation. What really bothers me is this feeding frenzy of the entire media community smelling blood. This treatment could happen to any other manufacturer. It also bothers me very much to see what is going on in the political arena, where you really can see who really got some financial advantages from Toyota. There is a limit to the propaganda telling everybody that They are a pure USA corporation.

      "Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels.
      —Richard Alan Nelson, A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States, 1996"


        • 5 Years Ago
        Smart, well-considered comment. What a refreshing novelty.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love my Tacoma. For me it was between that or a Ranger/S-10. Ranger looked old and lacked some power. The S-10 was noisy/rough and really drove like a truck. The Tacoma
      was faster and didn't sound rough when i hit the gas. Also unlike Chevy, my badges match what's under the hood. S-10 was just a Isuzu Hombre with gold bowties.
      I think the Colorado is the same way.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes, yes, we already know that China ONLY cares about China. Your attitude is so healthy and positive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A huge media circus.
      • 5 Years Ago
      hmmm...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Keep in mind most of quality issues stem from cars built in America with parts supplied by US suppliers, may be this should serve as example for Hyundai and others not to over expand in US.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ok the idiots that thing this is a "hoax" are utterly retarded. It really is a safety issue, a small number of incidents yes but they have admitted to it and have recalled now almost 9 million cars for a number of different things, they basically admitted that they have been lax on safety issues and notice now almost every one of their cars are being recalled, if not, they know they will have to do it in future and they want to go ahead and get things done now so they can build their safety rep back up. The government has nothing to do with it, and quite frankly, I'm ashamed Toyota did this. However, it turns a lightbulb on in some peoples heads that Toyota's aren't the best cars out there like every uneducated American that believes everything they hear. Toyota makes great cars, but so does Honda Ford Nissan GM and RAM.. and some Chryslers lol. Matter of perception
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let's not forget both Edmund's and Consumer Reports (and other auto mags) have been recommending these deathtraps for years. In light of the evidence (the massive recall, the Lexus 911 call on YouTube, the Haggerty case on YouTube) they now look like complete chumps. In trying to minimize damage to their own reputations, they have a vested interest in downplaying the significance of Toyota's current problems.

      TOYOTA = Trouble Over Your Overtly Terrible Accelerator
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Are we – both the media and the public at large – blowing the Toyota recall story out of proportion?"

      Gee, ya think? Good grief...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but the NHTSA is under fire right now for deliberately reducing these exact figures Edmunds is now using, are they not? Something to do with the duration of the issue in question meant that a significant portion of the claims made were ignored and not reported because they didn't fit what the NHTSA was looking for. If the claim was made but not recorded in the system, then how are these numbers worth the bytes they occupy?
        • 5 Years Ago
        No. From the story, this includes all complaints lodged. NHTSA didn't throw any complaints out of its database. Rather, it threw complaints out of consideration for use in specific investigations involving certain petitions for recalls. So they'd still be in the figures Edmunds is using.
      • 5 Years Ago
      True or not, the media is blowing this out of proportion.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Only blowing it out of proportion after a family was blown out of proportion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Most of the time I read all the post, to not hammer the same point over and over. But I didn't so I'm sure somebody my have hit this: Are we blowing the Toyota recall story out of proportion?
      Are you fu--ing kidding me ? two of the big three are 100 yrs. old. Chrysler is to if you go by the Dodge bro's . . Company's go up and and down, GM employs less then 2/3 as they did in 1979. So in the greatest recession since the Great Depression they needed help. With that said, this blog has ABSOLUTELY crucified them for them for needing a hand. Why on earth wouldn't people pile on them, their cars are dangerous. You water heads have piled on all summer, fall, all of this year about the bail outs and how they will fail. I'm sure your just tired of writing about it, just like I (we) were tired of hearing of how GM and Chrysler will fail.
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