• Jun 14th 2010 at 4:31PM
  • 37
As investigations into how Toyota handled faulty steering relay rods in the company's pickup trucks and SUVs continue, critics suggest that it's quickly becoming clear that the company has mishandled repair and recall efforts. According to a USA Today article, Toyota had repaired vehicles with the defect for over 11 years in the U.S. before deciding to initiate a recall in Japan, and a recall for the 977,000 affected American vehicles didn't occur until one year later.

To compound the issue, not all owners were contacted about the recall once it went into effect, leaving plenty of potentialy defective vehicles in the hands of the public. Some owners were even made to pay for the repair out of their own pockets without reimbursement from the automaker, especially after the vehicle was out of warranty. In some cases, Toyota made what it calls goodwill repairs for free.

The investigation into the defective steering relay rods comes after the federal government fined Toyota the maximum allowable $16.4 million earlier this year for failing to notify the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration of unintended acceleration issues in a timely manner. The automaker is currently the plaintiff in a class action lawsuit in California concerning the faulty steering relay rods.

[Source: USA Today]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Time, the f out!

      GM JUST RECENTLY, recalled 2006-2009 Vehicles for their heated windshield-washer fluid fire risk, but GM KNEW about this issue over two years ago, which is why THEY STOPPED PRODUCTION OF THIS OPTIONAL PIECE OF EQUIPMENT

      Why are they not being investigated?
        • 5 Years Ago
        So now, GM is to blame for Toyota's bad behavior? All those paid bots are swinging into action.
        We know Toyota pays folks to floor the internet with "defenses" for toyota.

        They are not fooling anyone anymore. Those talking points do not work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        dude, really? Windshield washing fluid? I'm pretty sure a steering issue is a lot more important than washer fluid lol.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's never long before the avowed Toyota Japologists crawl from underneath the undergrowth and crow about the alleged failures of other car manufacturers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seriously guy? I'm always on here...always commenting. I don't take sides...I just view the info and make my own personal judgments based on said info.
        • 5 Years Ago
        With the heated washer fluid, GM did issue a recall a long time ago when they were first made aware of the problem. But then recently they discovered that the fix they implemented as part of the recall didn't completely fix the problem. That's a mistake, not a cover up.

        Can't speak to the Cobalt issues... don't really know anything about that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So a fire isnt something people should pay attention to if its caused by windshield washer fluid in a American car? Youre such a fanboy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's never long before the avowed "Big 3" Dumpmestologists crawl from underneath the undergrowth and crow about the alleged failures of other car manufacturers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Additionally, what about the Cobalt steering issues? GM AND NHTSA were aware of that almost a full five years ago!

        I'm all for calling out a company on its missteps, but this is really beg to smell...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think I hear mother Diehard yelling that you forgot the acne medication on the kitchen table.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yet another instance where Toyota fails to do the right thing by the consumer, and it is yet another critical safety component that was compromised. Nearly 100 deaths from faulty brakes alone ought to be enough to dissuade anyone from buying a Toyota.

      Why would anyone want to place their lives at stake for an immoral company?
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol, do you even know what are you talking about at all... what are these fault brakes? lol.
        You mean alleged, unconfirmed reports of deaths due to floormats? There was never any issue with brakes, nor media ever talked about brakes so how do you arrive at brakes?

        p.s. Every single company until now has long fixed their issues on the production line before recall... that includes every single recall of Ford and GM, and both Ford and GM had 2x number of recalls than Toyota. So whatever Toyota might be guilty of, multiply by 2x for Ford and GM.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's so true it bears repeating:

        "Yet another instance where Toyota fails to do the right thing by the consumer, and it is yet another critical safety component that was compromised. "
      • 5 Years Ago
      SPW . "You mean alleged, unconfirmed reports of deaths due to floormats? There was never any issue with brakes, nor media ever talked about brakes so how do you arrive at brakes?" Yeah thats right..good statement..they first blamed the drivers..then the mats...then the drivers again when they were wrong...then they blame...um.....Obama..thats right must be the government ..then they blame the consumer again and say "We are here for you" we will do whatever we can to keep you in our Toyotas...so they put on 0% for 60 months...then take away your rebates and raise the actual cost of the vehicles and the people think they are again getting a better deal....that was by the way directly out of a Toyota salesperson's mouth. Then the recalls continue and as others have pointed out here they point fingers at ford and GM's problems that happened before half of the worlds population was even born. That is a great argument to a problem TOYOTA has....see what I said there TOYOTA...not a driver...not the government...not 30 year old problems with other manufactuerers...but TOYOTA.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do you Toyotalovers not get that the problem isn't so much the defects (although Toyota sure likes to give the impression they don't make mistakes), it is the culture of corruption which has lead them to ignore obvious safety issues, dodge recalls, make the US wait YEARS before recalls that happen in other countries, and brag internally about how much money they are saving by pulling the shuck and jive on NHTSA? They've been doing this for TWO DECADES while everyone in the media was saying how great their cars are. Everyone has problems with their vehicles; it's just that Toyota won't admit it, even when they know it could KILL a lot of people.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And to the people bringing up the Pinto failure of 30 years ago, you do realize Toyota's failure has killed 3 times as many people as the 27 deaths attributed to that failure, right?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Need anymore proof that Toyota doesn't give a crap anymore?

      A Japanese warranty is pretty useless these days.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There's a reason why they call it "Japanning", which is to gloss over. Failure to acknowledge war crimes, faulty products that aren't properly recalled... it is a systemic culture of corruption.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, Toyota was good until the end of the 90's. Just like Nissan. They did give a crap until then when they were done building their reputation.

        As far as us playing world police, we seem to only really do it in places that have benefit to us. It is not selfless. If we wanted to crack down on slavery or corrupt governments, we'd stop buying *everything* from china and Africa/South America would be our #1 focus.

        I guess this is not the place to talk foreign policy, but all i'm saying is that we're just as nasty as the next military-industrial complex.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As if we're not guilty of some nasty stuff too..

        *let's put all japanese people in an internment camp!
        *let's pretend there's nuclear weapons in iraq!
        *let's occupy every country and play world police!
        *sorry we accidentally dropped on ya!

        We're just finally starting to own up to our stuff, so..

        You wanna see a country with a good moral record... this is not it.. Maybe Canada or Switzerland.. I don't hear them being at war any time lately.. :)

        Not gonna argue about the warranty part. It's pretty much always YOUR FAULT from what i hear. Honda is less evil these days but i keep hearing stories about their transmissions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Middle Way

        Apparently Toyota hasn't EVER "given a crap" or 'cared'.

        I was starting to feel bad for Toyota even though I'm more of a domestic car & supercar fan. I even posted on AB thinking that there might be some sort of conspiracy against Toyota but apparently there's isn't one. It's just getting worse with every bit of news!

        I can't even understand how they can have the audacity to be running commercials for quality and "hey remember how good we were" and "we've been here all this time" and all the positive commercials while news just keeps coming out about how many things they've covered up, ignored, lied about and so on. I really thought it was over for the bad news but it just keeps coming.

        And as for your comments about Japan not being the only country that doesn't play nice. Consider the fact that the United States is all about spreading democracy, because it's fairer than slavery, un-equal rights, slave labor, terrorism and so on. If policing other countries to keep the ultimate peace is necessary, well, I'm glad someone's doing it because if Hitler were alive (and he would have lived alot longer if the US didn't get "involved") then the world would certainly be a different place right now.

        I'm not a supporter of policing everywhere, but when it makes sense, when it protect our citizens and when it empowers our country by way of having access to fuel to continue protecting its citizens and those of countries that share the same values, then I'm all for it.

      • 5 Years Ago
      It's called loss mitigation. T repaired it if you complained while they waited to see if it went to the level of a recall. About all you can complain about is that NHTSA didn't force a recall because not enough people complained about it to NHTSA. So fine T again, NHTSA! Bet they won't.

      I blame it all on Reagan and his gutting the federal bureaucracy, except for DOD, of course. And his buttboy George HW continued the farce. Clinton didn't do much to reinforce regulation, and then Dubya...and Yeah, how's that Change workin' fer ya?
      • 5 Years Ago
      @Mbuku Kanyau Mbithuka
      "This company is downright immoral."

      "Why would anyone want to place their lives at stake for an immoral company?"

      Interesting. Did the phrase "immoral company" get bandied about in this morning's talking points? And come to think of it, since when are we supposed to be concerned about morality? I thought that morality was an outmoded lifestyle choice, practiced mainly by pea-brains living in fly-over country. Aren't we all supposed to wag our fingers at you now and exhort you for being so judgmental?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota fans stick to the makers service intervals and have them serviced at the friendly dealer. The dealer fixes problems that Toyota knows about without the customer or the NHTSA's knowledge. What's wrong with this picture? Wait till they really address the rollover safety issue of the 1st gen. 4 Runner. Take a pickup and add what amounts to a Gem Top on it. Now that they are cheap and reliable- a perfect truck for your teenager to drive. You can talk about gas tanks and side saddle fuel tanks-that was the past. These death traps are still out there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fail on multiple fronts.... let's report as opposed to blindly follow and regurgitate, sound like something AB may be interested in? ( if for no other reason then to avoid being lumped into "mainstream" pile) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/new-record-fine-against-toyota-or-record-fail-of-lawyers-and-media/
      • 5 Years Ago
      Those in the know already knew that Toyota has no integrity... both figuratively and literally.
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