• Aug 7, 2010
For years, Toyota was seen as an infallible, safe choice for consumers seeking high-quality, reliable and safe vehicles. That may still be the case, but recent events have made it abundantly clear that Toyota is as capable of making major mistakes as any other giant automaker.

Perhaps some of that lost image will be restored after a series of independent investigations into Toyota safety are concluded, assuming of course that the findings are favorable for the automaker. Steve St. Angelo, Toyota's North American quality chief, believes they will be. At the Council for Automotive Research's annual Management Briefing Seminars, St. Angelo said, "I can't find a technician who has found a sticking pedal... I am 100-percent confident that there is nothing wrong with our electronic throttle control system."

St. Angelo continued, saying that 80 percent of all owners of vehicles recalled for sticky accelerator pedals and bad floor mats have had their vehicles repaired. Interestingly, the quality chief added, "Recall is not a four-letter word," suggesting that it's best to admit to issues up front and repair them in a timely fashion – a practice Toyota hopes will keep customers returning to its showrooms.

[Source: Detroit News | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]


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  • 58 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I really don't care if what outcome the investigators conclusion is. The issue at hand and reason that Toyota was fined was their unwillingness to address a potential problem and they can't take that back no matter if there was or wasn't a problem with their product.

      Hopefully, they can learn from the whole experience and handle these matters in a more appropriate manner next time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the real issue is that only one case has been proven to be due to the floormat issue- since when do recalls happen because of 1 substantiated case, and that every other automaker has unintended acceleration complaints with some like GM, Chrysler and Ford having similar or even higher numbers than Toyota. Why didn't the NHTSA investigate/fine/attack them? Why is only Toyota being singled out for this issue that all other automakers also "ignored"?
      sUE5966
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a 2004 Highlander with a broker air conditioner; the wires attached to the circuit board come loose. My local Toyota dealer wanted $932 to replace the part, ridiculous considering it's defective. I'll never buy another Toyota.
      • 4 Years Ago
      so, that means that everyone who had the problem is wrong and toyota is always right! whatever! toyota cant find an issue cuz that would mean getting their head out of their butts!
      • 4 Years Ago
      OK THANKS.
      driftxtz
      • 4 Years Ago
      My friend just experience the acceleration in her Lexus on the freeway. She said she kept stomping on her brakes and finally the car slowed down. The dealer said her model is not on the recall and did look or repair anything. Wow, so the quality chief says everything is perfect. I highly recommend you not buy either brand if you value your life.
      • 4 Years Ago
      And even putting the sticky throttle issue aside, Toyota has numerous other recalls that do not involve a sticky pedal. Millions of other Toyota/Scion/Lexus affected the other recalls. It'll take them years to clean up their image and resale values are already being affected by this...
      • 4 Years Ago
      No, Toyota lacks a brake assist throttle override. The only kind needed.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mark, Mike is still correct. Yes a large number of the claims do have to do with stomping on the wrong pedal. Some do not. Grouping them all together is inappropriate.

        For those that do not, a brake override is the correct solution. Even if you believe the only issue is the customer introduced floormat issue, the brake override is necessary. Many other manufacturers have it. Toyota can't claim 100% confidence in the system until they have it too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's amazing how so many people put so much stock in what the hear in the news. Resale values on Toyota's have dropped slightly, not substantially and no where near the levels you can expect the value of any of the big three to drop. The CTS pedal that was recalled is actually in a lot of other manufacturer's vehicle's as well so realistically if it was the pedal than it would not have just been Toyota. In the mid 2000's I believe 2004, there was an extraordinary amount of coverage on shark attacks in Florida that was presented as the shark's were going crazy down there. (I'm sure some of you remember that) The fact was that there were less attacks than usual but the way the media handled it would have led you to believe that it was the worst year ever. This is the same thing, the only thing Toyota screwed up was the way they originally handled the PR campaign when this first hit the news with the police officer. The floor mat issue has to do with people putting floor mats that don't fit or stacking multiple floor mats on top of each other, that's why the recall fix is to actually shave the bottom of the gas pedal shorter to allow room for people who do that. I think Toyota should have handled the situation differently but it was somewhat discouraging to watch Toyota in the headline's while Honda had people burning up from bad electronics in the power window assembly not to mention the multiple recalls Ford was announcing during the same period in time.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @CoupeDeBill: The difference is that NASA and NHTSA have disregarded the professor's tests because even they knew the tests were a pile of feces. Are they being paid off by Toyota too? Funny you ignored that part. Yes, Toyota hid and ignored issues for the sake of profit. Find me an automaker with millions of customers that hasn't done that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is this what is called.....DENIAL? I LOVE the last part when they say that it's best to admit to problems up front and to fix them right away.......HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm still skeptical of that "sudden acceleration" issue.. I mean, it has YET to be reproduced and confirmed... I mean seriously there is a demographic issue too in that whole story...seems sticking pedal happens more often to 60+ people..and before saying all toyota owners are old, search for toyota buyer's demographic first.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ....and BP would never destroy the environment.
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