Somehow, we're guessing that the "any publicity is good publicity" cliche isn't ringing particularly true with Toyota these days. That said, we do have to give some props to the automaker for being open about the current state of its recent recall woes. According to Toyota, roughly 3.2 million of its many recall notices have been fulfilled.
The past few days have seen a new rash of stories about Toyotas run amok. First, a 2009 Venza struck a house in Hamilton, Ontario. According to The Hamilton Spectator, the driver said he lost control of the vehicle after experiencing uncontrolled acceleration. While 2009-2010 Venzas were recalled for the infamous floor-mat issue, police have yet to determine whether the Hamilton incident was a result of faulty hardware or driver error. No one was injured.
The Los Angeles Times scoured public records and discovered that the number of deaths possibly linked to Toyota's unintended acceleration issue could top more than 100 – twice the amount previously reported earlier this year.
The hits keep on coming for Toyota, with reports of unintended acceleration multiplying like rabbits with aphrodisiacs and grandstanding of all sorts going on at every level. Orange County, California District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has added another layer to the cake with a lawsuit alleging Toyota sold cars it knew had problems.
Historically, Toyota has been the automaker with the Midas touch... everything it did seemed to turn to gold. But, in light of Toyota's recent safety and recall woes, if you were compiling a short list of companies that you admire today – as in right now – would the Big Red T make the cut?
Just yesterday, Toyota Motor Company's president Akio Toyoda (yep, the grandson of the company's founder) indicated that he had no intention of attending a February 24 Congressional hearing before the House Oversight Committee. Instead, Toyoda said that Yoshimi Inaba, president of Toyota's operations in North America, will appear on behalf of of the automaker.