Toyota, Toyota, Toyota… when will you value your customer’s safety?
Toyota is now recalling 7.5 million vehicles, but only after the public outcry from consumers about the foot-dragging over a faulty window switch. The faulty window switch catches fire and has injured people, including one instance when a passenger, in a Camry, was badly burned trying to extinguish the fire with a loose piece of clothing.
It seems that something as dangerous as a fire would prompt a quick recall from the Japanese car maker. But that hasn’t been the case.
According to Brian Lyons, a Toyota spokesman, Toyota originally tried to play off the seriousness of the bad switches, by asking regulators if they could simply handle the problem through a “special service” campaign. Making that solution even more laughable is the fact that Toyota was only going to repair those switches if customers complained about the cost of the repair.
Regulators guffawed at the idea, forcing Toyota to perform a recall and inspect 2.5 million vehicles in the United States and 5 million vehicles globally. The switch will be lubricated with special grease, preventing the unit to cause a fire.
Let us not forget when Toyota was whacked with record federal fines ($50 million), two years ago, after not performing necessary safety recalls and for failing to inform federal regulators of problems. If you recall (pun intended), the accelerators were sticking, making it impossible to stop the vehicle.
“Japanese manufacturers rarely recall products without a fight. It is an image and pride issue, and it has been like this for decades,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive. “They don’t want to admit that they have a systemic defect in their cars because it hurts their reliability image.”
- 2007 to 2008 Yaris
- 2007 to 2009 RAV-4
- 2007 to 2009 Tundra
- 2007 to 2009 Camry
- 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid
- 2008 to 2009 Scion xD
- 2008 to 2009 Scion xA
- 2008 to 2009 Sequoia
- 2008 Highlander
- 2008 Highlander Hybrid
- 2009 Corolla
- 2009 Matrix
Let’s face it; all manufactures will have to perform recalls from time to time. The problem with Toyota is that they don’t recall quickly enough, and this should be a real safety concern for anyone driving one.