Anti-Toyota Propaganda and the Amnesty for GM! Is it a Propaganda?


A sign assuring customers the car has not been affected by the recall is displayed on a 2010 Camry at Bay Ridge Toyota in New York, on Feb. 4, 2010. (AP / Seth Wenig)

Every year, auto industries have a recall. Sometimes for some part, and sometimes for some electronic problem in a particular model. Foreign or domestic, it is a standard in the auto industry. However, recently Toyota, the most famous and trustful auto company across the world got a major hit for some accelerator problem, that led to the major scrutiny of the company.

News on Toyota was everyday thing on all news mediums from TV channels to newspapers and radios, everyone was discussing the safety of the public and what it means for the future of the company Some said that it was the US propaganda to use the problem and the recall of Toyota cars in order to divert the sale from Toyota towards US auto companies. Others said that foriegn products are low quality and only US can have good quality, and this incident will make Americans realize to buy American! Was this a propaganda or not, I don’t know lets see::

Apart from the politicians and media rhetoric, the readers will be astonished to know that recall is a very common thing in the auto industry, the massive auto recall by Toyota not only started in 2009 but it was massive back in 2006 as well!! I will try to summarize some of the stats below:

NHTSA:- “The number of vehicles recalled in the U.S. peaked in 2004 at 30.8 million, falling off to 11.2 million in 2006, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).”  BusinessWeek

Ford:- “on Aug. 3, 2007 the Detroit carmaker issued a massive recall (in US) of 3.6 million vehicles, citing a defective cruise control switch that could lead to fires. Together with the nearly 7 million vehicles the company has already recalled for the same reason since 1999, it’s the largest automotive recall ever recorded.”  BusinessWeek

Toyota:- in 2006 “recalling nearly 1.5 million vehicles worldwide, spanning every single model line produced that year.”  BusinessWeek

Nissan:- in 2006 “announced a recall of Altimas and Sentras affecting 96,800 vehicles that were susceptible to engine fires due to excessive oil consumption. Up to 24 fires have been reported to the company.”  BusinessWeek

GM:- In May 2006 “31,000 units of the Chevrolet Corvette were recalled by General Motors (GM), because there was mounting evidence that some roofs could come unglued at high speeds.”  BusinessWeek

That is the record recall of 2006, record compared to recalls during previous years from 2006. This is before the United States government owned most of GM!!

Lets now move slowly towards 2010:

Volkswagen America:- In 2007 “This year the bombshell on the list was Volkswagen of America, which recalled more than a million New Beetles because of a faulty brake light switch (in both the 2007 and older lines), and some 58,000 Passats for a fragile vacuum line. The company predicts that only about 30% to 35% of the vehicles in this recall are faulty but advises all owners of affected models to visit their local dealer.”  BusinessWeek

Suzuki:- On Feb 25 2010, “Suzuki Motor said on Thursday it was recalling more than 430,000 Suzuki and Mazda brand small vans in Japan to fix defective air conditioning units that could catch fire.”  The Vancouver Sun

Nissan:- Feb 25th, 2010, “Nissan Motor said Thursday it would pull for repairs more than 76,000 vehicles to fix poorly connected electrical wires which it said could cause the engines to stop.”  The Vancouver Sun

GM:- March 2nd, 2010, “General Motors (GM) is recalling 1.3 million small cars in North America because of a power steering problem that has been linked to 14 crashes.” BBC News

Toyota’s recall of 2009 & 2010 so far: “Toyota has recalled 8.5 million worldwide vehicles after customers reported incidents of unintended acceleration in some of their models and trucks. The problem has left the company red-faced and has led to pointed questions from the U.S. Congress about the automaker’s safety record.” CTV News

So compared to Toyota’s 8.5 million recall across the world to other auto companies from 2009 until now is pretty concerning. This is the reason the United States Congress had the Congressional Hearing of the Toyota company that brought the Japanese auto tycoon stand infront of the politicians of a foreign state and address the issue.

However, with all this Toyota news, the public hardly came to know of these other recalls (some serious ones as well), while the Congressional hearing didn’t really produce any result because numerous problems are arising in various parts, and Toyota is not sure what other problems it’s vehicles are having besides the accelerator jame. So I think, US government should certainly pressurize Toyota towards safer and quality cars, but without starting some regulation type thing that I have been hearing some senators say because that will hurt the free market system.

This problem of auto parts also shows that auto companies need to change their present method of using one part in all their models. For one mistake in a part’s factory, the entire lines and models will need to be called for repair, like Toyota is facing. GM faced the same problem as it announced the recall on March 2nd.

According to the news today, all other auto companies have done better in auto sales compared to Toyota, because of the Toyota’s shaken consumer confidence. However, when I read the comments at the poll daddy of the recent poll, I found some interesting comments. You may read all of  the comments at Poll Daddy but I will choose to reproduce a few:

Question: Have you lost trust in Toyota?

Jennifer: Both my husband and I have had numerous different cars by different manufacturers – and none compare to Toyota. We both buy a new car every 2 years and since 2001 my husband has only bought Toyota …We have never had a complaint – yet both my Auris and my husband’s recent Avensis have had a recall. Both times the company were been fantastic – did everthing possible to help etc…In Sept 2011 when we are next due to change our cars we will again go back to Toyota (I will get another Auris as it is a fantastic car)

Mike: …Want a safe car to drive? Buy a Chrysler. Want a safe Japanese car to drive. Buy a Honda… Toyota. SUCKS.  

Dale: I once had a Tercel. It was gutless but reliable. My concern with Toyota is what has emerged under investigation–that they have been playing cover up for quite a while, cutting corners, cutting recalls, to save money. Honest mistakes I can handle. Covering up hurts trust. And that’s the point of this poll: do I “trust” Toyota? Not now. It will take time to regain it.

and I end with Sarah

Sarah:

 Toyota are an amazing company! They are a world leader in quality and lean manufacturing!
Ask the American government …who owns a competitor to Toyota….oh yes … they do! Therefore we have a witch hunt…because no one can be bigger or better than America!
If you are interested in recalls then please read VOSA website and then you will understand that every manufacturer has recalls… the difference is, how they deal with it!
Toyota are not dismissing the issue yet there are far more serious issues with other manufacturers that are not headline news! Why not?

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Filed under America, Umer Sultan

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