What the hell is going on with Toyota???

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An article in yesterday’s Los Angeles times investigates Toyota’s history of blaming car defects on human error.

Sure, they all do it. Up to a point.
These are scary, or even deadly, events for the people involved.
And I am sure many people are thinking twice before buying a Toyota right now (I personally know of a couple of people who are)

The “floor mats problem” seems to actually be an excuse for something much worse. Like many cases of sudden acceleration.

Here are some examples:

-“After a 2007 crash of a Camry that accelerated out of control for 20 miles before killing the driver of another car in San Jose, Toyota was sued by members of the victim’s family. Their attorney, Louis Franecke, said the automaker “didn’t want to go to trial,” and paid them a seven-figure sum in exchange for dropping the case and signing a non-disclosure form.”

-“Tim Marks, a small businessman in Camden, Ark., parked his daughter’s 2006 Lexus IS 250 in front of the dealership last year and said his family would never drive it again after experiencing four sudden-acceleration events.”

Click on the title for the whole L.A time article.
A very interesting, and devastating piece….

Conversation 31 comments

  1. Toyota was hell bent on becoming the biggest automaker in the world. Like GM found out, just because you're the biggest, does'nt mean you're anywhere near the best. They may be the biggest today, but their bad styling and now poor quality control issues are going to eat away at this company. It's too bad too because they do have a good engineering department. hhhmmmmm…I remember people saying that about GM for many years. GM had some of the best engineers in the industry, but at the end of the day, the company made some real pieces 'o crap. Now it's Toyotas turn. Let's keep in mind though that this could happen to any company. Remember Ford/Firestone with the Explorer roll overs?

  2. It IS human error! I challenge anyone to acclerate to 40 mph, then with your right foot floor the gas, and with your left foot brake. You will STOP, not go faster. DUH!

  3. i have a rav4 and it accelerated on me a few times when i let go of the gas pedal. it was pretty scary but now it rarely does it…

  4. Don't forget everyone…if this happens to you, you can always put the transmission in NEUTRAL and then apply the brakes. The engine will rev up but won't be damaged due to the rev limiter. It'll be easier to stop and you won't have to deal with excessive brake fade caused by fighting against the engine.

  5. Toyota has had a LOT of problems for many many years. The Previa "Death Trap" minivan; excessive & repeated oil leaks/engine failures; and a barage of intermittent quality glitches over several years. This may be news for the Toyota Loyalists who's friends & family have been killed in the most recent "sudden excelleration" events; but it's hardly anything new for Toyota.

    I think that the extremely UN-scientific methods employed by companys like CONSUMER REPORTS to rate quality & reliability has enabled "politically popular" foreign companies to keep there worst secrets hidden from the public for far too long.

    To bad the bodies have to start stacking up before people start questioning the "status quo".

  6. what a retarded POS article taken out entirely out of context, just about every automakers at some point have complaints about unintended acceleration. most of the sudden acceleration reports were in fact from floor mat being trapped. and that is indeed a human error. making sure nothing is in the way of the brake and gas pedal is the DRIVER's responsibility, you stuck a bently mat behind the pedals of a bently and you will crash too. would you ask nike to recall their shoes if your sneaker and it gets stuck behind the brake pedal and result in a crash? furthermore, another automaker with abnormally high number of complaints is ford, mostly about the f150, umm, so the 2 companies with the best selling vehicles in terms of volume also gets more complaint, wow, that's surprising and totally makes no sense!! why don't they offer the odd, rate, or % of complaints in reference to the number of vehicles sold? by their logic then I guess saab and hummer must be the best car in the universe with completely zero problems then, since they make less cars than the number of complaints being reported!

  7. @annonymous your faulty logic and absolutely ridiculous comment would be laughable if people had not died from these horrific events.

    When are Toyota “apologist” and their acolytes going to stop living in a bubble called Denial and face the honest, straight forward fact that Toyota, like many large corporations, cares only about their bottom line and not yours? Unless of course you are a shill for this brand and their arrogant, lying, cover-ups!

  8. I know someone who this happened to in a BMW pulling out onto a busy road and was t-boned by a pickup. the car was totaled and now the driver is confined to a wheelchair. in this case, the brake and accelerator pedal on BMW's are extremely close together and his foot jammed.

  9. Maybe the drivers were DWS…Driving While Stupid.
    A 1 in 100,000 event usually means driver stupidity not car design flaw.

  10. my 2001 Sienna has more gremlins than any of the 6 or 7 Hondas I have owned… combined. now this news. I will never get another Toyota.

  11. There customers made them big…They don't want to kill them you ignorant little twit. Go back to your TV and beer.

  12. This just proves my suspicion that Toyota is evil and hell bent on world domination.

    Wonder if they'll end up like Mitsubishi

  13. How the hell can you have an out of control car for 20 miles?

    Not saying it's NOT possible, but I want to know how.

    I'm not discounting a drop in quality, but 20 miles?

    I can believe a stuck throttle (been there, done that years ago with my POS Saab which is why I root for their demise), but you couldn't move the transmission lever, you couldn't move the key to accessory position , you couldn't stand on the brakes?

    Even at a speed of 120 MPH you have 10 minutes to figure it out.

    But that is what the drive is saying:

    "Drivers in other crashes also found it difficult to rein in a runaway Toyota. Guadalupe Gomez of Redwood City said he was held hostage for 20 miles on a Bay Area freeway by a 2007Camry traveling more than 100 mph."

  14. Vince, i am a Detective. We are currently investigating a intersection accident with a 2010 camary. One woman was killed and the driver of the Camary was seriously injured. The operator reports the car had a "mind of its own" as she sped through several intersections before colliding with another vehicle. The Federal Government was contacted and arrived to investigate and document. The black box has been removed and is being held as evidence. The only problem now is that only Toyota has the equipment to download and read the cars events before the accident!

  15. i think it has more to do with the fact that toyota/lexus attracts customers with the lowest level of automotive knowledge possible, rather than having quality issues. i once helped a 42 years old stranger (a man)with his lexus es 330 in the guest parking in my apartment complex. apparently some punk puctured one of his tire and he had no absolutely no idea how to remove the puncture tire and replace it with the spare in his trunk. mind you like most cars all the tools are in the cars already.

  16. "Doesn't anyone know how to put it in neutral or turn the key off??"

    Many Toyotas don't have keys or neutral positions on the gearshift. They also have brakes that fade away to nothing after one panic stop, which is just around the time you realize the engine is at full throttle even though you have your foot off the gas.

    Apparently, the thing to do is to press on the "Start" button until the car stops, but most people don't know that. Maybe cars should have standardized kill switches just like motorcycles.

  17. Don't forget everyone…if this happens to you, you can always…

    trade up to Dodge, Ford or Chevy!!!

  18. Years ago my cruise control engaged itself on busy downtown San Franciso city streets.
    The car took off at full throttle, and I ran a stoplight. I traveled an entire block scared shitless before I thought to pull the gearshift into neutral. Even after stopping the engine raced at full throttle. The engine wouldn't shut off and pulling up the gas pedal was futile. I went under the hood and yanked the throttle linkage until it became unstuck. I was very young (20) and frightened, fortunately I kept my head. The sad thing about some drivers is that they become terrified and panic during a runaway car scenario.
    Terror and panic in a speeding vehicle guarantee disaster.

  19. Strange timing of this article. Two thing I am sure of about the media in the USA, they cannot be trusted. Same thing can be said for many lawyers as well.

    Toyota makes a huge number of vehicles every year, there are going to be problems. Even if all is true in the times article(which I doubt given the times dismal reputation), it still isn't alot of issues for toyotas volume.

  20. I don't get it if Toyota's quaitly is that bad, why is it people still buying the 09' corolla regardless of how out of date it is?

  21. It's called "Lying for Dollars"…This is also called the "Legal System" with 12 pathetic parasitic morons on a so-called jury.

  22. Les states, "Many Toyotas don't have keys or neutral positions on the gearshift."

    Oh please do tell: which models DON'T have neutral on the grearshift??????????????

  23. Anon 1:22
    The LA times is a joke in just about every way except entertainment or automotive news. Californians love their Japanese cars, so when critical reporting like this reinforces rumors that have been floating around for years, it's newsworthy.

    It's not that Toyota appears to have an increasing number of problems. It's that they're covering it up and how they're treating their customers. This puts into question everything else they might have done. And it makes people wonder if their reputation is well earned.

    Anon 9:25
    Up until the last ten years, Corollas were substantially better than most cheap compact cars. They were never good, just better than the competition. The reason that people buy them now is from latent brand loyalty from decent Toyotas in the 80s and 90s. It's the same reason that one in three midsized cars were Oldsmobile Cutlasses in the late 70s and early 80s. And we see where they are today.

  24. "Up until the last ten years, Corollas were substantially better than most cheap compact cars."

    Actually; up untill the last 10 years, Corollas, Geo Prisms, and Chevy Novas were all the same car — with ONLY "brand engineering" to distinguish them. That was good enough for Toyota Loyalists — but not good enough for Chevy or Geo customers. So Toyota raised prices as suckers lined up. And GM gave the people much more car for less money: — Cutlass/Grand Prix/Monte Carlo/Regal; etc. When "value" no longer sold cars at GM; they went back to selling Corollas (Matrix/Vibe) — and we all know how that turned out.

    "A Toyota by any other name is still CRAP. Period."

    -OR- as the Toyota people say; "You can ALWAYS fool SOME of the people, SOME of the time!"

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