Archive for February, 2010

The Pedal Problem

February 4, 2010

Finally Toyota has met the American vehicle consumer at the gas pedal. It is about time. There are other problems waiting, but for now they continue to wait: Brakes on the hybrid, roof collapse on vans, unexpected transmission failures. Want more? Ask Mr. Google – but beware Mr. Google is slow about divulging this stuff, Some of us would like to know why.

In all fairness, Toyota’s problem is advertising. If the product were in the same quality metric as the advertising, they would have fixed this years ago. Problem is the product quality is probably not all that much greater than anyone else’s. If not then why do dealers have service departments, and why are there so many of those independent brand mechanics around? Somewhere there must be something to fix, or a lot of brand and dealer service mechanics would be kinda hungry. What Toyota unequivocally has is quality of advertising. The problem here is not gas pedals sticking, because that can happen to any car. The problem is the quality of the cars significantly lagged the quality of the advertising. So perhaps the quality was always in the advertising. If so just deserts are now being served. It is about time.

One other question. In the cars that have so catastrophically failed did the transmission also lock in gear such that drivers could not shift to neutral during the acceleration event? I wonder about that, because I would expect an officer of the highway patrol to instinctively know to shift to neutral. For some reason it seems that did not happen in the car he was in. Someone needs to discover that, because if that turns out to be the problem, the secretary of transportation was right the first time.

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