Another bad recall week for Toyota

2010 Toyota Sienna

This was a bad week for auto manufacturer, Toyota. First came the news about its Lexus GX460 luxury SUV that has the potential to roll over on certain curves. In light of that news, Toyota said that it will halt sales of that model until they figure out how to fix the problem. Then, on Friday came the news about yet another recall for the Toyota Sienna to replace a cable that holds the spare tire because corrosion can cause it to fail and release the spare tire from the vehicle. With 870,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada from 1998-2010 model years being recalled, the size of this recall is quite large given that it is only for a single model.

Both of these issues are completely unrelated to the massive sudden acceleration problem that many Toyota models faced which really shined the light on Toyota’s faulty quality. The examples of poorly designed and built Toyotas are really starting to pile up and cover almost the entire fleet of cars that the company makes. The depth of quality issues are very similar and in some ways worse than the quality issues that dragged down the domestic auto manufacturers in the 80′s, 90′s and early 2000′s.

However, because Toyota is offering incentives for buying their cars like 0% financing and cash back, their sales figures in Canada have actually gone up, while in the U.S. they are not doing nearly as bad as people expected. Analysts are starting to come to Toyota’s defense by saying that there is an anti-Toyota or a pro-domestic manufacturer bias which leads the media to be extra critical of the Japanese car maker. However, GM, Ford and Chrysler all fell as far as they could partly due to the media exposing the quality problems they had. If you compare those problems to Toyota’s current problems then you will notice that Toyota’s problems are not much fewer than those of the “big three”, especially when you consider that the light is still making its way through Toyota’s problems and I assure you that there will be more to come (just like I accurately predicted before this recall).

I owned a Toyota from the early 2000′s and along with my knowledge, experience and knack for the automobile industry; I have no doubt that Toyota vehicles are not nearly as good as their reputation makes them out to be. We will see more Toyota problems within the next 12 months and it won’t be some media generated, anti-foreigner junk- it will be the real deal. A while back I wrote a very accurate article about all the major auto manufacturers and how their reputations often trail behind the reality of their vehicles and I recommend that everyone read it (click here).

Although there are some good incentives to buy a Toyota right now, if you plan to finance the car versus a lease and you plan to own it for more than 4-5 years, then I would strongly recommend that you look at other car makers’ options as well before you decide. I would not place any Toyota above other vehicles as the default starting point like people have been doing for some years now. The reality does not reflect that and many times the Toyota car is worse than others.