Bad start to holiday season for Toyota

2011 Toyota Sienna LE Pictures, Images and Photos

Toyota has had a bad few days in the news which is the worst time of year to be having bad news (not that there is a good time for bad news). No company wants to have negative news stories written and talked about them right in the heart of the holiday shopping season. Unfortunately for Toyota, two news stories have popped about them in the last few days which can not help their holiday sales numbers.

The first was not brought on by them at all. GM CEO, Daniel Ackerson called the Toyota Prius a “geek-mobile” and compared its boring style to the new Chevy Volt which looks more attractive. Although this is just trash talk by the competition, the comments made the rounds of the news outlets and people considering that car may very well consider other options after reading those comments. Whether the comments are true or not (and there is some truth to them) and whether or not the source is reliable, no one wants to spend that kind of money and be called a geek afterwards.

The second bad news story involving Toyota is 100% the car maker’s fault. Once again, they have issued a recall on their Sienna minivan. The recall is for over 100,000 2011 Toyota Sienna minivans in the U.S. and Canada produced before November of 2010. The reason is a problem that can cause the brake lights to remain on even when the driver is not stopping. It can also cause the brakes to not work properly. By now this should be of no surprise to anyone, but it does show that Toyota has still not learned how to improve the quality of their vehicles.

If you were considering buying a new Toyota or Lexus and once again you hear that Toyota is still not making quality cars, certainly not as good as many Ford or even GM models, that can and should really make you look at the alternatives as possible options. It will be interesting to see Toyota’s holiday sales figures that will come out in early 2011 to see if these bad news stories had an effect on them.