It seems that ever since banks started going bust, the media and the populous likes to get a bit carried away with themselves and mass hysteria soon follows. Toyota finds a fault with its cars, it does the right thing and recalls them to make a very simple fix and now newspapers are printing rubbish like ‘Don’t drive a Toyota – you might die’.
I suspect this is mainly to do with the fact that Toyota is now the World’s most successful car maker and so there are many out there who have a vested interest in bringing them down a peg or two. If you can’t beat them in fair competition by making a better car for less money, why not ensure they get a total hammering in the press instead?
Vehicle recalls are commonplace and a sticking accelerator is not the most serious problem I’ve heard of. Recalls due to ‘Risk of fire’ or ‘Brakes may fail’ are far more alarming yet have not caused a media frenzy. Last time I drove a car (yesterday) there was an easy fix for an accelerating car. The brake pedal. Rumour has it all cars are fitted with one. You could even use the clutch and put the car in neutral if you remembered enough from your driving lessons. A sticking accelerator will not automatically enter you into ‘Death Race’.
Toyota has, for many years, topped the charts of owner satisfaction surveys. Occasionally a Lexus is up there too … which is also made by Toyota. The idea that they suddenly make unsafe cars is a myth that every other car producer would like you to believe. Toyota has fared the best through this recession, the other main manufacturers are really feeling the pain (with the exception, possibly, of Ford).
I feel that the media coverage is nothing more than thinly veiled protectionism as many countries want to see their native auto-manufacturers do better.