still a loyal toyota customer.
getting a little sick of the excessive fuss over the recall – in the history of the auto industry, it isn’t a rare occurrence. also, the parts that have failed so far have specifically been american-made parts and should not be a reflection on the entire company – instead, it should be something only the president of toyota’s north american holdings** should be answerable for. also, this means that if you own a toyota, and your VIN (17-character “vehicle id number” that can be found on practically every piece of your car; best viewed on bottom edge of windshield from the outside looking in, or on the inside edge of the driver-side door jamb) starts with “JT”, your parts are japanese-made, and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. i don’t remember ford or firestone getting as much flak for the “exploding tire” or “excessive rollover” incidents way back when – and they were pointing their fingers at each other and got a contractual divorce, instead of “taking responsibility“, which is what toyota is doing.
finally, consumer reports released their new car “Top Picks of 2010” for their april 2010 issue, and suprise, suprise – toyota’s lexus LS 460L won “best car overall“, scoring 99 points out of a possible 100. also on the list? you guessed it – one of 2010’s most beleaguered little engines that could, the prius, won best fuel-efficient “green car“, with 44 mpg. when asked about their decisions in light of the recall via news radio, reviewers from the magazine replied simply that numerous car companies go through recalls, and they stand behind their results. in another news radio report, toyota factory workers who showed up to support the company at the current hearing (CNN Video) pleaded for consumers and lawmakers to “be fair” in their judgments. point of interest: as i recently tweeted… the government has lost its position as a unbiased third-party – it for all intents and purposes owns GM & Chrysler (or at the very least, have a vested interest in their financial performance), which means, they are no longer capable of being objective. as i heard it explained similarly this morning, congress demanding answers from toyota is like mcdonald’s presiding over a hearing involving burger king and demanding answers for why their burgers are [allegedly] crappy. boo, i say. boooooo.
*consumer reports does not print outside advertising, accept free product samples, or permit the commercial use of its reviews for selling products. the magazine states that this policy allows the magazine to “maintain [their] independence and impartiality… [so that] CU has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. consumer reports‘ “new car issue” is released every April, is typically the magazine’s best-selling issue and is thought to influence millions of automobile purchases.
**Toyota has a large presence in the United States with five major assembly plants: Huntsville, Alabama; Georgetown, Kentucky; Princeton, Indiana; San Antonio, Texas; Buffalo, West Virginia.
***images courtesy of consumerreports.org.