Sunday, December 27, 2009
This evening (Italian time that is), Autoblog.com reported about a new case of a Toyota recall at the horizon. Are we sure that's the case?
Of course not, as the story is actually slightly different.
The facts: "several dozens" 3rd generation Prius owners reported to the NHTSA a loss of braking power.
NHTSA didn't open any investigation, but is reportedly observing the situation.
Now, many readers promptly wrote that thousands of the sea of reports are made of disinformation on the customers' side, or of inexistent problems.
Autoblog took a good approach with an analysis on the problem, trying to investigate what could have cause it. You can read the whole post HERE, and the rest of MY 2 Italian Cents after the jump.
While I'm happy for the deeper analysis of the "situation" than in other cases with a bit of a technical backing on the statements, I also think that writing this post only because "several dozens" (so I suppose less than a hundred, so a minimal number so far) folks said something is a bit of stretch. It's probably the first time I read something made out of so few reports, and I suppose a huge archive could be made out of similar cases.
The tone and the title sounds a bit like if Toyota's cars are now falling apart, as if time has eventually com for their empire, after other issues this year, from the first financial loss in more than 70 years of activity or the throttle's pedal thing. Perhaps that post isn't so bad, but it's another one on that direction.
Toyota is indeed facing a tough year, but mainly because of the media and how people/customers handle thing especially in the States.
Even my mother's Fiat had the fabric carpet which, if not repositioned every now and then, could end behind the throttle pedal and cause it to be like "hinged" to the carpet, so revving the engine or accidentally accelerating the car.
First of all, we fixed ourselves, no need to call our dumb Prime Minister, and so should do all Toyota owners out there, while also avoiding to floor the pedal at every given moment.
Second, I saw worse issues being less covered by the media, even automotive related stories. Internet just makes things bigger and worse than what they actually are, even more than things you've heard from friends of a friend.
Probably Toyota saw all of this coming a while back, being the "cool" guy and the one who sells more obviously attracts critics and much more attention.
I'm fine with reporting issues, problems, news and everything about all automakers, but with a bit of objectivity and equally for all of them.
That said, what's about Toyota styling ugly cars? Some claims that's why people tend to criticize Toyota over Ford for instance (in those specific comments). The could well be the case I think basically all Toyota's cars are just plain if not really boring, but that doesn't mean they don't know how to "design" them, which should be quite more important, especially if talking about safety. Talk about that to Ford. No, talk about that to Explorer owners.
Honda and Toyota are doing a lot to show and demonstrate that their hybrids really pollute less than an ordinary car, because people seem to really enjoy to try to prove them wrong. I think it's actually weird on the other hand that no one went to check if an Hummer H2 or a Cadillac Escalade actually pollute what they declared or not, or if any other automaker is going after so many environmentally friendly activities as they are doing. It may not save the world but it's better than staying on your chair only criticizing what other people do.
The funny part is that I don't even like Toyota.
Image copyright. Toyota Motor Company