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Mike Bryant
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Toyota: Who Should You Listen Too?

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It’s clear that there is a problem with a lot of Toyota vehicles out there. More than nine million vehicles affected worldwide There are questions about what the problem really is. There are questions about how to fix it. But, the real questions are, who do you listen to?

There is Toyota: The are doing all that they can to protect their image. There were reports last week that they were going to start a publicity campaign which would include a senior executive appearing on television to discuss solutions to the manufacturer’s massive recalls. The company is seeking to appease consumer concerns over sudden acceleration of its vehicles.

There are the recall notices: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been pushing Toyota to make recalls and to get the problem fixed. But, there have been different explanations of what it needs to fix and are they calling for enough?

There are a number of lawyers talking about this issue: Attempts are being made to reopen federal product liability suits against Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. in the Eastern District of Texas there has already been a signicant order. In its Jan. 20 mandamus opinion in In Re: Toyota Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Waco, Texas’ the 10th Court of Appeals ruled that plaintiff Pennie Fay Green can proceed with discovery in her attempt to obtain a contempt order and sanctions against the automaker.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood : suggested that Americans should park their recalled Toyotas unless driving to dealers for accelerator repairs. But, later backtracked on that statement. Was it dropping stock prices that affected the statement?

There still seems to be more questions than answers. Hopefully, the consumer will be protected by someone.

2 Comments

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  1. Brandon West says:
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    A topic that was brought up the other night about the whole Toyota recall thing was gov’t involvement. Toyota (and other manufacturers for that matter) have had numerous recalls over the years. Outside of the Firestone/Ford deal, none have gotten as much media/gov’t attention in the last 10yrs as this incident. Some interesting timing on a few things:

    1. Toyota recently surpassed GM as the worlds largest automaker.
    2. Toyota has not been @ the top of their game in regards to quality as of late – falling from 1st to 5th in Consumer Reports annual reliability study (2009). But this hasn’t garnered too much attention.
    3. The US gov’t has a vested financial interest in seeing GM succeed – and Toyota’s woes in regards to public trust is a huge opportunity for GM to siphon off some would-be Toyota buyers.

    I’m not suggesting gov’t conspiracy, the media feeding frenzy was bound to happen to some extent. But has additional gov’t attention made it appear worse (or kept the conversation going longer) and who is benefiting from this (wag the dog).

    Was an interesting topic of discussion and I’m curious to see GM’s sales numbers next quarter.

    Additional thoughts?

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Interesting idea, although seems that Toyota is bringing a lot of this on themselves, the government may have even looked the other way. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.