Quest Means Business   « Back to Blog Main
February 17, 2010
Posted: 1424 GMT

Toyota President Akio Toyoda said he has no plans to appear before a U.S. Congressional committee next week, despite pleas for him to show.

Are we being too tough on Toyota?

His comments came during a news conference where Toyoda addressed reporters for the third time in two weeks about the massive global recall.

Toyota has recalled more than 8.1 million vehicles worldwide for problems related to sudden acceleration and unresponsive brake pedals, among other things.

The company has apologized for the safety lapses and pledged to repair the recalled vehicles quickly.

Still, U.S. lawmakers and consumer groups are furious with the automaker and have already launched dozens of class action lawsuits against the company.

We want to know what you think.

Are we being too tough on Toyota? Do you think there's a sense that consumers are ganging up on the automaker?

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Filed under: Business •Quest Means Business

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larry standefer   February 17th, 2010 2:32 pm ET

toyota has done nothing that ford,chrysler,chevy,or any other car co. has done.dont we have other things for congress to work on than a car co.?

Aveen   February 17th, 2010 2:35 pm ET

The saying goes that you're only as good as your last game/car/transaction/whatever. Toyota (despite the recent problems) still have a positve image engrained in the minds of (older)conusmers worldwide.

While this will hurt them in the short-term it's just a drop in the ocean in the long term. People inherently don't like to change their loyalty. Ganging up on Toyota will only help other eastern car companies, Hyundai, Honda, Kia, etc...

alex   February 17th, 2010 2:35 pm ET

NO !!!- – we expect as consumers in this country to have safe cars no matter who builds them.!!!!!

Cory   February 17th, 2010 2:38 pm ET

I'm just looking at Ford here... and all the issues they have had and there was nothing like this against them. Oh and it's not consumers... it's the media... every person I know that has a Toyota woud never trade it in they love the cars.

Wanda Zimmerman   February 17th, 2010 2:39 pm ET

Yes, absolutely the media/public is being ridiculous about this. I think everyone is behaving as if no American companies have ever made a mistake or had a recall. Was it the pinto that burst into flames at being barely rear ended? and what about those tires that came apart. many many many people died because of these American mistakes. We are not perfect and yet the vilification that Toyota is receiving makes us appear as if we are.

John   February 17th, 2010 2:40 pm ET

No I don't think anyones being too tough on Toyota. If this were GM, Ford or Chrysler, the Naderites would have been screaming about this long ago. By the way, were have the Naderites been on this anyway?

Manuel Veragas   February 17th, 2010 2:41 pm ET

ABSOLUTELY NOT!! NHTSA is the only protection the American consumer has! Seems to be a systematic approach to squash quality issues while aggresively building market share. Think of the comments over the last couple of years when a Toyota problem is discussed ... "... oh, it must be a one-off". Doesn't appear to be the case!! By not disclosing quality info in a timely manner, the illusion continued to be one of "one-off issues" vs the reality of ".. systemic quality problems". Toyota acquired market share and leadership by aggressively building an illusion of quality.

Kim   February 17th, 2010 2:43 pm ET

How many recalls has Ford or any other "american" car company had? And Americans are bltching about toyota? Stupid americans...

MJL   February 17th, 2010 2:45 pm ET

Absolutely not.. I believe they have acted very responsible for what has happened.. Sure it will hurt them now, but I believe this to shall pass.

Brian   February 17th, 2010 2:45 pm ET

When you are on top there is a target on you. What doesn't kill them will only make them stronger. All this without taking bailout money to do so.

John Lloyd   February 17th, 2010 2:47 pm ET


No American auto maker has faced this intensity of criticism under similar circumstances, and some had far greater problems.

It's just a symptom of the "tea party" syndrome appearing in another forum. Any stupidity uttered is accepted, amplified and transmitted as truth, and these are the kind of results we get.

Keep the focus on Haiti where it rightfully belongs. CNN is dropping the ball on Haiti only a month after the catastrophe occurred.

Misinformation and outright lies are passed as gospel truth and the public just accepts it. Some people profess to actually believe that there are 8 million Toyota vehicles on the road that have serious safety problems. If that were the case we'd have seen 10's of thousands of injuries or fatalities resulting from it. That has not occurred. While the 30-40 suspected fatalities is nothing to take lightly, the same kind of numbers have occurred in American vehicle's with serious safety problems with far less outrage than now being levied on Toyota.

I have a 2005 Tundra that I expect to drive until I die, and I know other Toyota customers with vehicles that have the kind of mileage on them to make that a reasonable estimate.

Don D   February 17th, 2010 2:47 pm ET

I work for a Ford dealership and I relate Toyotas problem with what Ford went through with the Firestone Tire issue years ago.

Ford and the Explorer took a big hit as well as Fords image. Cash flow took a huge hit too do to the replacement of thousands and thousands of tires.

No manufacturer can sustain a near perfect record and it was probably over do for Toyota .... no manufacturer and sustain the the perception that most people have of Toyota's quality control. MY inlaw has a top of the line Lexus and its been in the shop a few times. Anything mechanical will break .. just a matter of time.
The real story is did Toyota try to cover this up thats another entire issue.

Great day to be a Ford store !! 🙂

Al T.   February 17th, 2010 2:48 pm ET

Yes, we are. Over the last few decades U.S. car manufacturers have had more recalls on their vehicles than Toyota and were rewarded with millions in bailout money. But for a foreign manufacturer, congress starts a witch hunt. Way to show justice for all, Congress!

Solitary T   February 17th, 2010 2:49 pm ET

I've owned three Toyota pickups in my lifetime. I loved them. Reliable. Indestructible. Always got me out of sticky situations when I needed them to. The fact of the matter is that Toyota makes a quality product. I absolutely believe that the media and the government are coming down way too hard on a car company who is working to make something right, to make something better than it was before. Yes, this is a big recall, but people don't realize it's only the 5th largest automobile recall ever, the top four done by, you guessed it, Ford and General Motors. And while it saddens me to see Toyota have to do a recall, I would absolutely purchase another Toyota, especially knowing that if anything were to go wrong on it, it would promptly be fixed. They're a great company.

ryan   February 17th, 2010 2:49 pm ET

the only reason the US is being hard on Toyota is because they are not an american company. If this was GM, Ford, or Chevy, it wouldn't be a big deal.

For the money, toyota cars are one of the best in the market.

Andrew   February 17th, 2010 2:50 pm ET

US automakers have been producing crap cars for years finally Toyota makes a mistake and just because they've been so much better than the US automakers its unforgivable we should actually be applauding them for acting so quickly. I will never buy US I don't care if my Toyota blows up when I start it!

Eric   February 17th, 2010 2:51 pm ET

Seriously,,,, Did these things ever happen to the big 3? And when it did happen they had to be pushed to admit to the isue. Atleast Toyota is admitting to their faults and trying to move forward in a positive approach. They are claiming responsibility for their actions and correcting the issue.

edwin machuca   February 17th, 2010 2:53 pm ET

Indeed you are and there is ? about it. And I will buy toyota because there are still few companies that made things in the USA, like toyota honda, etc. No like your companies that run to China to make cars for you or mexico when your workes are losing those jobs. So tell me who in the world is more America those who run for cheap pay or thse who take care of your backyard like Ford, Chevrolet,kenmore,all of your companies.

Andrew   February 17th, 2010 2:54 pm ET

Congress cant even govern they should be put on trial in front of the people to testify about what they actually done in the last two years that doesn't directly benefit their pockets and constituents but the US as whole. After that debacle they should escorted out tar, feathered and thrown in jail for complete scum!

shane   February 17th, 2010 2:54 pm ET

Yeah, we are being way too tough, considering GM had memo's that proved cars could catch on fire and refused to recall them due to cost concerns (despite people dying) surprises me they're still in business.

Toyota is doing the right thing by finding solutions and recalling the cars once the solution is found. Truth is car manufacturers can't know every issue a car will have until it hit the market. Many cars are tested vigorously but can't check against EVERYTHING every consumer will encounter.

JT   February 17th, 2010 2:54 pm ET

Yes, everyone is being to hard on Toyota. The other automakers have done it all before. Only difference is Toyota is acting more quickly (that's right, more quickly) than the other auto makers did, not to mention some even knew in advance and killes 3 -4 times the people. Anyways, Toyota still makes a great vehicle, 80% of used vehicles are STILL on the road today, and you can't argue numbers or fact.
Enough said, Give them a break.

Charlie   February 17th, 2010 3:00 pm ET

Useless congress is doing nothing more than acting tough and showbaoting. Toyota will fix the problem to stay competitive and also pay out huge liability findings. Next Congress will be outraged over toyota closing American plants.

Where is congressional quality control?

mike   February 17th, 2010 3:01 pm ET

The U.S. auto lobbying group is probably getting their wish to keep this in the media as bad press as long as possible by prompting congress to do their will--again. Dirty politics as usual

John   February 17th, 2010 3:04 pm ET

I bet Ford and the likes are jumping out of the skin with glee

wanda   February 17th, 2010 3:04 pm ET

Yes we are. We have owned Toyotas since 1970. I would not have any other vehicle in my driveway. The U.S Manufacturers have had more recalls that I can count. Toyota is doing everything possible to take care of their customers. Get off their back Congress!

BG   February 17th, 2010 3:06 pm ET

No mention of union pressure on the Toyota recall, eh? Seems like a serious conflict of interest for union owned Government Motors to be investigating non-union Toyota.

javastring   February 17th, 2010 3:09 pm ET

your question should have been "Are we being too MUCH on Toyota?"

Surprisingly no matter what you ask anwer is "YES"

jjohn   February 17th, 2010 3:11 pm ET

No, when ford had tire problems there were pictures in every paper of wrecked suv"s, people are being killed by toyota, where is the picture of the family that blazed thru a red light and were all killed, these are the same people who starved 50,000 people in the phillipines during there occupation, you give johnny wier crap for wearing fur but drive japenese cars, go figure

Peter   February 17th, 2010 3:13 pm ET

It seems that after Toyota's decades-long reputation of quality and reliability in the eyes of consumers, that the government and US automaker really are over-reacting to a problem or quality issue that is something that would be expected given the ratio of GOOD things that Toyota has made over the years. At the same time, I think it was inevitable that something would fall short given the complexity of systems in modern autos. Consumers and trends demand that acceleration and braking be so computer-controlled and seamless that the cars became too overly complicated. I personally own 2 Toyotas...but they are vehicles from the early 80s that still used throttle cables and hydraulic brake systems. If there is a problem, it is because I myself have neglected to service them. They are still in great running condition, and they both serve their purpose without any complicated computer issues (Corolla and Land Cruiser). Maybe it is time for Toyota to go back and look at what it did RIGHT in a much simpler era.

Davofwater   February 17th, 2010 3:14 pm ET

I think we are blowing this way out off proportion. Other car companies like Government Motors (GM), Ford, and Chevy have all had recalls before. This is all part of any company that make products, when things go wrong you recall them to fix them. I would still rather own a Toyota than some cheap crap our US car makers spew out. Just compare resale values, that tells the whole story.

Terri   February 17th, 2010 3:16 pm ET

Yes, absolutely, they are being way too tough! I have owned Fords, Chevy's, and GM products, BMW, Volvo, Volkswagon products, HOWEVER, would never buy them again. I have been a PROUD Toyota owner for the last several years, and no matter what, I will never buy anything else. Toyotas are the most reliable cars on the market, and they hold their value quite well. Toyota is still a great car company, and they always will be in my book.

Ash   February 17th, 2010 3:17 pm ET

When I came to US the first thing my friends told me – Be American but never buy American cars. Toyota and Honda make great cars and their products have consistently been top sellers. Period! I own a Corolla myself and will continue to buy from either manufacturer. If those BIG boys of Detroit deserve a bailout, why not Toyota? Atleast they make quality products and unlike American CEO's they take corporate responsibility seriously and are willing to admit their fault.

Casey   February 17th, 2010 3:18 pm ET

Does anyone think its a coincidence, that after the huge Toyota recalls, we started seeing recalls from Ford, Honda and others?

The other automakers are hiding behind the massive publicity directed at Toyota. It appear as if they were waiting for the right moment to announce recalls rather than recalling vehicles when they obtained the information requiring it.

I think Toyota has done an outstanding job of living up to its mistakes and doing everything possible to correct them.

I've never been a Toyota owner before, but I will be now.

Peter   February 17th, 2010 3:18 pm ET

Absolutely not!!! They are compelled to answer, just as Ford or GM would be. Thus far, they are still dodging questions and taking action ONLY when they have to. America's romance with Japanese "quality" is over – as it evidently should be.

Damon   February 17th, 2010 3:21 pm ET

No we are not being hard enough on them I drive a 08 Lexus IS 350 and made a complaint of my gas pedal sticking to the floorboard over a year and a half ago, their response was to make sure the mat was pulled back firmly, that was their solution not resize the mats or resize the pedal, Last week my emergency parking brake goes out considering this was probably the second time I have ever used it I returned it for service and the rep told me that the mechanic informed her I shouldn't use my emergency brakes because my main brakes would work just fine. Then what's the purpose of having it in the first place? So no Toyota only cares about sales, not service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TPA Wiz   February 17th, 2010 3:23 pm ET

Toyota is fairm game. They rode their reputation for reliability all the way to the bank and #1 automaker. Since they sold millions of vehicles on reliability alone they should receive a greater backlash when they recall 8 million vehicles.

ron   February 17th, 2010 3:24 pm ET

NO, NO, NO all the people sticking up for them are led to believe that Toyota can do no wrong, and yes Ford GM & Chrysler have had issues and recalls but they Man up and anounce recalls so people think they have more quality issues, than Toyota. Toyota hides them so nobody knows about them and people think they have no quality issues and there cars are the best, but now it's all coming out in the open and people think we the American public are being to hard on them, and all Toyota can do is hide in a different country ! Don't feel sorry for them they have been living the American dream on the cost of american lives.

box envy   February 17th, 2010 3:25 pm ET

Are we asking too much of Mr. Toyoda to come to US? I think not. The truth will come out eventually. Toyota owners are afraid they're going to have to face their friends and neighbors that they've been criticizing for buying American for all these years! The 'Black Box' will tell all but Toyota refuses to read the data for Congress; unreliable they say. I would hate to be holding Toyota stock when that first report of a fatal accident involving a 'shim fixed' Camry comes in. ouch!

Look at all the Toyota owners googling 'toyota black box'.....

chris   February 17th, 2010 3:26 pm ET

I dont think they are being to hard on Toyota. It would be the same issue if it was GM or Ford. I think the only reason why Toyota is in the lime light is because this is there first big recall, and Toyota is the top automotive company in America. What better news than go after the top dog. I blame this more on the media. Look at Tiger Woods he gets caught sleeping around and the whole world comes to a stop but Charle Sheen does what he does and nobody so much bats aa eye.

Chris WIlson   February 17th, 2010 3:26 pm ET

I think this is no more media intense than what Ford went through with Firestone or GM in the Nader days. My bet is you could have found just as many loyal owners of Ford or GM saying the same thing the Toyota owners are now...what's the big deal? Facing reality is always a tough thing to do. However, I'll tell you, if Toyota did hide this...then they desreve every bit of negative press they get, including a public 'correction' to their percieved quality...

Steve   February 17th, 2010 3:28 pm ET

The question should not be: "Are consumers being too hard on Toyota?". The question should be: "Is the media being too hard on Toyota?". Here is a news flash: this is not the first major vehicle recall in North America. If you do your historical research you will find a number of very embarrassing vehicle recalls of substantial numbers from a very broad cross-section of vehicle manufacturers. No one company is immune to these issues and the true measure of the company is its willingness (as opposed to being forced) to rectify the problems. Toyota did not take a tax payer buyout and have never laid off a single manufacturing employee in its history (even during the current plant shutdown). If it were not for Toyota's growth in North America and the subsequent thousands of manufacturing jobs it has created directly and indirectly in NA the auto business would be in very serious trouble. This is much bigger than one company and the media is kicking the daylights out of this story. We get it already...the only thing that would move the media off of this story would be another natural disaster. When does hurricane season start?

Stephen   February 17th, 2010 3:29 pm ET

Absolutely not. I think we are handling this in a perfectly acceptable way. It's Toyota's fault that they abandoned the "Toyota Way" in exchange for large growth.

j b   February 17th, 2010 3:29 pm ET

As consumers and Americans, we have become a suspicious society. Perhaps it was due to the Ford Pinto fire cover-up of the 70s, years of Ford Explorer rollovers, or scandals involving Gov't officials or our idolized Athletes. Add a baseless tabloid media frenzy – which is what our media has become – and you have a recipe for sensationalized, false, sound-bite reporting. Let's not forget the members of the House committees in an election year being pushed by their Union funding to discredit a company which has elevated the quality standard and safety of the cars we drive today. Would we have such an environment if GM and the UAW were still leading the pack? Would we have these hearings if the Gov't didn't own two competitors? I think not. Best of luck to Toyota – keep making the quality cars American consumers deserve and doing the right thing.

Kevin from MA   February 17th, 2010 3:30 pm ET

No, we're not being too hard on Toyota.

Toyota built a fine - and, by most accounts, well-deserved - reputation for the quality of their vehicles. However, despite good-faith quality controls, anything can emerge as an unforeseen problem.

A defining trait of a truly great company, however, is what they do when they discover such a problem. It is the way that Toyota has handled, or mishandled, the problem(s) that is causing the media, government, and public to react as they (we) have reacted - and deservedly so.

It took many years of good, hard effort for Toyota to build such a fine reputation around the world. It may all come crashing down in a few short weeks.

Josh   February 17th, 2010 3:30 pm ET

I think the congress should spend our tax money on better things, toyota is handling the problem it looks like the have a solution. Having congress yell at them won't change what happned or the solution in place but instead be a waste of american tax dollars. Yeah No S**T theres a problem.. Maybe its becuase we americans can finally get back on our high horse and point out the problems of others when toyota has kept jobs instead of cuting jobs in our country. If anything that means more hours for the guys in the service department. The fact that congress is going to yell at toyota will only create a few hours of pay for the catering company that puts out the water on the table for congress to drink out of...

Randy   February 17th, 2010 3:31 pm ET

Lets target the best car company in the world because ,first they are being blamed from the fat cats at FORD , GM an CHRYSLER for killing the US car industry when in fact they have saved it, they employ thousands in North America unlike the so called US car companies who shipped the production and manufacture of all cars outside the US borders .Toyota problems with all these recalls can be traced to parts produced by companies and assembled by people from north America. what Toyota is not Telling us is The Japanese Version are not part of the Recalls .when they can easily blame it on sub par work done by US and Canadian workers and suppliers. they are, from all indications a conservative company that is willing to be berated and attacked by uneducated ,self serving individuals .Toyota is Taking the Fall for years of great products and Toyota should be praised for setting the standard that All car companies are striving to be. Toyota Is a car US car company unlike Ford ,Canada and Euorpe,Chrysler , NOt even owned by a US company . And General Motors Owned by the US goverment . grow up People .

greg   February 17th, 2010 3:31 pm ET

You can bet one thing....if this had been Ford, Chevy or Dodge again with a recall, it would have been at the bottom of the newspaper.

But since its Toyota, the #1 car company, its a big deal.

I have been convienced for years now that American car manufacturers will never be able to produce an excellent, long lasting, repair free, affordable vehicle like Toyota because of our greed for a "set" profit and "short" shelf-life of the vechiles America manufactures.

You can rest assured this will only make Toyota an even better quality car manufacturer in the future for the long run and give them additional staying power in the car market.

Go Toyota and every other foreign car manufacturer as American car manufacturers will never wake up to lower profits and change!

Will   February 17th, 2010 3:33 pm ET

All you nitwits who believe we are being too hard on Toyota are clueless. The media cant scream fast enough or loud enough when domestics have a recall for weather stripping. Toyota, Honda, Nissan have recall problems and there is never a word about it. Toyota just settled a multi million dollar law suit for their lousy manufacturing of their 3.0 v-6 engine. Hear anything about it?? We sure heard when ford had problems with firestone tires, and cruise control systems that leaked flammable fluid. I have personally owned a Toyota, Honda and Nissan, and everyone of them was recalled for some component. Seatbelt anchors in my Honda. That seems pretty important to me, but I don't recall hearing anything about it in the media, To use the words of one of the nitwit posters, 'stupid Americans,' yes stupid Americans who don't have the understanding that they have been manipulated into believing everything domestic is bad, and everything asian is good. Does anyone remember the Audi 5000? That nearly killed the company and was due to unintended acceleration. Audi had a 5th of the deaths attributed to Toyotas problems and they knew about them long enough to have attempted a software patch on their assembly line at the beginning of this year. They never told anyone of course, but they knew of the problem and attempted to cover it up. Bottom line, Toyota has placed vehicles in our market that have a problem in two areas; they accelerate uncontrollably, and their brake systems fail to engage. That sounds like two very serious problems to me! The explorer issue related to tires that may blow out, and it was taken very seriously. Toyota's problems are a bit worse..

For those of you who utter the words "there have been far more recalls for ford, gm, Chrysler" and therefore Toyota should be handled with kid gloves as they always have been is from a lack of information. The problem is there have not been more recalls of domestic vehicles, you have just heard more about the recalls as the asian companies have always received a pass on their quality problems. " O they are on top of it and working to fix it" "their looking out for the American consumer." Please you are deluded, they have concealed a number of problems and had knowledge of the problems they are being taken to task for long before it exploded. Don't be sheep, look into the facts and you see a company that has been given far too much leeway and as a result finds itself in a tough spot. If you lost a loved one b/c your Camry went out of control due to a problem Toyota executives had knowledge of since 2007 and felt it cheaper to deal with the repercussions then fix it, I bet you would not be saying how much you love your great Toyota. Asian companies believe the American consumers are sheep and they do as they wish, its about time they were held to the SAME standards as the domestic auto makers.

Michael   February 17th, 2010 3:33 pm ET

No doubt, Toyota is one of the best selling car in America. You can't argue with the fact. My family has 5 different Toyota and some of them now hit to 200,000 miles on it! I bet that Toyota will act fast to fix the problem and they won't drop a ball in North America market. Besides, as a consumer, we also need to be protected by making sure car manufacture fix the problems.

I don't like politic. Instead of pointing finger, Congress or Media should do something more informative to the public. Come on, you guys just waste your tax payer.

I used to own Chrysler and that's it. Never go back to American cars again.

Eric   February 17th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

Too tough? Yes! Like others have said before, what has Toyota done that the big 3 have not? Toyota is on the top and is being picked on for it.

I think it is important to remember that this was a voluntary recall, and that Toyota admitted fault immediately and admitted they let people down. Further they pledged to make it right. They have some dealers open 24/7 to fix the problem that only affected a small percentage of vehicles and only happened over time. It's not like your gas pedal was going to stick without warning. Show me when a US company has done that before.

This is further complicated by the fact that the government (aka taxpayers) own a portion of GM. What a better way to go after a competitor than to use your political power in a world forum to attack a competitor. It's just sad.

I have owned 2 Dodges, 2 Fords, and 1 GM vehicle in the past and now own 2 Toyotas. I would not trade the Toyotas for anything!

Ron   February 17th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

Absolutely yes, the media and some of the public are being too tough on Toyota. The problems are all over-exaggerated.

The brakes work on the Prius... the pedal just doesn't feel right for a second while going over a pothole at slow speeds.

Some drivers are using aftermarket floor mats on top of the Toyota carpeted floor mats, causing the gas pedal to become stuck in an open position if the aftermarket mat moves. I don't really see this being a huge problem, but many Americans do.

As for the sticky gas pedals.... just more American manufacturing at its best.

Nick   February 17th, 2010 3:38 pm ET

Our congress is now focussing on another issue that has already been taken care of, all the while getting nothing important done. With Health care, Haiti, two wars, our congress focusses on Toyota. Looks like U.S lobbying groups like many lobbying groups in this country are having there way again. Thanks congress for focussing on something that doesn't need your attention, just like steroids in baseball.

Stephanie   February 17th, 2010 3:39 pm ET

Just like the case with the Tylenol recall, Toyota will take a long time to clean up the mess that they created when their quality control department didn't thoroughly inspect their vehicles. Toyota needs to strongly administered their products better. However, this recall will not put so much as a dent in their wallets. Personally, I will not be buying a Toyota anytime soon.

Henry   February 17th, 2010 3:39 pm ET

Here goes the US Congress again on an all mighty hearing. Let's bring the criminals to the House of Lords. This is not why I vote and pay these clowns to be in Congress for. Toyota has recognized their big mistake and are properly attending their customers to resolve the problem. Congress should instead spend time on having a hearing for themselves on what to do to solve our economy's real problems.

Lynn   February 17th, 2010 3:40 pm ET

Why are we even having to ask this question? When it was Ford, GM or Chrysler they were vilified and trashed in the press. No one asked if we were being to hard on them. Why should Toyota get a pass? The Issues that Toyota is having are SAFETY issues. They put drivers in danger. That is no small thing. There can not be enough scrutiny when safety is concerned.

Jason   February 17th, 2010 3:40 pm ET

Start connecting the dots folks. Look at the legislators who are calling for Toyota's head in this, Michigan, UAW, GM ties. Its about as blatant as the mainstream media's omision of these ties in their coverage. Toyota will be vindicated, when our legislators rush to the hill to save us from our "defective cars," it will raise the bar by which all car companies will have to disclose, redesign, fix and recall vehicles. All which will be much more difficult for Toyota's competitors, considering the decades of junk they have been building. Get your digs in on Toyota now, because they have the cash, discipline and ability to turn the tables very quickly. Meanwhile, I'm going to go buy what my government doesn't want me to, a new Camry. Take that Barrack!

Mike   February 17th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

NO we are not being too hard on Toyota! People are saying that American car companies have had worst recalls but I challenge them to tell me when one American car company has had 3 major safety related recalls within about a month. And guess what, a 4th steering recall is in the works (for the Toyota Corolla). Some of these issues have been reported since 2000 and Toyota has been sweeping them under the rug to cover their behind.

Second Challenge- when has a recall on an American car caused 34 deaths (just in the US since 2000) and around 300 injuries- like the accelerator recall for Toyota. Toyota has a culture of secrecy and works very hard to keep stuff like this from coming out. They deserve everything that's coming at them right now and probably more.

The fact is that many American cars are now more reliable and economical to own and repair than Japanese cars, but we've been conditioned to believe American cars are unreliable and Japanese cars are perfect- by the same media some of you are now making out to be the villian.

Personal Experience: I've owned 2 Buicks- both very reliable and easy and cheap to maintain. My brother has a '77 Buick that has gone well over 200K miles on the original engine. My Mom has a Chevy Caprice that still runs great with around 200K miles on it as well- original engine and transmission. I have a friend who had a Toyota Sienna that he bought new and had to sell after only about 2 years because the main oil seal went and it was coughing up black smoke- and would have cost thousands to repair.

Drive what you want, but I choose to help Americans and American car companies while driving the best cars out there in my opinion.

K Kroll   February 17th, 2010 3:51 pm ET

I dont care what everyone else thinks how the government is treating them. They brought all of this upon themselves, they went with large and rapid growth which comes with consequences, in their case, in the form of over 8 million recalled vehciles. They had the "Toyota Way", and didnt stick with and now they pay for it, honestly i dont feel sorry for them. I dont care want people say about the quailty of american vehciles, i will never buy an asian brand car for as long as i live.

dennis   February 17th, 2010 3:51 pm ET

Give it a break already. You guys at cnn are unreal. report the news don't create it by injecting your opinion into the story which gets popple all riled up at which point you state "people are outraged!". I see this across the board on all of your reporting. Years ago CNN had credibility but now you are more like a tabloid instead of a news organization. I watch in disgust as you build entire shows around the idea that it is ok to degrade and demorilize an individual or group. This is not news. It is gossip.....mean spirited gossip. Didn't your mothers teach you that it is not nice to talk about people that way. This is not acceptable in adult society!

Sam   February 17th, 2010 3:53 pm ET

I own a Toyota, I would never trade to another brand. What is an american brand anymore? This is the media's attempt to dissuade the american public to buy another brand (American?) In this global economy there is no american brand anymore. Chevy uses toyota parts, dodge is actually an import from germany now. Ford may be the only american brand, but because there are cheaper parts out there, i do not forsee it staying that way.

Randall   February 17th, 2010 3:56 pm ET

These things happen. That's only one reason why it's nothing Congress should be having hearings about.

Endovelicous   February 17th, 2010 4:04 pm ET

@alex, you are absolutely right. Now... why the only ones with problems are those made in .... .... USA?

Dave   February 17th, 2010 4:11 pm ET

Toyota and other foreign brands have been selling cars under the premise that the quality of those cars is so much better than that of North American cars. Nothing wrong with that kind of marketing so long as the product can deliver. Once it's found that they have quality problems just like everybody else, the fall is going to be that much harder! There should be no surprises here...

SarkwaLaser   February 17th, 2010 4:15 pm ET

The US is for sure being way too hard on the Japanese, but the Japanese have also been hard of US beef and importers of foreign rice. Still, the witch hunt is on and this will be used to force Americans to "revisit" us cars.

But my next car will STILL not be an American car. I am in my 30s and a part of the generation that GM, Ford and Chrysler lost a long time ago

chris coston   February 17th, 2010 4:20 pm ET

Of course...but TOYOTA will...u guessed it...move forward!!!

kathie   February 17th, 2010 4:21 pm ET

this is a joke. Congressional hearings run by individuals that can't get anything accomplished, members not wanting to run for re-election. No wonder the Toyota CEO is not going to waste his time. As for the media bashing, this is over the top. Next the DETROIT 3 sympathizers need to wake up! Toyota is not the cause of your downturn, they brought this on all by themselves with the help of elected officals in DC.

Ralph   February 17th, 2010 4:26 pm ET

I suspect Mr. Toyota puts a profit into his pocket from the sale os their cars in the US. We have been hearing about Toyota and gas pedal problems for about 10 years now, but they have just this year acknowldedged they have a problem.

I say if Toyota wants to continue selling into the US< Mr. Toyota should come to Congress, even if he just shhuts up and takes his medicine. Maybe he's right in the US office knows the business better, but that is still no reason for him to abdicate any responsibility.

Jared   February 17th, 2010 4:27 pm ET

You folks are kidding right? When Ford issued the MASSIVE recall of Explorers in the 1990's, the CEO was on TV the next day to apologize to consumers. This wasn't the case with Toyota, and they took as long as they could to address the issue publicly.

The issue at hand here is not ganging up on Toyota because it helps our domestic industry. The issue revolves around how long Toyota knew about this product fault/risks before deciding to do anything about it, and whether or not they withheld information from regulators. The fact that US government reps had to fly to Japan to actually get Toyota officials to issue some of the recalls is ridiculous if you're an automaker that supposedly puts the customer's safety first.

There are over 40 class action lawsuits against Toyota currently pending across the US regarding the unintended acceleration issues. These include models that Toyota has not included in their recall.

Is there some politicizing going on? For sure, but let's face reality here – Toyota is not invincible or perfect and that fact really upsets some people who think that it is the darling of the auto industry. 8.1 million vehicles is a massive recall, and this type of reaction by the government is justified based on that amount of vehicles and the number of models affected.

Jim   February 17th, 2010 4:27 pm ET

I own a toyota and will buy a toyota again. They are great vehicles regardless of the current issues...nothing is perfect. Too much media coverage on this story and WAY TOO MUCH government involvement in an auto company.

BobC   February 17th, 2010 4:28 pm ET

This hearing by congressional members show how desperate they are to get publicity, as if they are doing the country any good. What company would risk their future, by ignoring a serious problem. Or are the congress members trying to steal Toyota customers for America car makers. Are Unions behind this? I think Congress members see their free lunch is about to soon end.

proud American   February 17th, 2010 4:32 pm ET

As Americans are killed by Toyotas lack of safety and their cover-up,going back to 2007, they should definately be held accountable.We should be even tougher on them than congress is being. Senators Shelby and Corker were quick to judge the American Automakers and their workers but are backing off of their beloved foreign partners who by the way are laying off workers in Texas and Alabama but paying them 100% of their wages, something Shelby and Corker had heartburn over for American workers collecting 95%(part of which came out of a fund supported by Union dues.) What a shame that they only see dollars and cant feel for the almost 3 dozen Americans who have been killed in Toyotas , again dating back to 2007 when a police officer and three others were killed by a defective Toyota accelorator.

BobC   February 17th, 2010 4:34 pm ET

I never thought I would be on the side of a Japanese company. My father was in nine battles in the South Pacific in WWII, and I am sure he also would see the malice of the members of Congress.

Mike   February 17th, 2010 4:36 pm ET

GM and Ford made un-safe garbage for over 2 decades and they never had to go before Congress. This is just our government putting the coals to their top competitor. Let's face it, the government essentially OWNS improving GM's image at the expense of others is a strategic move. It's a classless move.

Joe   February 17th, 2010 4:46 pm ET

I wold prefer the Chinese way to deal with corruption and the cover up at Toyota that has killed people. The Chinese government would execute many executives for this cover up. But the US will only fine them a few million dollars. That is pocket change.

HCR   February 17th, 2010 4:49 pm ET

A real story would be to elucidate the lobbyist firm activities sustaining this under contract with american car makers.

Veronica Frantz   February 17th, 2010 4:53 pm ET

I am not a fan of Toyota, but... look at what our own Congress did for Ford and the Pinto:

One of the tools that Ford used to argue for the delay was a "cost-benefit analysis" of altering the fuel tanks. According to Ford's estimates, the unsafe tanks would cause 180 burn deaths, 180 serious burn injuries, and 2,100 burned vehicles each year. It calculated that it would have to pay $200,000 per death, $67,000 per injury, and $700 per vehicle, for a total of $49.5 million. However, the cost of saving lives and injuries ran even higher: alterations would cost $11 per car or truck, which added up to $137 million per year. Essentially, Ford argued before the government that it would be cheaper just to let their customers burn!

Of course, the public eventually learned that the Pinto had a tendency to explode in rear-end collisions, and victims and their families sued the company. Jurors were outraged over Ford's low value of human life and awarded the victims huge settlements. However, the final shocker came when Ford actually got around to fixing the flawed gas tanks. It turns out that the "cost-benefit analysis" that Ford submitted to the government was entirely bogus: the cost of fixing each car was not $11, but merely one dollar.

Velu   February 17th, 2010 4:53 pm ET

Toyota is far better company than any american car maker. This is just a publicity stunt to make them look bad and sell few american sub standard cars.

box envy   February 17th, 2010 4:54 pm ET

How do people put their children in these cars. If you want to gamble with your own life thats one thing...wait a tic, the Olympics are on, I have to root for the Japanese snow boarder. Blogs are stupid.

pete   February 17th, 2010 4:55 pm ET

i think ford has a recall at least once a year. Its a company policy.

Bob   February 17th, 2010 5:00 pm ET

This is all the Media's fault. Sure, Toyota needs to fix the mechanical issues. However, the Media caused the hype which will, in turn, result in damaging losses to Toyota. Completely irresponsible by the usual. I'd like the Media to have independant research conducted on how damaging prolonged and over-hyped news coverage on topics are damaging us financially, emotionally, racially, and politically. Turn the spotlight on yourselves more often.

Joe Sanders   February 17th, 2010 5:04 pm ET

This whole thing is a media blitz promoted by the Obama government and democrats due to their tax payer money squandering on GM and Chrysler. I am very dissapointed with the democrates/Obama. Next time I will be buying TOYOTA. Congress has better things to do than have these hearings. How about putting Americans to work?

Carol   February 17th, 2010 5:06 pm ET

Absolutely they are being too tough on them. They, the Government, are trying to drive them out of business so that GM, Ford, and the others can make money. The US car makers have had just as many problems and recalls over the past few years. Just Google them. This is nothing but a "witch hunt" by the Obama administration. All we need is to have these plants completely close and leave the US. How many more people will that leave without a job. Toyota is taking care of this problem and they should be left alone to do just that, or, we should start treating the American car manufactures the same way. Talk about dicrimination.

JKL   February 17th, 2010 5:09 pm ET

Very simply put, Toyota doesn't use Union workers, the other car manufacturers do. If you look at the # of recalls for every car company, you won't see that Toyota has more, just that this is the one they are trying to bully. So, the real question should be why the focus on Toyota and not the others. Pretty easy to see.

steve   February 17th, 2010 5:10 pm ET

This off shore company has dissembled the American Car Manufacturing industry and they should answer for their lack of safety concerns, quality, and defects in their workmanship. American's want jobs and money but they don't want to contribute to their own success. Now Toyota will idle American Plants so wake up America!!!

Bob   February 17th, 2010 5:12 pm ET

No the media has not been too hard on Toyota:

Lets examine the situation in more depth. All auto makers have experienced quality/safety issues. And in most cases the safety issues have been covered in depth as they should be. What annoys me is how the Auto Press made Toyota a media darling perpetuating the myth of quality. Example; it took a class action lawsuit to Force Toyota to address the sludge problems in its 2.2 and 3.0 litre engines from 97-2002. NOTHING was reported about this let alone how the company often refused to abide by the terms of its settlement!

I service all makes and models on a daily basis and have for 10 years and shudder to think of how people have been fooled into believing these vehicles are even close to safe. Look under one, use your common sense and you will see that without an air bag these vehicles could never pass crash standards. Yet Toyota owners truly believe they have chosen a quality vehicle and risk the lives of their families based on a Myth.

Bottom line is that Toyota is a global company producing automobiles that are grossly overrated from a quality and safety point of view. And have proven they will ignore, or avoid when possible their responsibilities.

Justacommonjoe   February 17th, 2010 5:16 pm ET

It's funny that people think the US government is too harsh on Toyota. When US meatpackers sent beef to Japan with the spine still intack, Japan banned all beef imports from the US for quite some time. This was just not the meatpacker at fault, but ALL US beef imports.

Why all of a sudden are all these problems hitting Toyota. Smells like they have a school of red herring, hush on issues. Now after people have died and it's coming out in the news, they're starting to fess up. I've got no problem with Toyota deciding not go in front of Congress when US car makers show up. In their culture that may be considered a disgrace. Just fine Toyota enough to cover our new healthcare program. Then start watching their executives jumping off of buildings soon. The dollar, or in this case the yen (profit), speaks louder than their lack of action. Hmmm, they are becoming Corporate Americanized.

DVL   February 17th, 2010 5:24 pm ET

I don't know how in the world people can think we're being to hard on poor little Toyota. The street runs both directions. They have benefited for years from good press, now let them take their lumps like everyone else. If this had been GM, or Ford there would have been a hanging.
What a joke....Poor little Toyota

y jones   February 17th, 2010 5:26 pm ET

Sooner or later i figured that the people who buy jap crap will suffer.Now Toyota says the US is picking on them.

Bonnie Bowden   February 17th, 2010 5:31 pm ET

I think the President of Toyota is a very smart man. I would not go before Congress either, no matter what. They can't get their own work done, get along with one another, solve problems or accomplish much of anything. I'd stay away from them !!!!!

GI Joe   February 17th, 2010 5:33 pm ET

Toyota finally gets what they deserve, they have been covering up there mistakes for years. I going to where the quality is long Jap cars, hello Chevy and Ford

JJLJ   February 17th, 2010 5:33 pm ET

SO some people keep claiming the media is being hard on Toyota and the big 3 have been allowed to slide on safety issues and the big 3 have more recalls than toyota ever has. Where is the information to back up these claims?

om   February 17th, 2010 5:34 pm ET

Clearly, this is a desperate ploy to promote American cars although, ironically, the beneficiaries can only be other Eastern companies like Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia.
I am one of the myriad sufferers of American car lemonhood and would never buy an American car unless no other company were left. And, indeed, I recall the ... recalls for American cars, which were never reported or blown out of proportion like this recent spate of opportunistic negative publicity for Toyota.

Mike H   February 17th, 2010 5:42 pm ET

Many brand fans seem eager to rationalize their devotion by saying negative things about other companies. These arguments seem to be based on passion and emotion, not little critical thinking or fair assessment of current facts. What if the auto world has changed? What if your paradigms aren't correct anymore? What if the facts support a re-thinking of car brands? What if we switch off "auto-pilot" in our brains and think about current events objectively? Is it rational to dismiss everything we're hearing and dig in our heels to maintain a point of view that a particular car brand (of all things) is somehow above and beyond all others, and will always remain so no matter what, come hell or highwater? Are you serious?

andrew   February 17th, 2010 5:43 pm ET

My next car will be A BMW...........

wayne weathersby   February 17th, 2010 5:48 pm ET

We need to be as hard on them as you would an american car company if it happened here, If it were Chrysler they would have called to shut them down!! The japanese are laughing all the way to the bank everytime they sell a car here with all the tax breaks and low wages in non-union states! The JApanese do not like us, they do not allow our cars to be sold in Japan, But they blew a fit when we tried to exclude them from the Cash for Clunkers program???? and then when they did cash for clunkers in Japan...THEY EXCLUDED AMAERICAN CARS????????? I guess they will have to start building service departments at Toyota stores now, oh wait..they have the biggest service departments of all the franchised sold in amaerica???

WAKE UP everyone!!! they do not have our best interest in mind and there will be more bad stuff that they covered up i promise!!

S. Bucki   February 17th, 2010 5:53 pm ET

It's worth to review the infamous case of Audi 5000 and it's problems with sudden acceleration. I think the Audi case bears many similarities with current Toyota issue.

Audi was successfully making inroads into the US auto market when a series of consumer complaints about sudden unintended acceleration started to flow in. The NHTSA ordered an investigation and Audi concluded that the accidents were caused by drivers errors. But the complaints continued and media frenzy exploded, culminating with a “60 minutes” report that ended up destroying Audi’s reputation. Audi took a defensive stand and contested the allegations, adding more fuel to the fire.

Eventually, after many years of investigation, NHTSA could not find a defect with the car and quietly concluded that the most probable cause of the accidents was driver's error. A separate investigation by a private company reached the same conclusion. CBS quietly admitted that the car used in the show was "rigged" A flurry of class action lawsuits ended in nothing.

Toyota screwed-up by not reacting fast enough to a developing problem. But we are just seeing chapter 1 of the whole sotry.

Arnold Mooney   February 17th, 2010 5:56 pm ET

I think congress should be investigating mr. lahood and finding out who in the whitehouse is pressuring him to go gungho on toyota. First he so-called mispeaks and tells toyota owners to stop driving their vehicles>>costing toyota, its shareholders and those thousands of americans who have 401Ks big bucks and now they go after toyota as if no american manufacturers have the same serious safety and recall issues that arise and are handled the same way toyota has. How conventient it is for GM (government motors owned primarily by the labor unions now who just despise toyota because they do it better, cheaper) to lobby their friends in congress and the whitehouse to attack their competition...after all the same government is after all now in the auto manufacturing business no matter how they spin it....again the arrogance of this administration and its cheerleading squad in congress nevers fails to amuse me...

KEITH   February 17th, 2010 5:56 pm ET


Barry DeGrandis   February 17th, 2010 5:58 pm ET

All vehicles are recalled to fix defects several times in their life including vehicles manufactured by the Big Three.(Two of which are partly owned by the US taxpayers) The Transportation Safety Board has been overzealous in their pursuit of Toyota concerning the accelerator pedal and floor mat problems. The fact that Toyota has responded responsibility, is a good corporate citizen and employs 175000 Americans in plants and dealerships is being ignored.

heyhey   February 17th, 2010 5:59 pm ET

Where did this notion that Toyota willingly and eagerly accepted responsibility come from?? They tried to cover it up, the Prius issue had been around for a long time, and they brushed it off, saying that the problem was just a "momentary sensation" and denied any deaths occurred.

The recall involved vehicles all the way back to 2004!! Think about it!! You think they JUST realized the problem after 6 years?? NO, they already implemented design changes in later produced cars but didn't tell anybody about it.

Bob Howard   February 17th, 2010 6:05 pm ET

Being to tough on the all mighty Toyota? I don't think so. Not even close. If this was a GM, Ford or Chrysler issue, they would have been raked over the coals, burned at the stake, and after being hung up for public display, burried in a deep pit. It is time that the public becomes aware of the cover up, the lies and absolute disacknowledgement by Toyota. Most vehicles have issues, but Toyota hid its issues. Even while people were dying Toyota tried to hide its issues. Are we being too tough on Toyota? No, not even close.

Rick   February 17th, 2010 6:09 pm ET

All that we ever bought in the family were toyotas (corollas, camrys, etc). We are all in shock to see all these issues. We have both '09 and '10 corollas that are part of the recall. The quality of the new corollas models is far less than the previous model (we also have a '08 corolla in the family). We figured, ok, it is tough for everyone, they decreased the quality on the new corollas, but we trust the company so we'll continue to go with them. We were WRONG. After these recalls, our trust in the company has decreased. But putting feelings aside, it is all business. We gave them a chance buying a lower quality model. They messed up, time to look at another brand. Simple. If you screw up at work, the same will happen to you, you get fired.

Gary Cumberland   February 17th, 2010 6:19 pm ET

I find it inconceivable that anyone considers that we are being too tough, we are not tough enough. Consider this: If a drug company provided a product that killed some of its users it would be withdrawn. If a food company provided a product that made people sick then their product would be withdrawn and their manufacturing plant closed until deemed safe. These problems with Toyota have been going on for years concealed by lies. Can anyone explain how a sticking gas pedal, leads to rapid acceleration????. Surely the fact that it is stuck means that it keeps you at the speed at the point at which it sticks. This is lies built upon lies. I have been a Toyota owner, not again, the trust is gone.

Jerry   February 17th, 2010 6:40 pm ET

No, Welcome to the US World of Automobile Manufacturing! All I ever heard was how the US didn't know how to manufacturer a car now Toyota and Honda are seeing what Ford, G.M. and Chrysler have had to put up with. Here come the law suits also. Foreign Manufacturers had been playing under their own set of rules but now they have to hold their own with the new insurgence of Quality vehicles coming out of Detroit. Any vehicles that are manufactured with defects, no matter who builds them, should be fixed as soon as possible for safety reasons.

Jim Beaulieu   February 17th, 2010 6:41 pm ET

Let's put Toyota's recalls and performance in perspective. During the 1970's, GM manufactured trucks that exploded upon low-impact accidents and took the lives of more than 750 Americans. Furthermore, the US Government did not order a recall and GM made the strategic decision to pay death claims rather than fix the problem. By contrast, all of the Toyota defects combined have taken the lives of fewer than 50, using the greatest estimate and Toyota is taking aggressive actions to fix the problem. And, by the way, it is estimated that there are at least 2000 of GM's exploding trucks still on American highways.

Robert Johnson   February 17th, 2010 6:45 pm ET

The level of press and politician noise about Toyota far surpasses what other automakers have received. I'll cite Ford simply as an example: "On October 13, 2009, Ford Motor Co. expanded its largest-ever recall by about 4.5 million vehicles equipped with a faulty cruise-control switch linked to at least 550 vehicle fires nationwide, and the destruction of many homes and other properties. Ford has now recalled more than 14 million vehicles in eight separate recalls over a 10-year period because of the problem." This single problem at Ford has gone on FOR 10 YEARS.

Perhaps Toyota gets more scrutiny because of its previous long and well-deserved reputation for quality.

Bobby   February 17th, 2010 6:46 pm ET

we are not being hard on the toy plant....we need to make sure all the toys are proper and safe for highways.

Robert Johnson   February 17th, 2010 6:50 pm ET

Toyota certainly appears to be getting more press and politician noise. We've heard much less, for example, about this from Ford: "On October 13, 2009, Ford Motor Co. expanded its largest-ever recall by about 4.5 million vehicles equipped with a faulty cruise-control switch linked to at least 550 vehicle fires nationwide, and the destruction of many homes and other properties. Ford has now recalled more than 14 million vehicles in eight separate recalls over a 10-year period because of the problem. This single problem at Ford has gone on FOR 10 YEARS. Add to this the Explorer tire and rollover problems, etc.

Toyota probably gets more notice simply because of a previous long and well-deserved reputation for high quality. We expected more from them.

David   February 17th, 2010 6:52 pm ET

When they were built, the parts didn't pass the inspection, people was told to send them out.

If it's after 3 years or 36k miles the owner can pay for the repairs because it was not our fault here at Toyota, the person that drives or own should be responsible because they didn't have there vehicle serviced like they should have or this would not have occurred. Please people buy another Toyota from a company that cares about there customer.

Richard Whittington   February 17th, 2010 6:56 pm ET

Americans are idiots.
Some say buy Toyotas built in Japan.
It's not the assembly it's the parts sent to us from Japan.
Softwear on the Prius, built in Japan.
They covered up the problems for years and some americans
want to let it go?
Over 30 people have been killed.
This CEO from Japan is a coward .
Audi stood up when the had an acceration problem, stod up
and did not cover up.
Just like World War 2, we ignored Japan and Germany and let them
get away with murder when we knew what was going on.
Sending faulty parts and then ignoring the problem, even covering it
up is murder.
We need to stop kissing up and start fighting back.

Richard Whittington   February 17th, 2010 7:00 pm ET

Ron is an idiot.
The parts arn't American made, there sent to the American plants
by the manufacturer, Japan.

John Holmes   February 17th, 2010 7:10 pm ET

It appears that the Obama administration decided to punish Toyota to help the US auto makers. It's amazing that all of a sudden Toyoto which has had years and years of quality cars just all of a sudden has all of these issues and the government keeps hounding them. News sources like O'Reilly and CNN should look into this.

Michael, Gallatin, TN   February 17th, 2010 7:10 pm ET

I don't think consumers as a group are ganging up on Toyota. I do think certain media outlets, including CNN, have almost fallen over each other trying to be the first and the loudest in their attacks on the company. I own my fourth Toyota now and plan on buying several more before I stop driving. Two of my three kids own Toyotas, and I suspect the'll by more too. Toyota will weather all this and continue to be a maker of good, reliable cars.

Terry   February 17th, 2010 7:16 pm ET

I don't think so. We can sit here and say "well American companies did it too and nothing was done" but the bottem line is that complaints were made and Toyota, like other companies in the past, hid and ignored the problem. Only when the they were scrutinized did they decide to step up..again like other companies. However, if one person robs a bank and gets away with it should the next person who robs a bank and gets caught be able to say..."well I knew it was wrong, but they got away with it too"?

Now to Toyota's defense they haven't said anything about other companies, but they still hid the problems. We have bad habits as American's to try and shift the blame from, "yes I did something wrong," to "I did this as a result of someone else's actions" or "its not that bad considering what other people are doing."

This is not a political thing, its not a lobbiest thing, its not American companies vs foreign auto makers thing...its a company spin thing. While this may have taken fewer than 50 lives compared to 750 lives by other companies as someone else posted.... I would ask, at what number of lives is enough and would you still feel the same if those "fewer than 50" lives were one of your children?

karen   February 17th, 2010 7:19 pm ET

We need to be tougher on Toyota. I drive one of the vehicles that have to be recalled. When I place my 2 babies in their car seat, I pray that we remain safe as I drive them to daycare every day. Toyota got too greedy and is cashing in- I had had 3 toyotas in my life time, I am strongly considering no more Toyotas in my life because the way that the company has lacked to handle this problem since 2007! Hello! How many people must die before they correct the problem? I hope congress gets tougher and does not negotiate our safety.

Kevin   February 17th, 2010 7:19 pm ET

Responsible journalists would dig up the data on total number of recalls by automaker and divide by the number of cars sold and compare companies that way. Toyota is far superior to all makers in that way. This is a bad recall to be sure, but others have had bad ones too. The worst part for Toyota is that there appears to have been some sluggishness to respond which smacks of cover up.

Brian   February 17th, 2010 7:20 pm ET

Gas pedals that ignited that part of the recall were made in the U.S. Truth be told i wouldn't be entirely surprised to find out that there are more toyotas made and assembled here than there are ford or gm. American car companies can learn a thing or two not only from the way toyota is handeling this setback but also on how to build a better car.

Toyota president won't attend U.S. Congress hearing - Talk Delaware Online   February 17th, 2010 7:25 pm ET

[...] company has apologized for the safety lapses and pledged to repair the recalled vehicles quickly. Are we being too tough on Toyota? On Wednesday, Toyoda said the company has found a fix for the Toyota Sai and Lexus HS 250h and [...]

TJ   February 17th, 2010 7:31 pm ET

We aren't being tough enough.

1. Toyota built dangerous cars. This is something bad that EVERY company does, at some point – human engineering isn't perfect.

2. Toyota denies they build dangerous cars, because they believe their own hype. So, a week before the recalls started they were still blaming floor mats.....and the accelerator issue goes back MORE THAN A DECADE.

3. Toyota targeted people in the US government and the NHTSA to avoid investigation into their safety issues. This is why the house of cards has not only fallen, but will continue to crumble.

Toyota is beloved by baby boomers – those who first bought cars in the 70's and 80's when Toyota (and Honda) made a far better car than anyone else – the nadir of the domestic manufacturers. We tend to believe the anecdotal rather then that statistics, so, since most cars DO NOT have issues – we stick with what we already had.....and many older people will continue to do that.

Going forward – Toyota will now be evaluated with real light and some ugly stuff about their tampering with the NHTSA is going to be fleshed out.

Brian   February 17th, 2010 7:40 pm ET

"Second Challenge- when has a recall on an American car caused 34 deaths (just in the US since 2000) and around 300 injuries- like the accelerator recall for Toyota. Toyota has a culture of secrecy and works very hard to keep stuff like this from coming out. They deserve everything that's coming at them right now and probably more."

Now tell me, where were the accelerators manufactured that were in these vehicles?

dennis   February 17th, 2010 7:44 pm ET

Toyota knew they had this problem and they done nothing about it til someone got killed. Toyota needs to go back where they came from, this is the u.s. But in todays world where people don't care we have become a foriegn country in our own backyard.

Randy   February 17th, 2010 8:05 pm ET

Hey Proud American The Police officer and family were killed because the car that was "loaned" to them ,a Lexus ,had 2 sets of floor mats just on the drivers side, not a stuck pedal because of a mechanical failure of a part . one of the Toyota recalls is to address a pedal clearance issue when using non Toyota or mutilple floor mats stacked up one ontop of another .it is and never has been a issue with a single set of mats when properly installed with the retaining clips .That instance was very tragic ,but its was owner error .The only defect trend related to vehicle speed control in the subject vehicles involved the potential for accelerator pedals to become trapped near the floor by out-of-position or inappropriate floor mat installations,"this quote according to Toyota.

DOUGLAS   February 17th, 2010 8:22 pm ET

This is a government smear campaign plain and simple. The media fed panick has clouded the truth. Toyota problems compared to the millions of vehicles on the road are dumb founding. You would have a better chance of getting hit by a meteorite!!!!The media coverage on the Prius was one sided. "Now the Prius brakes" the headline read?The fix was a three minute adjustment to the abs sensativity. The prius always had brakes and full stopping power!!Big brother Mr Lahood from Detroit wants to beat the big bully Toyota for taking little brother GM,s market share. Sad that this method was finaly used to bash a company that employs more American workers than any other car manufacture. When the gov is through the real loser wont be Toyota it will be the American people.

SP   February 17th, 2010 8:26 pm ET

So I found out that GM is recalling their Pontiac Vibe since it's the same car as the Matrix, but with a GM name on it. Am I the only one who hasn't heard of that recall being blasted in the media like the Toyota one? I thought being in MI it would be sort of covered up, since everyone's bashing Toyota, but don't know if it made news in other states?

DOUGLAS   February 17th, 2010 8:37 pm ET

The Obama administration, the Unions and the henchman Mr Lahood put the icing on a corrupt and calculated plan to beat a company on an un even playing field. I guess as good a time as any as the economy cant be any worse. Fat cats and union bosses eat fatty steaks and smoke smelly cigars as they celebrate the "Capone esk" mafia party. Corruption for all eyes to see!! The tentacles of this administration are slithering outward!! GOD BLESS AMERICA" "CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN"??????????????

Dapo Fanoiki   February 17th, 2010 8:47 pm ET

In light of recent recalls for the accelerator pedal on millions of vehicles, the brake recall on the Pruis III and now the recall for 8,000 Tacoma’s relating to a drive shaft issue, it seems Toyota has not been having a good season in the after sales league. One could say they are now fighting relegation from the top tier of the automotive after sales echelon.

Recalls tend to conjure a negative connotation on reputation, but when recalls are dealt with a focus to solve the solution quickly and adequately, the brand can remain as strong as ever. Recalls affect almost all vehicle manufacturers, but it is how well they are ready to tackle the recall that makes all the difference. If Toyota comes up it an acceptable style of dealing with their current recall issues, they might very well end up high in the after sales league without the fear of being relegated. Toyota will have to focus on the 3 T's: TRANSPARENCY, TRUST, & TRUTH.

Jesus Castro   February 18th, 2010 1:01 am ET

I feel this has been blown out of proportion. Yes, there are millions of Toyota cars been recalled, but there has only been one real problem: an accelerator pedal from one manufacturer that is being fixed. The other two recent recalls from Toyota are not quality related. The US Congress should look elsewhere if it wants to take any action and not make Toyota the scapegoat. It has precisely Toyota who has taught the World how to make better cars.

Ed   February 18th, 2010 2:55 am ET

I would never own a foreign car. I am an American so I support my own country. Never had any probs with my Chevy. People say they are made here (easy excuse), the money still goes back to Japan.

Shame on all of you traiters, move to Japan if you like it so much.

jane   February 18th, 2010 3:00 pm ET

Toyota has these problem back in 2007/08 in Taiwan and some other Asian countries. They have been covering the issues. Now they have to face American laws and lawyers.

javier   February 18th, 2010 11:51 pm ET

Too mucho noise for TOYOTA.All cars in the world have recalls,,just visit in Google "Nissan recalls"toyota recalls" ford recalls" whatever you want and you will see that all this noise is not fear from TOYOTA or any other maker.Whats behind? I do not know,,But all the recalls from TOYOTA, I say "thanks god is a TOYOTA" no other maker in the world could support what US is making with this company
Just be fear ..maybe thay are not the best communicators in the world,,but that, does not give license to the pres or government to distroy such a compnay like TOYOTA or any other manufacturer in the world,,They have been threated like criminals,,is not correct,
More TOYOTAS are made in USA than Ford or even GM I think, and the small problem of the pedal comes from a canadian factory,, is not the car,,, is the peda,,, please understand that. About brakes, is just a recal(lets understand recall like a call to service)

David   February 20th, 2010 6:56 am ET

Retired now after 40 years in the motor industry. Seen many recalls and been involved in 2 myself. This industry tries its damndest to make their products safe but being human, we made mistakes. The media hounds you for this. When the media screw up, they just print a paragraph of apology on page 17 or give 10 seconds on the news. Let who is without sin cast the first stone.

sonali kulakarani, Jr.   March 24th, 2010 12:55 pm ET

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