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Toyota, Toyota, Toyota......

The more I learn about Toyota Motor, the more disturbing it gets.

It's not just that the deeper the press probes into how Toyota has handled its defects making me wonder how it's come to this point. Now it's that they appear to be having an issue with the fact that the Obama Administration is holding them accountable.

Years ago, there was a big issue in black media about the fact that Toyota ran few if any ads in papers or magazines targeted to a predominantly black audience. Media such as Black Enterprise, Ebony or Essence. Or when it did, well, Colgate has Darkie toothpaste. Toyota has an ad in Jet.

From Salon...

And in March (1999) , executives at Toyota were forced to apologize to Jet readers for an ad it ran on the back cover of that magazine. The ad featured a picture of a Toyota Corolla underneath a headline that read, "Unlike your last BOYFRIEND, it goes to work in the morning." Jet readers responded in a flood of angry letters; Jesse Jackson promptly denounced the ad as "offensive," chastising Toyota for promoting the pernicious stereotype that black men aren't responsible. Facing boycott threats and an uprising from Jet readers, Toyota could only stammer that the ad was also scheduled to run in People and Better Homes and Gardens. Somehow, though, it ended up running only in Jet.

It would seem it needs all the friends it can muster. But Honey, it has a funky way of gettin' 'em.

A few weeks back, I wrote a post at Kos wondering why the Toyota recall list seemed oddly short. As most automakers do, Toyota has models among its brands and badges which share major components. Their eight didn't feel right.

Also, I wondered if a company would go to the length of buying government connections to help cover their tracks. Well, during the Bush Era, per Bloomberg...

At least four U.S. investigations into unintended acceleration by Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles were ended with the help of former regulators hired by the automaker, warding off possible recalls, court and government records show.

So Toyota Hates Obama. Guess They're Republican.

Kidding aside, what really stinks about the Bloomberg and Politico stories put together is it sounds like Toyota can't do what it wants to anymore. And it's bothering them that they have to fix their flaws. That the two NHTSA former agency staffers they hired can't help run interference anymore.

It suggests the worst kind of corporate tone is the Toyota way. I can't believe I'm seeing some of this in print. My relatives own several. I almost bought one (remember, the mechanic suggested not doing so.) Again, when I wrote that earlier piece, Toyota didn't seem the kind of company that would pull these kinds of tricks. But as Joan Claybrook, former (democratic era) NHTSA staffer noted...

"Toyota bamboozled NHTSA or NHTSA was bamboozled by itself," said Joan Claybrook, an auto safety advocate and former NHTSA administrator in the Jimmy Carter administration. "I think there is going to be a lot of heat on NHTSA over this."

So I hope when Congress questions Akio Toyoda, they keep that Bush era connection to the current recall in mind.

Since Obama's people are actually making a company with a defective product accountable for fixing it.

So, Politico links to an internal Toyota document from July 2009 about the Obama Administration and the Toyota recalls!

Specifically, they call Obama's administration "Activist." Toyota hates the lawyers at NHTSA whom Toyota feels has 'less understanding of engineering' issues. And they ain't too happy with that support Obama has been giving Detroit.

For Toyota, the timing of the Politico article is bad, because we're dealing with the SCOTUS ruling on corporate donations, and the Bill Moyers piece on how judges were basically bought in three states. The possibilities of corporate money influencing American politics - especially from foreign sources - is being tossed around. And Toyota will likely be used as a 'what if.' Not saying they've done anything wrong to be clear. But I don't know how they'll deal with conclusions people may draw on their own.

Here's a difference between then and now. Memos versus recalls.

For example, in 2002, the company issued a service bulletin to dealers warning that some Camrys "exhibit a surging" at speeds between 38 and 42 mph.

And then in 2007, an investigation by federal regulators found that magnetic interference could cause an increase in engine speed in a Toyota Lexus ES 350.

Toyota even "bragged" (from the headline) about how the floor mat recall saved them $100 Million.

Toyota’s leading U.S. executive boasted to the automaker’s Washington staff last summer that they had saved the company more than $100 million by limited any regulatory action on sudden acceleration to a recall of equipment such as floor mats, according to documents turned over to a key U.S. House committee holding hearings on the issue...

There is a gadget in a CD player called a D/A converter. If un- or poorly shielded, it can 'leak interference' which can affect a nearby electronic device. Not quite like a magnet next to a glass-tube television or monitor, but some earlier players do affect television and cable box tuner performance. If certain electronic components in one device were improperly shielded, there could be issues with other nearby electronic devices. Cellphones and GPS devices could 'leak' as well.

I can't imagine a car company wouldn't think to shield the computers or other electronics. But if Toyota told owners in a manual that a two-way radio can create an issue, all bets are off on that one.

Consumer Reports, the magazine which practically turned the American auto industry over to imports, has two interesting items to peruse.

First, best American car deals for Toyota owners. Hmmm....

Second, Ford has also had the sudden acceleration issue as well. But GM? Not so much.

If you own a Ford Fusion or Mercury Milan hybrid and don't know about the software upgrade regarding the brakes, well...ask your dealer.

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 4, 2010 – Today, we are announcing a customer satisfaction program to update the software of the regenerative brake system of some 2010-model Ford Fusion Hybrids and Mercury Milan Hybrids.

Don'tcha love how the Detroit Free Press says  "offers" ? Isn't that cute.

Popular Mechanics appears to be rather wrong now about just how overblown any of this is. Or reliant on the ad money they get. Can't tell. Don't wanna know.

Other major car companies, notes Bloomberg, do not have former National Highway Safety agents on payroll. Including Korean makes, they claim.

So Akio Toyoda is coming to Washington this Wednesday.

Any bets he just made his interrogation a whole lot uglier?

I'm guessing those smart, educated upscale people who bought Toyotas for their alleged quality are going to look elsewhere.

And for disclosure, I own a Ford.

Originally posted to kravitz on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 09:35 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Very good diary (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, Dirtandiron, NWTerriD, ozsea1

      Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. John Stuart Mill

      by Micheline on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 09:49:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent diary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, greenearth, Dirtandiron

      I hope it makes the rec list!  I'll do my part!

      The Toyota situation makes me so, so upset.  I'm close to hoping Obama and congress just shut down Toyota sales in this country altogether.  Is that even possible?  Can a law be passed that completely bans a foreign car company from competing here?

      Ah, hell, looks like we won't be able to make the touchdown after all, so even though we're in field goal range, lets just give the ball to the other guys.

      by cartwrightdale on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:34:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dan Howes of the Detroit News (0+ / 0-)

        Dan Howes of the Detroit News pointed out...

        Rush Limbaugh was on the air [Feb 16 post] thundering about [the Toyota recall] being a Team Obama plot to bolster the home team.

        Right. Considering the Obama administration's penchant for politicizing business, that charge might, maybe, have some credibility if the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nicole Nason, hadn't already gone on-record with The Detroit News and other pubs to say that Team Bush years ago had been pushing the Toyota-crats to come to grips with mounting complaints about "sudden unintended acceleration" and, later, dodgy brakes.

        So again the question...why cut a deal about floormats if something else was suspected?

  •  On regulation? Obama is a Sanders-Liberal (9+ / 0-)

    Seriously, I think regulation in virtually everything is something where no liberal should be unhappy with.

  •  Some day I'll have to replace my Camry. (5+ / 0-)

    Might not be with a Toyota.

    Sure won't be a Ford, though. They seem from my experience to be poorly-made, while Japanese cars perform like tanks: an impact that will flatten the body-work of another vehicle will scratch the paint on my Camry; an impact that will twist a Ford into a pretzel will slightly bend the frame, and break the radiator, of a Honda Civic.

    About the only way to destroy the shit out of a Japanese-built car, from what I've seen, is to cross the T of a t-bone impact.

    "'It just feels right to hold the Internet in your hands.' Dude, have you SEEN what's on the Internet? Does [the iPad] come with rubber gloves?"

    by Shaviv on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 09:47:23 PM PST

    •  no idea what you're talking about (13+ / 0-)

      My family has worked for the big 3 (mostly ford) since 1909, we have owned fords since we could afford them.

      Their built like tanks and last ages, your just going along with the old Japanese quality myth, yea the 80's where a low point in quality, but i don't think you have driven a ford lately all the ones i've every been behind the wheel of have handled well.

      I have also seen reports of people who hit buffalo in their fusions and while the car was totaled they walked away without real injury.

      In the winter of 2003 i interned at Ford's crash department and i've seen what these things can take.

      Don't know what planet you've been on but i think you have it backwards.

      Gabe, resident of Detroit-Dearborn Michigan,

      •  Ford's quality surged (6+ / 0-)

        just after 2000. My 1995 escort was a disaster area. Drove me to Toyota - my current toyota had its first significant issue after 5 years a couple of weeks ago - just an oxygen sensor. 5 years into my escort it had been through dozens of major repairs.

        But that has changed, and I think a lot of people aren't paying attention. If I hadn't already decided to keep my current car for 5 more years I'd be looking at a Ford Fusion right now.

      •  You can't win (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, dougymi, greenearth, Dirtandiron

        it's been engrained in many: "Detroit bad, Toyota good."  

        "Obama is teh suck" does not make good political commentary.

        by Rustbelt Dem on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:21:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  My 1995 Explorer had a defect in the powertrain (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, geomoo, ozsea1

        specifically in the part-time AWD system.  It created harmonic vibrations that travelled up and down the shaft if you went over ~40MPH.

        After having it reviewed by a regional Representative, my dealer's staff and central engineers, Ford determined that it was built to their spec.  So, it was OK.

        I told them, in writing, that such an unsatisfactory response - from a prior Ford owner (i.e., 1972 Mustang, which I literally loved to its death) - would significantly turn me away from the brand if they did not attempt to make things right, in some fashion.

        Ford told me, through the regional Rep, to pound sand.

        I sold the Explorer and have made no effort to consider them in my future purchases, of which I've made three and consulted with relatives or friends on many others, since the Explorer.  In no cases did I recommend looking at Fords.  My reasons go beyond this singular incident, but I feel this is a representative example to offer.

        I am open to the GM Volt, if they decide to offer a hatchback and it seems somewhat reliable after the first couple of years.  It's probably the first time I've been interested in a GM vehicle for at least 15 years.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:26:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's all anecdotal, sure (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, greenearth

        but my 1998 Ford 150 lasted 30,000 miles before the head gasket blew.  That was after the water pump had already been replaced.  I've blacked out a few of the other repairs.  It was a disaster of a car.  The Toyotas, otoh, from a 1980's Celica on to today never, ever once needed a major repair.  I still see the 1992 Camry around town, after I drove it, my kids drove it, and then we gave it to a friend.

        I'm not defending Toyota on the damning evidence of this diary, but I have trouble believing other manufacturers yet match up to Toyota and other Japanese brands for quality control.  My Volvo was expensive as hell to own.  

        Here's hoping that U.S. automakers actually are doing better.  I would have to be feeling pretty damn patriotic to ever buy a Ford again.

        The only true competition in America is local--over which politicians will enjoy the privilege of representing the interests of the rich.

        by geomoo on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:26:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My '89 Celica was nigh unkillable. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth

          One of my first cars, and the only one I wrecked. Went head on into (well, more under) a Ford pickup. Crumpled the front end and knocked the battery cable loose.

          My mom, on the other hand, has an '07 Camry. Piece of shit. I told her last week that if she finds somebody with an '89 Celica she should trade straight up.

          •  in Toyota's earlier days (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dirtandiron

            you could bump a corolla door with your butt and dent it. (friends's brother did it to his)

            then, Toyota figured out that what Americans liked was the solid GM/Ford-ish whump when the door closed.

            so what did they do?

            figure out how to make the doors and trunk sound more solid when they closed. rather than thicken the door, the acoustic behavior was modified.

      •  I have a 1970 F250. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nona D Above, Dirtandiron

        I don't know how many millions of miles it has on it or how many wrecks it's survived. I know I've wrecked it twice. It's in the body shop as we type.

        A few weeks ago, I was doing 50 down a dark country road when I came upon a stalled black 4X4 club cab   sitting sideways in my lane. There was oncoming traffic and a kid standing on the shoulder. Nothing I could do but hit the brakes, hug the steering wheel and hope for the best.

        I lost a grill, side panel, hood, and fender. The frame is straight and aside from some aches and pains, I'm just fine.

        People think that my old girl is pretty funny looking, But in the 12 years I've owned it I've been towed only once due to mechanical failure.

        I believe in love as democracy - Salman Rushdie

        by crystalboy on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 03:48:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Have not owned/driven a Ford in a very (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      long time. Last one was a 96 model. It lasted three years. Have more to say about GM cars, even today the form, fit, etc is still a bit "not there" when compared to Japanese and German cars. I.e. dashboards don't quite line up, little things fall off even in one year old cars.

      I have owned Toyotas too and never had any problems with any of them other than their designs being a bit stodgy.

      Most of their current problems appear to be due to poor quality control of components subcontracted to a US company that has the parts produced in China. At least according to the new reports.

      My guess = this will cause Toyota to crack down on QA, reduce the size of its subcontractor network, eliminate some non-Japanese vendors and oversee the subcontracting work more directly. Maybe even cut a couple of assembly plants in North Am or elsewhere.

      "The fact which the politician faces is merely that there is less honor among thieves than was supposed, and not the fact that they are thieves." Thoreau

      by shigeru on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:38:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ford rocks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      Especially the Taurus models. I own one and love the performance and the looks. It is a bit gas heavy but that is because it is an older model (2003).

      I just wish I had stuck with my ford stocks that I bought for $2.5 couple of months back.

    •  New cars are designed to crumple on impact (0+ / 0-)

      absorbing and dissipating the energy, so the people inside don't take the impact.

      •  Kia, of all companies (0+ / 0-)

        gets that.

      •  That I know. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not concerned so much in this comparison with bodily safety, as all the accidents I've been involved in were walk-away-unharmed in the end. But I was amazed that whatever vehicle that I hit, or that hit me, tended to take much worse damage than the vehicle I was in.

        "'It just feels right to hold the Internet in your hands.' Dude, have you SEEN what's on the Internet? Does [the iPad] come with rubber gloves?"

        by Shaviv on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 01:44:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I picked up on this as well (7+ / 0-)

    that headline about toyota saving 100 million by getting the Bush admin to agree to a smaller recall in 2007 is telling.

  •  I'm a little concerned when we start accepting (7+ / 0-)

    things we read in Politico and Bloomberg as legitimate. I'm sure Toyota got away with bad stuff, but I have seen how unwilling the MSM is to do research when it comes to reporting, I just don't know how much I trust a Politico article.

    "Don't knock football...it's just like chess but without the dice" - john07801

    by voracious on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:06:27 PM PST

  •  Technical point (7+ / 0-)

    D/A converters throw off no more interference than any other chip.  As a matter of fact, they can't be too noisy otherwise the crud leaks into the audio signal they're converting from digital to analog.

    This is good news for GM, however, since people looking at hybrids might now consider the Volt, where Toyota is running a poor second to GM in extended range electric vehicles.

    •  True now pretty much (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, greenearth, Dirtandiron

      But in the 80's and 90's, we had to use aluminum foil between some inexpensive components because early designs weren't well shielded.

      You could 'play' them next to a TV or VCR, then hit 'stop' and see the interference. It did not appear to be related to the power circuitry of the player. Just with having the play mode engaged.

      Some portable players leaked as well.

    •  Heck, Toyota's not running second. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      GM's easily ahead of them. So are Nissan and Mitsubishi.  Ford is about tied.  They may be ahead of Chrysler.  Maybe.  Outside of the US and Japan, there are lots of companies that are further along on EVs than Toyota is (at least given what Toyota has announced so far).

      We can of course hope that Toyota has some trump card up their sleeve that they haven't played yet, because so far, the plug-in Prius and FT-EV programs seem very unimpressive.

      •  GM ahead? (0+ / 0-)

        How's that?  I've seen a lot more prius' with plug-in adaptor kits (1) than I've seen Volts (0).

        My understanding is Prius IV will have an EV-only option in the 8-10 mile range...

        •  Simple (0+ / 0-)

          First off, "adapter kits" are not an official product.  Toyota isn't making them, so you can't give Toyota credit for them.  As for the plug-in Prius vs Volt comparison, it's a blow-out.

          Plug-in Prius: 2011 at the earliest
          Volt: 2010 (this year)

          Plug-in Prius: 8-10 miles range, EV-only at low/medium speeds and accel (parallel hybrid)
          Volt: 40 miles range, EV-only under all conditions in that range (series hybrid)

          •  GM (0+ / 0-)

            has a long-earned reputation of overpromising and underdelivering.

            I hope the Volt works as promised, hyped, advertised - if it did it would be a start for a turnaround there.

            I also am quite skeptical of the 40 mile range.  As far as I've seen - the variation of battery useage relating to temperature, speed, and elevation gain/loss is too wide:

            the Volt would have to get 150 miles going downhill in the arizona summer to get 40 miles in a michigan winter with the heater/wipers going full blast.  Or, I fear, it gets 40 miles in LA stop-and-go recharging traffic and 8-10 miles in a Michigan winter.

            •  That's the nature of EVs (0+ / 0-)

              I also am quite skeptical of the 40 mile range.  As far as I've seen - the variation of battery useage relating to temperature, speed, and elevation gain/loss is too wide:

              Indeed, all EVs vary a lot by driving conditions.  I actually started a company to make software to help people figure out how far they'll actually be able to go along a given route, taking into account weather, terrain, etc.

              But re. Prius v. Volt: The fact remains that the plug-in Prius has a far smaller battery pack and lower depth of discharge.  And that's really what electric range comes down to (that and vehicle efficiency).  Plus, it can't do highway-speed electric-only mode.

  •  Just to point out on ford (5+ / 0-)

    The Fusion hybrid is a in it's 1st Gen and is using new tech than the more established Escape hybrid, there is always a chance for programing problems, and ford is working to fix it. and has fixed it in i think every car since october.(i think)

    Gabe

  •  Well (9+ / 0-)

    Toyota, by use of non-union labor (amongst other things), fits in well with the GOP's war on working people.

    I wouldn't drive a Toyota if you paid me, ever.

    "Obama is teh suck" does not make good political commentary.

    by Rustbelt Dem on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:24:10 PM PST

    •  From what I've read (5+ / 0-)

      The workers at the Toyota/Subaru plants in Indiana voted overwhelmingly against UAW unionization at the most recent attempt to organize.  I'd need to find the reference, but thought it interesting at the time.

      Those plants are run closer to the Japanese mainland model of processes and hierarchical relations (and benefits, apparently) than what is more typical in Michigan plants, apparently.  But, that discussion of pros/cons can get into the weeds pretty quickly.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:35:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, dougymi, Dirtandiron

        I had not heard that.  We need to know the whole context of the vote.  For example, were there "insinuations" that Toyota would move their plant and/or significant operations to other, non-unionized, facilities in the South if the vote went through?  It would not surprise me that those kind of fears would be in the air.

        As an aside and having nothing to do with your comment (need to get awake this morning, let's work on the blood pressure), the next time I need a lecture on labor relations from Southern politicians like Shelby will also be the first time.

        "Obama is teh suck" does not make good political commentary.

        by Rustbelt Dem on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 02:48:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, by the way Toyota (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, Dirtandiron, ozsea1

    we haven't been to happy with what Tokyo has been giving you for generations.

    It's called "sticking up for working people," you hypocrites.

    "Obama is teh suck" does not make good political commentary.

    by Rustbelt Dem on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:33:57 PM PST

  •  you can thank cnbc for starting that nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, ozsea1

    now it seems the camry is reportedly in hot water for not stoping and killing 2 people.  If toyota was into quality assurance, and not trying to force gm out of business, we would not have this problem.  I hopoe the house hearing will no tlet him get away with this assertion!

  •  Best car I ever owned was an '82 Toyota (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb, greenearth, Abra Crabcakeya

    until it was totalled in 1990. The only problem I ever had with it (despite the fact that I was an ignorant young thing and did NO maintenance, including oil changes, for the first several years I owned it) was a transmission problem that required getting a part from a junkyard because the new part being manufactured at that time had changed and didn't fit my car.

    Relax - the adults are in charge now.

    by NWTerriD on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:38:48 PM PST

  •  Only the POTUS can somewhat play to his (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, Dirtandiron

    base and independents at the same time...  I do think this was an opportunity to get gm and ford back on track, but also, toyota phucked up!!!

  •  Such an insightful line (4+ / 0-)

    Consumer Reports, the magazine which practically turned the American auto industry over to imports, has two interesting items to peruse.

    I took a mental step back, thought a few moments, then nodded my head.

    There were plenty of other factors, but this was still a keen observation, IMHO.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 10:39:06 PM PST

      •  CR Is Very Influential (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, greenearth, Dirtandiron

        With the collegiate crowd of early adopters who noticed what the mag said about imported cars.

        Ask Bose about the direct/reflecting vs. CR testing lawsuit. CR changed how it tested speakers after that.

        While indeed, much of Detroit's issues were brought upon itself, CR's reporting showed imports were not only good values, but in many areas better.

        For awhile.

        Problem was, when the American cars improved, it took awhile for CR to say that. They try to use a wide range of years to compare, so the crappy ones fell into the good ones. So Ford's improved, but it took awhile to be correctly reflected in CR's data.

        •  but then (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG, tnproud2b

          They try to use a wide range of years to compare, so the crappy ones fell into the good ones.

          That has value for those who do not buy new cars. What's with blaming CR?

          •  How CR framed it... (0+ / 0-)

            Toyota reportedly worked with feds to save $100 million in recalls

            Um...this is kinda gentle. They know the success of Toyota is due in large part to CR.

            •  I Still don't get it (0+ / 0-)

              You're claiming CR was not objective. Fair enough. But what's their motive for this?

              •  CR wasn't taking sides (0+ / 0-)

                and doesn't. But through its recs, it helped sell Toyotas as it does other highly rec'd items. It rates a product highly, that product has an easier sell. CR appears to understand it is involved on the side, by the tone of the '$100 Million Saved' story, and feature in CR on 'Best Deals For Toyota Owners.' It comes of as 'well, we told you to buy that, now we're telling you to buy this.'

                As any retailer will tell you, when CR says something is top rated or a best buy, there are people who will not accept anything else. Or believe CR is wrong. The problem is CR tests for temporary quality and performance, and doesn't report on actual field quality until long after the original reviews have had any impact. They have been embarrassed before when their top ratings went to products which didn't hold up too well. Or when their test methods didn't match the product design (Bose.) I don't know that they've ever openly addressed that problem which their reviews create.

                •  fair enough (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ej25, shigeru

                  but what should a consumer rely on then, if not CR?

                  As any retailer will tell you, when CR says something is top rated or a best buy, there are people who will not accept anything else.

                  Well what should people accept? Certainly not the word of the vendors/manufacturers.

  •  I think Toyota has had a reputation for..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, Dirtandiron, ozsea1

    ...quality, especially during the years when Detroit products were so unreliable. However, I really don't mind them taking the current beating. This is good for Detroit, and what's good for Detroit is good for Democrats. The weird loyalty of Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama, and I think, Georgia toward Toyota is strangely unpatriotic.

    If you hate government, don't run for office.

    by Bensdad on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 11:33:18 PM PST

  •  GOP 2012 brought to you by Toyota-USA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron
  •  –Jimmy Fallon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystalboy, Dirtandiron

    "The entire East Coast is covered with snow banks and snow drifts, or as Toyota drivers call them — 'cushions.'"

    DOJ: No misconduct for Bush interrogation lawyers...U.S. justice, no longer blind, its now dead.

    by bamabikeguy on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 03:02:10 AM PST

  •  Drive a Toyota! You'll never stop! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystalboy, Dirtandiron

    We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

    by plf515 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 03:05:24 AM PST

  •  Go Ford! (0+ / 0-)

    I own a Lincoln myself and couldn't be happier!

    There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? -Robert F. Kennedy

    by JSCram3254 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 03:10:20 AM PST

  •  Live my new Prius (0+ / 0-)

    I will always honor Toyota for stepping forward with the Hybrid when Ford, GM and Chrysler said "fuck you America - Exxon wants 5 bucks a gallon you will by gawd pay it."

  •  I don't drive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    and, hence, have never owned a car.

    But I do vote.  And this is one more reason I'm glad I voted for Obama

    We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

    by plf515 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 03:11:40 AM PST

  •  New footage uncovered of latest Toyota defect: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, Abra Crabcakeya, Dirtandiron

    here.

    Heh heh.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 03:12:50 AM PST

  •  I want those regulators in for questioning... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    Were they bought off? Why look the other way? What did Toyota say to convince them that the floor mat was enough?

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 06:59:49 AM PST

    •  Because it would have (0+ / 0-)

      interfered with the rights of those rugged individualists at Toyota to build whatever car they want. The holy, sacred, Free Market™ will sort out the problem of whether the cars stop well enough or not. If you get killed it's your tough luck. SNARK!!!!

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