Posted in: Commentary,
by Gregg Laskoski on Jun 19, 2012 10:45 AM
Just last week, we discussed one automaker that discovered a problem and initiated a voluntary recall. Compare that now with Toyota's corporate approach of sticking its head in the sand and hoping the problem disappears by itself.
NHTSA says it is expanding an investigation of a potential fire hazard that now involves about 1.4 million Toyota cars and SUVs. Specifically, the federal agency says that the window switches on the driver's side door of a number of Toyota models can overheat and catch fire.
To date, the problem has been linked to 161 fires and nine injuries. And remarkably, Toyota has not recalled the vehicles. What are they waiting for?
Paula Eisenstein of TheDetroitBureau.com reported that the Toyota probe was initially launched in February and it covered 800,000 2007 Camry sedans and RAV4 SUVs. Because of Toyota's practice of making widespread use of common components, it was expected that the probe might be expanded to other models.
But now, NHTSA is targeting an additional 600,000 including some Yaris subcompacts from the 2007 to 2009 model years as well as the 2008 Highlander Hybrid SUVs. NHTSA has also expanded the probe to cover Camry sedans produced in 2008 and 2009.
Honda announced last week that the left driveshaft in approximately 50,000 2012 Honda Civic vehicles might have been assembled incorrectly and could come apart, separating from the CV joint that connects the driveshaft to the wheel. Honda issued a voluntary recall to resolve potential problems.
Yes, we know that it's easier to recall 50,000 vehicles than 1 million, but don't both companies face a similar problem? Aren't we talking about the same thing?
Isn't this all about drivers, their families and vehicle safety? Credibility? Or is Toyota paralyzed by indecision because of the short-term cost?
As long as human beings produce vehicles, the potential for human error always exists. Hopefully, if we deal with honorable corporations, we can be confident that when they learn about a problem, they'll take proactive steps to fix it. They won't choose to do nothing because they're afraid that the number one selling vehicle in the U.S. will lose market share.
When you decide which company you'd prefer to do business with the next time you're in the market for a new car, let us know if it's one that imposes a voluntary recall when they discover a problem, or the other guys who learn of a problem, document 161 fires and nine injuries, and stood idle.