February 3, 2010

Oh, no, not the Prius too!

This is a brand crash of Tiger Woods dimension.

47 comments:

PatCA said...

Toyota's "crisis" certainly serves our Guvmint Motors well.

Lem said...

Toyota's "crisis" certainly serves our Guvmint Motors well.

Hmmm - I wander what Obama's ACORN been up to since the election?

Peter V. Bella said...

ACORN has been up to what it knows best. Crime. They are sabotaging Toyotas. :)

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Hey... President Obama finally accomplished something!

Lem said...

This is how you connect the dots..

FBI this ;)

Methadras said...

I'm expecting some of the upper Japanese and U.S. executive at Toyota to commit seppuku.

Maguro said...

Uh oh. Better unload that Whole Foods stock.

mccullough said...

This redounds to the benefit of Ford, Nissan, and Honda. Not GM or Chrysler.

William said...

I see an endorsing opportunity here for Tiger. After he wins a major, he can appear in the driveway of his luxury home with his new Prius. "I had some problem with my hook a while back, but that's fixed now. If you're committed to excellence, everything can be fixed." In the background, Elin clips the hedges with a happy, domesticated smile. This will move a lot of metal in the target demographic.

Methadras said...

Dear God. Greenies, hippies, and aging new-agers everywhere are screaming to the great tree mother for guidance and assistance. Won't someone help this poor car?

Pogo said...

Conflict of interest by the government, which owns a competing car company.

Suspicious how interested the fed are here.

Bullshit.

It's another reason why gummints shouldn't own companies and compete with the private sector.

But that's what the left sees as a feature, not a bug.

traditionalguy said...

This is fun. Now that AIG is our Insurance Company, look out Lloyds of London. Something wrong with your policy provisions will become an issue soon. Call it The Public Option in action.

chuckR said...

4 million cars affected, say an average of three years each on the road - 12 million years on the road and 1000 or so complaints including some true tragedies. By design our government is too retarded to be able to sift information like this. The Eye of Sauron they are not. And thank God for it.
Toyota will be flogged pour encouragers les autres to pay more attention to things like this. And yet, and yet, Ford still is working on the flaming ignition switches, uncovered more than a decade ago. Why do some problems get legs and others not? Fords have burned garages, houses and people, real tragedies there too.

wv - reiden - I ain't reiden in no Toyotas

bagoh20 said...

Converting amorphous minerals in the ground into something as complicated, functional and reliable as a car is a true miracle and then to produce them by the millions year after year is just beyond belief.

You get in, turn a key and in seconds propel yourself around at speeds and distances beyond the reach of entire nations throughout history until very recently. Accompanied with global hand-held communications and navigation, climate control, and an endless selection of entertainment.

Most amazing is that we all do this every day from the age of 15 till we're nearly blind from age. Incredible.

I love to drive.

AJ Lynch said...

I was gonna suggest Ford could be the culprit but Pogo says it is GM. I disagree Pogo. That would require GM to actually want to outperform its competitors and make a profit- you know that ain't part of the DNA in a guvmint-related agency like GM.

Methadras said...

bagoh20 said...

Converting amorphous minerals in the ground into something as complicated, functional and reliable as a car is a true miracle and then to produce them by the millions year after year is just beyond belief.


I've said it many times, there are only two items in the earth that have allowed us to see this level of unheard of prosperity. Ore and Oil. End of line.

Florida said...

Ann,

God you are so obtuse sometimes - you know that?

A "brand crash?"

This isn't a "crash" it's a murder, being perpetuated by the new owners of General Motors and Chrysler: Your friends at Barack Obama Motors.

Gee, we've been having recalls for 30 years now with no muss and no fuss. There's a set system for handling them so as to prevent this sort of panic.

Until suddenly, Barack Obama owns GM and Chrysler. Now, all of a sudden, the Transportation Secretary announces people should stop driving their Toyotas and return them immediately to the dealership.

Can you imagine the clusterfuck that happened next?

Of course, he walks it back after the damage is done.

There will be more of this. Ever single time Obama needs to boost sales to change the subject from the 25% unemployment in the country.

This brand isn't crashing.

It's being murdered by our President.

Chip Ahoy said...

Can you please replace my accelerator pedal with one in the shape of a human foot?

rhhardin said...

It's a media pile-on.

The numbers add up to nothing in the population involved.

Toyota should respond with a flood of lists of mistaken statements by the various entities involved.

rhhardin said...

From the people who brought you Pearl Harbor, as the rejected public relations campaign idea put it.

Moose said...

How's that cloud of smug now, Prius owners?

rhhardin said...

On two cars I've had that went full throttle I just flipped the ignition on and off to get the speed I wanted.

If you have no brakes, you drive more circumspectly (dual brake systems never showed any evidence of working, incidentally). Manual transmission takes up the slack.

Making do isn't done much anymore.

Pogo said...

Like the climate data and the 'jobs created or saved' numbers, I cannot trust my government to tell me the truth about much of anything now.

Was last months rise in GDP truth or BS? You won't know for ten years.

Are the Toyota issues a big deal or not? You won't know that from the feds.

The loss of trust they are engendering makes the government into bullshit-producers on par with Pravda. You have to know the politics of the moment to glean the truth, or ignore them completely.

Either way, the disinformation pattern by the US is fomenting a long-term disaster.

master cylinder said...

satire or not?
you guys should go back to bed or get back on your meds. This is Obama's doing? Who needs Colbert?

Pogo said...

@master cylinder said..."satire or not? ...This is Obama's doing?"

no, THIS is Obama's doing:
"Obama administration steps up pressure on Toyota"
REUTERS
"LaHood said he would take the unusual step of calling Toyota President Akio Toyoda to emphasize how seriously the Obama administration is taking investigations into reports of uncontrolled acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

Toyota shares fell as much as 8 percent on LaHood's remarks, including an explosive comment interpreted as a warning for consumers to stop driving the more than 5 million Toyota vehicles covered by two sweeping recalls.

LaHood later said that had been a "misstatement" and that his advice was unchanged from the steps already recommended by U.S. safety regulators and Toyota.
"

vet66 said...

Since the Prius was one of the first cars competing for the title of "Green" it's problems are emblematic of the false science that begat it. The glaciers are not melting as fast as we were led to believe, the Polar bears are growing in numbers and other indicators provide no proof that GW is anything other than a natural cycle.

AGW has always been a bogey man trotted out to enrich the rich at the expense of those who were not in on the scam; the proles in the flyover states. Unfortunately the failed logic implicit in the assumption was that it overlooked the fact that a good many of us actually took science in High School and College. There is always that pesky requirement to question observations and data.

Now what to do with all those fancy batteries that will wear out in 5 or so years. Thatis the next ecological disaster on the horizon. We can always ship them to Yucca Mountain or third world landfills.

Joaquin said...

There have been recalls larger than this, but none has gotten the Government's attention like this one.
If there isn't a crisis to take advantage of............make one up!

AllenS said...

Can anyone remember back to the 1980's when the big fear was Chevy trucks exploding when hit broadside? Remember one of the MSM rigging the trucks to explode to prove their point?

chuckR said...

@vet66 Now what to do with all those fancy batteries that will wear out in 5 or so years.
Recycled nickel is at around $20 per pound. Also, in the real world they have been lasting longer than 5 years. But thanks, I'd rather have a small turbodiesel than a hybrid.

chuckR said...

Before the automakers get to the bottom of this, there will be a serious look at what it takes to make a car's electronics a robust system. The Prius is the auto equivalent of the F-16 - the Electric Jet - which was among the first heavily fly by wire jets. The respective pilots of each conveyance suggest what they'd like to have happen and if the proposed action is within acceptable limits, the electronics make it so.
On the Toyota sticky gas pedal front, the metal shim to readjust frictional interplay of the pedal parts may well be secondary to the engine computer reflash that allows for the brake to override the gas. This may be a more major gaffe than the frictional wear issue. The shim? - a little kabuki theater from Toyota.
Toyota will not be alone in reviewing and enhancing the networked system of sensors, actuators, embedded analog and digital widgets and the cpu that drives your car for you.

Michael said...

I would expect most people would choose a Toyota with suspicious acceleration and braking problems over a GM product. This won't be a long term problem for Toyota nor a boon to GM or vile Chrysler.

The Prius, by the way, is a $30K+ "me cool" bumper sticker. Nice gimmicky vehicle.

bagoh20 said...

Unbeknownst to Prius owners, the rest of us do not think you cool or get a feeling of envy in your presence. It's something quite different; more like when you sport those mom jeans.

traditionalguy said...

The One instinctively thinks up what would be the worse thing he could do with each new event and goes that way, while he uses his Alfred E Newman smile and another speech of how much he cares for doing right as his cover. But no one is that stupid. This administration believes that it can sabotage every last American relationship and strength in hopes of causing a cascade of new crisis upon new crisis that will smash this country. He has 3 years left. Since his time is short he is speeding up his efforts. Why? What did the USA ever do to him? Is it in his ideology that makes him see the USA's destruction as the beginning of a better world?

Chris said...

Schadenfreude. Delicious.

PatCA said...

Apparently others are questioning the timing as well. The guvmint did start investigating Toyota right after inauguration. This is thuggery.

Toyota Investigation

Chris said...

If it is worth it to buy a nice suit, it is worth it to buy a Prius. Each have utility only to impress others.

ricpic said...

Is it true that with the new push button method of starting a car you can't turn the car off when this sort of thing happens? That's what I've heard. Luckily I have a retrograde ignition key model.

Pastafarian said...

2000 complaints in 20,000,000 vehicles.

The coverage, and the government's reaction, does seem overblown.

Pastafarian said...

Wouldn't a simple brake over-ride system prevent unintended acceleration?

If they have pure drive-by-wire (no mechanical linkage between pedal and throttle), then just arrange it so that any application of the brake reduces the throttle to zero, even if the gas pedal is floored.

I'm not sure why this wasn't done in the first place, but it couldn't be that hard to implement as a fix. And it really wouldn't matter what the cause actually is -- the pedal, the rug, or the electronics -- it would be fixed after that.

And as for Toyota drivers: You're now aware of the problem; if your car exhibits unintended acceleration, drop it into neutral. I don't know what all the hysterics are about here.

Chris said...

@Pastafarian, I don't know how dangerous the cars actually are, but I bet they are less dangerous than cars in the 60s. I can understand class action lawyers drooling and going bug eyed, but why is the government getting involved?

CatherineM said...

Didn't Audi have the same problem in the late 80s? It would accelerate automatically or get stuck?

Pintos and Chevette's blowing up on rear impact.....

Few years ago it was Ford's tire manufacturer. Tires would burst at highway speeds.....

I don't recall the US Government getting all hot under the collar about the other stories. Did they?

I think Toyota has such a following as far as reliability, I think they will recover quickly. There have been worse recalls in the US industry and I have many friends who have had complete lemons with many a Ford (engine dies or transmission needs to be replaced at 20,000 miles).

Joe said...

This isn't a surprise. Toyota over expanded in the late 90s in an effort to become the biggest and in doing so sacrificed both build and design quality. One problem was simply building plants in the US without ensuring that they would produce the quality desired (one reason late 90s Honda Civics are kind of crappy.)

In other words Toyota wanted to become GM and to an unfortunate extent, did.

MadisonMan said...

Unbeknownst to Prius owners, the rest of us do not think you cool or get a feeling of envy in your presence.

This is an underlying premise in advertisements for cars -- that they change how people perceive you -- and it just doesn't work on me.

I don't care what other people think when I'm driving a car. I own a car to get from point A to point B in a manner that is safe, cheap, comfortable (I'm tall) and fun to drive.

vet66 said...

Prius owners are not trying to impress others as much as they are trying to impress themselves. It is this smug self-awareness that masks the overriding sense of arrogance and self-importance that sets these narcissists apart. The self-assured don't depend on their "wheels" to give them cache in the market place of ideas.

Bruce Hayden said...

Didn't Audi have the same problem in the late 80s? It would accelerate automatically or get stuck?

Yes and no. That was the general impression, but while it turned out to kill Audi sales for a bit, it was never actually shown to be true. Rather, it appears in retrospect to have been pilot error.

During the time, I drove a series of stick shift Audis that worked great. This "problem" only supposedly applied to the automatics. But as a result of this, they were one of the first to impose an interlock with their automatic transmission cars, requiring that a foot be on the brake before shifting out of park. Which, at times is a big hassle (I have an A6 that exhibits this system).

howzerdo said...

chuckR: I agree. This problem happened to my sister-in-law’s RAV4 three times. It is otherwise dependable, and she’s a major Toyota loyalist.

She’s a good driver and managed to stop the car without having an accident but it wasn’t a stress-free experience, believe me. Her car isn’t on the recall list (it is older, I think about an ‘03).

I question whether the company is being upfront about how many cars have the problem, and whether they really know what is causing it.

The first time it happened was when she was teaching my niece to drive. She thought my niece mixed up the gas and brake even though my niece swore she hadn’t. The second time it happened, she knew my niece was right, so she took it into the dealer, who couldn’t figure out the problem.

After that, my father rigged up a repair of the pedal (it’s the kind of rube goldberg thing he is usually really, really good at) – but since then it happened a third time. So she doubts it is the pedal or that the "fix" will solve the problem.

chuckR said...

On the off chance somebody is still reading this aged comment section -

Audi - consensus is that this was a problem fabricated by either 48 Hours or 60 Minutes or both. Somebody rigged an Audi and it lurched forward under the influence of a compressed air bottle and air line tapped into its transmission. Bogus, but it cost Audi a decade of US sales.

GM light trucks with sidesaddle gas tanks (tank mounted outside the frame). This really looks bad and dumb, too. Accident statistics comparing how many caught fire compared to Ford and Dodge trucks didn't show that it was an issue. 48 Hours filmed a truck bursting into flames in a staged accident. When threatened with a lawsuit, they admitted that they rigged a truck with what they called 'sparkers'. Sounds like the innocent July 4th sparklers, right? Well, the sparkers were actually shotgun shell-sized model rocket motors with enough energy to toss a few ounces of plastic and cardboard more than 1000 feet in the air. Last time I watched ol' Jane and Stoned....

Chevette - I remember nothing other than it was a generally crappy car

Pinto - Ford to blame. Ford has problems with fire. Ford, fire bad. Fire real bad. For want of a simple shield on the gas tank, people died. Ford didn't learn. Same thing happens to Crown Vic cop cars, which by the nature of their use are disproportionately subjected to rear end collisions. The fix as applied is a shield for the gas tank. And Ford has been working for a decade or more on their short circuit prone ignition, also a fire hazard.

Explorers - lotsa blame to go around. Ford for pushing Firestone on tire price to the point where Firestone removed tire belt restraining straps that decreased blow-outs or their effects. And Firestone for doing it. And the drivers for running old, under-inflated tires while towing heavy loads at high ambient temperatures. This was mostly the fault of the drivers, but Ford and Firestone badly underestimated their stupidity. A blow-out at highway speeds is not fun - I have had them on straights and on curves, but never with a tail-wagging trailer load.