Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Truth is Chasing Toyota and Lexus

In an era where people communicate more quickly than ever before, news travels quickly. That is what happened when a 911 tape was released about an accident in California. News of this accident caused a recall by Toyota. Initially, in the fall of 2009, the public was told that it was floor mats causing a stuck accelerator.

The truth is now chasing Toyota, the world's largest automotive manufacturer.  The problem with Toyota and Lexus gas pedals appears to be more than a stuck pedal. Sudden acceleration is the term mechanics are whispering about.

There is an issue on with how Toyota is dealing with the problem. They are not coming clean about their Lexus brand, cars and SUVs that are manufactured by Toyota. It was a runaway 2009 Lexus ES 350 that killed off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor and his family. It was not Saylor's Lexus, but a loaner from Bob Baker Lexus in El Cajon California, the Toyota Lexus Dealer that Saylor had taken his Lexus in for service.

The Los Angeles Times lists the Toyota and Lexus Models involved in the US Recall. What is so strange is that the expanded recall announced by Toyota recently denies any problem with Lexus in its recent press release. Note, this is probably because they quietly issued a recall in 2009.

Here are the vehicles listed as part of the recall by NHTSA (Pontiac is also listed):

  • Toyota, Lexus and Pontiac vehicles affected by the entrapment recall are:
    • 2007-2010 Camry
    • 2005-2010 Avalon
    • 2004-2009 Prius
    • 2005-2010 Tacoma
    • 2007-2010 Tundra
    • 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350
    • 2006-2010 Lexus IS 250 and IS350
    • 2008-2010 Highlander
    • 2009-2010 Corolla
    • 2009-2010 Venza
    • 2009-2010 Matrix
    • 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe
Here is what Toyota lists in their press release:
   Certain 2009-2010 RAV4
• Certain 2009-2010 Corolla
• 2009-2010 Matrix
• 2005-2010 Avalon
• Certain 2007-2010 Camry
• Certain 2010 Highlander
• 2007-2010 Tundra
• 2008-2010 Sequoia

Read details of the NTHSA Report that was compiled by ace reporters Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian of the Los Angeles Times. Their article highlights some of the incredible facts that the NHTSA found about the 2009 Lexus ES 350. Here is how Consumer Guide Automotive describes the 2009 Lexus ES 350: "The 2009 Lexus ES 350 is largely unchanged. ES is essentially a luxury version of the Toyota Camry; Lexus is Toyota's premium division."

Toyota is racing to correct the problem but the question is, what is the problem? Somewhere in Japan, I think there are some engineers that know exactly what the problem is. The truth is out there and it is chasing Toyota and its premium Lexus brand.

The real question is this. Would you let yourself or a family member (especially your kids) drive one of these cars?

Note, this Blog post offers opinions only.

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