If you’re driving a Toyota, be weary. They have just ordered a recall of 6.39 million vehicles worldwide (2.34 million in North America) that span 27 different models. This recall has been ordered due to a number of problems that include faulty airbags, failing steering column brackets, and possible fire hazards.
This EXTREMELY large recall is nothing unusual for Toyota, either, just take a look at their recent history:
- In 2012, Toyota recalled 7.43 million vehicles due to fire-prone window switches.
- In 2010, there was a recall of 4.45 million vehicles due to sticky gas pedals that caused unintended acceleration.
- From 2009-2012, there was a recall of 7.12 million vehicles because of floor mat entrapments.
Even more disheartening is the fact that this is the second major blunder in 2014 for the world’s largest automaker. Just last month, the company was forced to pay a penalty of $1.2 billion to the U.S. government because it was discovered that they misled consumers by concealing facts about their sticky gas pedals and unintended acceleration defects. This, of course, mirrors a recent trend of automotive corruption that has also been seen in GM.
Peter Shervington, an expert associate at the global law firm Eversheds, says, “Each announcement puts another dent in Toyota’s efforts to recover its reputation and resurrects questions about the impact of its strategy of rapid expansion on previously enviable standards of design and production quality.”
Unlike the recent high profile GM recall, though, the latest Toyota recall has not been linked to any crashes or deaths. But Shervington believes this to be of little importance, saying, “That no injuries or fatalities have been reported to date will be of little comfort to Toyota, particularly given the safety critical nature of some of the aspects involved…No doubt serious questions are being asked within Toyota, its dealer network, and amongst the regulatory authorities, as to how further safety risks have slipped through the net.”
Shervington raises an interesting question here regarding the entire auto industry… why are there so many recalls? Based on advertisements, crash tests, and other propaganda, the public is always led to believe that they are stepping into vehicles that are as safe as safe can get. Only, we find out months, and sometimes years, later that these death traps vehicles are found to have locking brakes, sticky gas pedals, and fire hazards!!! Thanks Toyota for the quality product.