You have probably heard about the many recent recalls from Toyota. Toyota's quality problems have received an enormous amount of press coverage. Today, Akio Toyoda – the grandson of the company's founder – will testify in a congressional investigation into Toyota's response to their quality issues.
If you own a Toyota-made vehicle, you may be concerned about your safety. You might be frustrated with Toyota's lack of clarity around the recalls.
We share your concern, and wanted to let you know where we stand with regard to the Toyota quality issue.
As an independent repair shop which exclusively services Toyota, Lexus, and Scion, we feel that Toyota's lack of transparency is frustrating, inexplicable, and, frankly, unacceptable. Anything which hurts Toyota's reputation can damage our business.
We wish that Toyota had been more forthright about each problem, its extent, and its severity.
That said, the issues with acceleration, braking, and steering still appear to be extremely rare: Thankfully, we know of no instances where a Lowell's customer has encountered these kinds of problems.
We don't excuse Toyota for their recent quality problems (or for their poor reaction to them).
But we do feel that the Toyota story has snowballed into an out-of-control overreaction. As emotionally-charged stories about Toyota's issues lead the evening news, similar recalls for rare, sometimes-deadly defects from Honda, Hyundai, Ford, and Pontiac have received comparably little press coverage.
Toyota definitely needs to find and eliminate quality problems.
But we would prefer that such intense media, congressional, and public attention be laser-focused on exponentially larger issues affecting American well-being – such as the many failures of our healthcare system or the loss of millions of jobs in the past two years.
Note to our customers: We at Lowell's have offered our assistance to local dealers in getting recalled cars fixed as quickly as possible. Currently, however, the only way to get a recall issue resolved is to go through a Toyota dealer.