Last week, Toyota yet again announced another recall of 1.13 million Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks manufactured between 2005 and 2008. These cars were sold in the U.S. and Canada. This recall resulted from a problem in the vehicles’ engine control modules (ECM). The ECM “determines the amount of fuel, ignition timing and other parameters that an engine needs to keep running.” (Wikepedia) When cracks develop in a defective ECM’s circuit board, the engines can stall or fail to start.
Only last month, Toyota recalled 480,000 Avalon sedans and Land Cruiser sport-utility vehicles. In addition, Toyota has recalled approximately 11 million vehicles since October of 2009. The reasons for the recalls have varied, but they include a variety of problems: sticky accelerator gas pedals, slipping floor mats, defective braking systems, etc.
Prior to 2009, there would have been a great degree of surprise, shock and disbelief relating to a recall of 1.13 million Toyota vehicles. Instead, last week the news articles about the recall were buried in the business sections of the newspapers.
Perhaps the public is becoming inured to the constant drip, drip, drip of quality problems that are emanating from the worlds’ number one automobile manufacturer. Unfortunately for the beleaguered company, a recall from Toyota is no longer news. A 2010 Toyota recall is becoming the familiar, proverbial story of the dog biting the man, not the uncommon news of the man biting the dog. I bet that the senior management team in Toyota City, Japan wishes that it were the opposite way around, namely, that a recall would be the exception, not the rule.
What is your reaction to Toyota’s latest recall?