Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Toyota's Acceleration Problems: It's not just the Floormats ...

As Toyota reels from problems with some of its cars' unintended acceleration (and resulting accidents), and institutes an expensive worldwide recall of autos, it's worth recalling how this matter was handled in a recent appearance at The Commonwealth Club of California by James Lentz, the president and COO of Toyota Motors Sales USA.

He spoke to The Club's Climate One division on November 17, 2009, when the accelerator issue was becoming known but hadn't yet blown up in the company's face. Following his main speech, Lentz took questions from the audience, including one about the accelerators. Lentz said the company tests everything for safety. He blamed the problem on floor mats, which supposedly were being trapped by the accelerator pedal, and after a follow-up question, he says the same problem is occurring with other car companies.

Today, the acceleration problem is being blamed on everything from faulty brakes to the cars' computer systems, and Toyota is facing a public relations nightmare. The head of the company, the descendent of the company's founder, has apologized and promised to improve safety quality.

You can watch the entire video above and make up your own mind.


Vickie said...

While I do not appreciate Toyota's response to this problem, I have enjoyed Toyotas for twenty years and intend to continue to do so. The previous models I owned had excess of 200,000 miles and were still kicking. I now enjoy a Rav 4 and have no problems. The American car companies have had their share of recalls also.

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