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Rate Toyota's safety reputation

By Abha Bhattarai  |  August 19, 2010; 4:34 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Toyota is doing fine. The media just did a hatchet job which isn't supported by the scientific results. So now this unsubstantiated claim of the black boxes showing "dubious" results. Results don't fit the narrative eh? Weak, very weak. And it's not just Toyota before that there was a narrative about all American cars being awful which was just as ridiculous. The "news" media is a sensationalist echo chamber.

Posted by: cobble3 | August 20, 2010 8:25 AM

We need Toyota to keep American automakers under pressure so they can continuously improve their product design and manufacturing process for better quality.

I do hope Toyota is doing fine. I would buy a Toyota for my next car.

Posted by: dummy4peace | August 20, 2010 8:51 AM

I purchased a 2010 RAV4 in September of 2009 before all the news about unexplained acceleration came out. The vehicle itself has done well and I have not experienced any problems. That said, based on my experience with my Toyota dealership's service department, I will not buy another. With my first oil change I was immediately upsold to synthetic oil. I found a few mentions of this being desirable on the web so, with some chagrin, I did it. At my last oil change at 10,000 miles the service department gave me an estimate for a costly electronic fuel injector service at 15,000 miles. This isn't mentioned in the maintenance guide so I searched the web and found no positive mention of it and a few indications that it was basically a scam to quickly generate $ for the dealerships service department. I'm 63, have bought many cars, and have never had this experience with other dealership's service departments. Next time I'll buy a Ford.

The point of all this is while the Toyota seems to be basically a good vehicle an arrogant dealership can negate that. Toyota seems to have more than their share of these dealerships. The arrogance probably comes from Toyota having been viewed as the "primo" car to get for so long that some dealerships never learned how to service the customer. Hopefully they will learn their lesson. I've already learned mine.

Posted by: LurayDemocrat | August 20, 2010 9:13 AM

I gave one of my key to service manager to replace battery and gave the other key to service person who drove my car for oil change.
They put new battery in the wrong key.
The store manager said my key still have old battery and would not open another battery without pay.
I ended up replacing batteries for both keys.
Mere $6.00 for the battery will keep me away from Toyota.

Posted by: artdlab | August 20, 2010 10:16 AM

I bought a new Corolla in 06 and it has been trouble free. The Corolla it replaced was an 18 year old Corolla with 240,000 miles and was still going strong. I'd like to tell LURAYDEMOCRAT if he thinks Ford dealers won't try to sell him expensive preventative maintenance services he is wrong. ALL dealers do this. Dealers make more money in the service dept. than they do in selling the car. It's up to the customer to decide what level of maintenance he thinks his car should have.

Posted by: wensay | August 20, 2010 10:29 AM

LURAYDEMOCRAT-Do you have a 2010 4 Cylinder RAV4? If so then the manufacturer requires synthetic oil. This oil creates less friction and should give a a .5 increase in fuel economy, also it is only changed every 10,000 miles so it is a greener solution. The oil change costs twice as much but is required half as much so its a wash as far as cost. I think you will find that most dealers try to upsell you to dubious services.

Posted by: drewkinnear | August 20, 2010 10:55 AM

When i said .5 i mean .5 mpg

Posted by: drewkinnear | August 20, 2010 11:04 AM

Have had 4 Avalons and a Corolla in the last 12 years. They have all been OUTSTANDING automobiles. Other than oil changes,brakes and and an occasional recall of a hose or other minor thing, I can only give Toyota the highest of accolades. I recently traded off my 06 Avalon, which had absolutely nothing wrong with it, for the hot '11 Hyundai Sonata because I wanted a somewhat smaller automobile. While I like the Sonata so far, less than 1500 miles, it is NOT of the quality of my previous Toyotas. My opinion, the Gov't jumped at the chance to bash Toyota over the accelerator issue and forced them to compete with how GM has had to for the last 2 decades, on low-ball price due to quality issues with their products. I would not hesitate to buy a Toyota product today and my recent decision to try the Hyundai had absolutely nothing to do with Toyota's perceived quality issues.

Posted by: bobcatbuzz | August 20, 2010 11:28 AM

Did anyone actually read the question? It asks you to rate Toyota's SAFETY not the reliability. Most of the posts here talk about reliability which is definitely not the same as safety. One of the ways Toyota and all other auto makers achieve increased mileage ratings is by reducing weight. In vehicles, that is often accomplished at the expense of safety. Many Toyotas achieve the mileage figures they do because they are tinny boxes that crumple like a cheap suit, in an accident. Also, why would you ever presume that Toyota has your safety uppermost in their marketing minds, as opposed to their profits. Once they established themselves as a major player with a good reputation, like all the other automakers they felt free to start cheapening them up, which they did. So you might feel some emotional loyalty to your Toyota but have the good sense to realize that Toyota can and does build death traps. They can't even build a reliable data recorder as they admit.

Posted by: meinschaft | August 20, 2010 1:50 PM

Toyota has been and still is a fine automobile. It is obvious that they were the victims of the government who had a stake in putting them out of business to bolster Government Motors.

Of course the idiots behind the wheel were not responsable because that is the mantra of the left these is someone elses fault!

Posted by: Pilot1 | August 20, 2010 2:52 PM

I own a 2004 Toyota Highlander and it has been virtually trouble free. I needed to replace an alternator and get the AC fixed in the last 5 years. Total cost of these repairs was around $800. I don't take the car to the dealership anymore but am instead going to a small repair shop where they explain exactly what the issue is and how much it will cost before doing any work. All in all I am very happy with this car as it is the most trouble-free vehicle I have ever owned. I owned a BMW before that and had nothing but trouble with it after about 3 years.

Posted by: mburix | August 20, 2010 4:46 PM

Cobble3 -
"unsubstantiated claim of the black boxes showing "dubious" results."
TOYOTA said they were dubious! If that is unsubstantiated then what is?
All these government conspiracy theories are the product if those who can not accept FACTS. Must be birthers and Tea Party believers.
Toyota got a "free ride" for many years but then began to let quality slip for more profits. Now the bill is coming due.

Posted by: pjohn2 | August 20, 2010 6:04 PM

Toyota has safety issues otherwise it wouldn't be making headlines. Worse instead of apologies we get denials & bovine waste product commercials from Toyota promoting so called safety when they’re really more concerned about profit.

Bean counters at Toyota weigh making investments in safety by predicting number of deaths & dismemberment and resulting lawsuit cost and deciding what numbers higher.

Nissan's a great alternative - they actually make cars that don't have accelerators that stick & therefore don't need to lie about it later.

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | August 20, 2010 8:20 PM

Dummy4peace, will you buy my Celica then?

Posted by: Itzajob | August 20, 2010 8:42 PM

My mom had constant electrical problems in her old Camry. She dumped it, she will not buy another Toyota, just to frustrating and was never fixed. Now she drives a Saturn which runs just fine.

Posted by: matrox | August 20, 2010 8:52 PM

Hey, LurayDemocrat, be very careful the RAV4s are known for transmission failures. My ex-GF had one and it caused her problems. I looked it up on the net and found it to be a common problem and Toyota did not want to own up to it.

Posted by: matrox | August 20, 2010 8:57 PM

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