Remember the Toyota unintended acceleration crisis of 2009-2010? I’m sure Toyota hasn’t forgotten it. Nearly every model in the company’s lineup was recalled to replace floor mats that could have trapped the vehicles’ accelerator pedals, making it difficult to slow or stop the vehicles (unless owners turned off the cars or shifted them to neutral). Toyota has now proposed firmly putting the matter in its rearview mirror with a comprehensive settlement proposal that is slated to be reviewed by U.S. District Judge James Selna, who is presiding over the current class-action case on the matter. Continue Reading →
By Chris Haak
Though nowhere near the number of vehicles recalled by Toyota at the height of its sudden unintended acceleration crisis of late 2009/early 2010, there have been a fairly sizable number of vehicles recalled by GM and Chrysler over the past week. Ford also had its name dragged through the recall mud a bit, perhaps proving that Toyota’s persecution at the hands of NHTSA was not a politically motivated attempt to bolster government-owned GM and Chrysler. But who knows?
Ford’s Floormat Problem
Ford benefitted perhaps more than any other automaker from Toyota’s recall crisis, snatching marketshare from the Japanese juggernaut almost point-for-point, as Dearborn-based Ford basked in its bailout-free balance sheet and income statement. Ironic, then, that NHTSA is investigating Ford midsize cars (such as the Fusion and Milan) for potential accelerator pedal entrapment caused by improperly installing all-weather floormats above carpeted mats. The company was quick to point out that there were no reported cases of properly installed all-weather mats causing pedal entrapment. I’m sure that Ford is hoping that it doesn’t find itself entrapped in a similar conundrum to what Toyota is crawling out of.
Toyota leaves the details to their dealers and will pick up the tab
By Brendan Moore
Toyota is launching a national program to help Lexus and Toyota owners repair their cars that have been recalled. The program is modeled after the one that Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York pressured Toyota into offering in the state of New York. Toyota has decided that it likes the program and has reached agreement with the attorney generals in all 50 states to institute the program across the country this week.
The Japanese auto manufacturer said the offering “will be tailored to the owner’s individual circumstances” and “may include” the following actions by a Toyota dealer:
- Recalled vehicles being picked up at the customer’s location and returned to same by the dealership.
- Driving affected owners to the dealership or to work.
- Providing “where necessary” a rental car, loaner vehicle “or taxi reimbursement for the reasonable period that the customer is unable or unwilling to use his or her car.”
Toyota stated that it is leaving the execution of these actions to their individual dealers, but will reimburse their dealers fully for whatever expenses they incur helping customers.
By Brendan Moore
At least 60 consumer class-action lawsuits have been filed in at least thirty-two states so far over the precipitous drop in resale values of Toyotas, according to public statements from some attorneys representing the plaintiffs.
As if Toyota doesn’t have enough legal problems with the forthcoming personal injury suits stemming from the unintended acceleration issues in their cars, now they face suits in United States federal court for economic damages for diminished value or lost use of transportation suffered by owners of Toyota vehicles.
Simply put, the lawsuits over diminished value exist as a result of the fact that anyone with a used late-model Toyota has a vehicle that is now worth quite a bit less than it was worth only two weeks ago.
Toyota vehicles have dropped in resale value since the recalls involving 8.5 million vehicles were announced, with more decreases expected in the future. It has been suggested that the average Toyota may lose an extra 5% – 8% of its original projected residual value this year. As an example of what that could mean to the average consumer, 5% of a $15,000 USD used Toyota is $750.
By Brendan Moore
NADA Used Car Guide and Kelley Blue Book, the two most popular used vehicle value guides for consumers, and two of the most often used wholesale vehicle pricing guides used by dealers and lenders, have both announced that they are dropping values for Toyota models affected by the current recall.
Black Book, a used vehicle guide used only by entities in the trade like auction buyers and used car managers has already seen it’s pricing for the affected Toyota models drop.
NADA Used Car Guide, used virtually by every dealer in every state, has dropped the wholesale (loan) values of used Toyotas a little over 3%. The retail values will drop a corresponding amount.
Just as a note to consumers, the NADA book that you can purchase at Barnes and Noble or Borders lists only the retail value amounts of vehicles; there is a different edition of the book printed that contains both wholesale and retail values that is only available to lenders like banks and credit unions, and, of course auto dealers of every stripe.
Some Peugeots and Citroens made in a joint plant with Toyotas to be recalled immediately in Europe as a result of unintended acceleration concerns, stemming from the use of the same accelerators as Toyota
By Brendan Moore
The massive global Toyota recall regarding faulty accelerators is not merely affecting the Toyota nameplate; it has also taken down some PSA/Peugeot-Citroen vehicles.
PSA announced that it would immediately recall almost 100,000 vehicles in Europe as those cars are made at a plant in the Czech Republic that it shares with Toyota, and therefore those cars use the same accelerator pedal suppliers as Toyota.
A PSA spokesman stated Saturday, “We are going to do the same thing as Toyota. We are going to do a recall.”
The Peugeot 107 and the Citroen C1 minicars made between launch in 2005 and August 2009 will be the subject of the recall, said PSA. PSA and Toyota produce cars jointly at the plant in Kolin, Czech Republic. Toyota produces the Aygo minicar, a popular car in Europe, at the plant.
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