It was bad enough that Toyota had recalled hundreds of thousands of newer models of their best-selling Camry and the Corolla and Tundra and certain Lexus models for sudden uncontrolled accelleration. That recall, blamed by Toyota executives as being caused by defective rubber floormats, affected 3.8 million vehicles that contained certain all-weather floor mats. Then Toyota issued another recall for 2.3 million Toyota vehicles, including 600,000 that were not subject to the prior floor mat recall due to an actual mechanical problem that was causing some gas pedals to stick. Which begs the question: was the TRUE problem with the first 3.8 million cars really to blame on the floor mat? Or was this a convenient excuse for what was really an accellerator problem from the get-go? Knowing Toyota Execs, count on the latter.
But now, in the MackDaddy of all Recalls, Toyota has recalled its Star of the Show, the Prius, Toyota said Tuesday it would recall 437,000 of its 2010 flagship Prius hybrid and other gas-electric models worldwide to fix a glitch in the braking system, as the Japanese automaker moved to contain a crisis over defects in a range of its vehicles. Toyota says its only a software problem, which may be true, but are we to trust them?
I have found myself in the last couple of weeks avoiding driving near or around Toyotas on the street. I will switch lanes rather than dare be behind one. I do not own a Toyota, but I can imagine Toyota owners faced with the moral dilemma: “Do I drive my Camry to work and risk killing myself, a loved one or another person? Or do I put it in the garage, continue to make monthly payments on a car I cannot drive and try to find alternate transportation?” Toyota, you’ve got some explaining to do!