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Toyota Probed in Recall Negligence

Tuesday July 11, 2006

Three Toyota officials are presently being investigated for suspicion of professional negligence. It is reported that they may have been holding off recalls by up to eight years and, consequently, not fixing at least one defect which may have been the caused of accidents. Of course, Toyota Motor Corp. denies any such allegations and insists that the officials in question have not engaged in any kind of wrongdoing.

There is already at least one known accident related to this defect, where a Toyota Hilux Surf (known here in North America as the 4Runner) veered, out of control, into opposing traffic, injuring 5 people. This happened on August 12th 2004 in Kumamoto Japan, as a result of steering failure.

Apparently there was a recall that had been carried out to fix 330,000 Hilux Surf vehicles manufactured between December 1988 and May 1996. The recall was for a problem part used in the steering system that could break, according to Toyota. The problem? Reports would indicate that Toyota knew of the problem since 1996.

This automaker which thrives on it’s reputation for quality and reliability has been suffering on that exact front as of late, after issuing many recalls over the past few years and even so much as having similar problems with new models like the Avalon.

Toyota is also striving to overtake GM in its ultimate quest to become the world’s biggest automaker, but this should serve as a reminder that being the biggest is quite a different thing than being the best; seems they’re following the old General in many ways.

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