Toyota’s CEO apologizes for recall issues; Prius and Lotus recall looms. The President and CEO of Toyota rarely makes an appearance, but Friday Akio Toyoda apologized for the massive recalls over the gas pedals problems and the safety issues this has caused. As Toyota sales drop drastically, they are making an attempt to repair some of the damage that has been done. Now Toyota Lotus owners are coming forward with the same issues with the brake pedal.
Akio Toyoda also said that they are looking into a possible Prius recall for a brake problem that appears to be related to the gas pedal. Toyota didn’t respond as quickly as the public would’ve liked to the recall issues, which has only added to the issues people have.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Thursday that it will investigate whether the Prius’ brakes stop working after the car hits a bump. A formal recall for the Prius has not been announced, but is expected at any time.
Japan’s Transportation Ministry asked Toyota Wednesday to investigate 14 complaints of brake and gas pedal problems. The Prius was the number one selling car in Japan in 2009.
By Thursday, NHTSA received 124 consumer complaints (up from 100 complaints Wednesday) about Prius brakes, four of which included crashes that allegedly occurred.
“Safety is our top priority,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “That is why in recent weeks NHTSA has also issued a consumer advisory on the recall of several models of Toyota vehicles and the Pontiac Vibe involving pedal entrapment and sticky accelerator pedals. We will continue to monitor these issues closely.”
The Prius is not part of the current recall of eight Toyota vehicles that are currently being repairing at dealerships around the country.
Tuesday, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak appeared on CNN to complain about his Prius and the acceleration problem. He said that he had attempted to contact Toyota directly several times without any response, so he decided it was time to tell his story to the media. He said that his Prius has accelerated on its own as though it is on a progressive speed control, and has accelerated up to 97 miles per hour by itself. He quickly learned that he needed to press the break to get it to stop. After his interview on Tuesday with CNN, Toyota has asked to borrow Wozniak’s car for a week to test it out.
Toyota announced this morning that the dealerships are ready to begin fixing the recalled vehicles, for more information on that story, click here.
The problems with Toyota and the recalls over the past few months creates an opportunity for other dealerships. “Every dog has his day,” said Jerry Seiner who owns several General Motors dealerships in Salt Lake City. “Maybe they’ll take a second look at us instead of Toyota…when Toyota stumbles it’s our opportunity.”
Toyota had a 47% drop in sales from December after the recalls were announced. For more on that story, click here.
Sources: NHTSA and USA Today
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