Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Toyota halting sales of eight models

Sure, the exchange rate may be a factor in Korea Inc's rise vis-à-vis Japan Inc, but it's not helping things when a revered company like Toyota has to decide to stop selling a large portion of its fleet so it can figure out why a certain problem — and a deadly one at that — is happening. From WaPo:
Toyota is "temporarily" halting the sales of many of its passenger cars and trucks because it can't figure out why the accelerator pedal has stuck in some instances.

These vehicles already are under recall. Now, Toyota is taking the extraordinary step -- I can't recall a time when this has happened before -- of literally pulling them off the showroom floor and halting production lines.
Their press release is here.

I'd like to think that some of this "extraordinary step" is from Toyota's desire to do this as right as they can. And Hyundai/Kia should not take time to gloat about this. If anything, they should see this as a good opportunity to re-review their own cars and make sure no such PR nightmare is lurking in the wings. Toyota's reputation for quality is going to take a hit with this, but with memories of clunky Korean cars from twenty years ago still "fresh" in people's minds, it could be a body blow for Hyundai or Kia were the same thing to happen.

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