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Apparently they are not unbeatable!

Toyota, which recalled about 1.3 million vehicles in Japan last year, announced its largest recall since May as it struggles to improve quality.

Toyota is recalling 533,000 Tundra pickups and Sequoia sport-utility vehicles produced at its Indiana factory because a flaw may make them difficult to steer, the company said yesterday. Last year, the company was ordered by the Japanese government to reduce defects.
 

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And it seems they are getting some negative PR as well :eek:

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Toyota's trading company buys pig iron, a key steelmaking ingredient, from a firm that used charcoal made by Brazilian slaves, according to US government reports.

Toyota Tsusho Corp.'s U.S. unit bought at least seven shipments of pig iron from Usina Siderurgica de Maraba SA, or Usimar, in 2006, U.S. Customs records show. Usimar purchased charcoal from a camp where Brazilian inspectors in May found 22 people, including three children, who weren't being paid for their work. They were living in squalid shacks without electricity and plumbing, and drinking unsanitary water, government inspectors have reported.

Toyota didn't join Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG, General Motors Corp. and Honda Motor Co. on Dec. 4 when those other companies announced plans to work together to train suppliers to avoid buying materials made by slaves.

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From the two posts above, it looks like Toyota's problems are being caused by the plants they've had to set up in the US to make it acceptable for rednecks to buy Japanese cars..
 

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Recalls nothing new for Toyota. It's hardly news. These are just the ones that involve models sold in Canada (and this includes models that were shipped here from Japan).

Recall # Make Model Years Affected
1988019 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 1988
1998253 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
2005261 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
2005151 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 2001 2002
2003099 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 2003
1997155 TOYOTA AVALON 1997
2000136 TOYOTA AVALON 2000
2005150 TOYOTA AVALON 2005
1983115 TOYOTA CAMRY 1983 1984
1990039 TOYOTA CAMRY 1983 1984
1992124 TOYOTA CAMRY 1987 1988 1989 1990
1988119 TOYOTA CAMRY 1988
1998133 TOYOTA CAMRY 1994
1996073 TOYOTA CAMRY 1996
1997155 TOYOTA CAMRY 1997
1997204 TOYOTA CAMRY 1997
1999211 TOYOTA CAMRY 1998
2001027 TOYOTA CAMRY 1998
2004240 TOYOTA CAMRY 2002 2003 2004
2001282 TOYOTA CAMRY 2002

Recall # Make Model Years Affected
2004042 TOYOTA CAMRY 2004
2004042 TOYOTA CAMRY SOLARA 2004
1986053 TOYOTA CARGO VAN 1984 1985
1989083 TOYOTA CARGO VAN 1986 1987 1988
1980058 TOYOTA CELICA 1980
1981030 TOYOTA CELICA 1980
1986114 TOYOTA CELICA 1982
2004335 TOYOTA CELICA 2000
2003044 TOYOTA CELICA 2002 2003
2003004 TOYOTA CELICA 2002
1980058 TOYOTA COROLLA 1980
1983115 TOYOTA COROLLA 1984
1990039 TOYOTA COROLLA 1984
1994179 TOYOTA COROLLA 1993 1994
1996209 TOYOTA COROLLA 1993 1994 1995
1994130 TOYOTA COROLLA 1994
1997059 TOYOTA COROLLA 1997
1981030 TOYOTA CORONA 1980
1980058 TOYOTA CORONA 1980
1986114 TOYOTA CRESSIDA 1982

Recall # Make Model Years Affected
1984107 TOYOTA CRESSIDA 1983 1984
1983115 TOYOTA CRESSIDA 1984
2000199 TOYOTA ECHO 2000
2004335 TOYOTA ECHO 2000
2001242 TOYOTA ECHO 2000
2002179 TOYOTA ECHO 2001 2002
2006181 TOYOTA ECHO 2001 2002
2006154 TOYOTA FJ CRUISER 2007
2004127 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 2001 2002 2003 2004
2001188 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 2001
2002142 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 2001 2002
2006168 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 2004 2005 2006
2006168 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER HV 2004 2005 2006
1980058 TOYOTA HI-LUX 1980
1981103 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER 1981
1989127 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
1991102 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER 1988 1989
1993096 TOYOTA PREVIA 1991
1993127 TOYOTA PREVIA 1991
1997082 TOYOTA PREVIA 4WD 1997

Recall # Make Model Years Affected
2006181 TOYOTA PRIUS 2001 2002
2000220 TOYOTA PRIUS 2001
2006129 TOYOTA PRIUS 2004 2005 2006
2004409 TOYOTA PRIUS 2004
1996170 TOYOTA RAV4 1997
2005151 TOYOTA SEQUOIA 2002 2003 2004
2003193 TOYOTA SIENNA 2004
2005223 TOYOTA SIENNA 2004 2005
2000136 TOYOTA SOLARA 2000
1986114 TOYOTA SUPRA 1982
1984107 TOYOTA SUPRA 1983 1984
1983115 TOYOTA SUPRA 1984
1991160 TOYOTA SUPRA 1992
2005261 TOYOTA T100 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
1996110 TOYOTA TACOMA 1995 1996
1995207 TOYOTA TACOMA 1995
1997141 TOYOTA TACOMA 1997
2001203 TOYOTA TACOMA 1999 2000
2003130 TOYOTA TACOMA 2001 2002 2003
2005151 TOYOTA TACOMA 2001 2002 2003 2004

Recall # Make Model Years Affected
2005032 TOYOTA TACOMA 2005
2006048 TOYOTA TACOMA 2006
1985051 TOYOTA TERCEL 1980 1981 1982
1992086 TOYOTA TERCEL 1987 1988 1989 1990
1981113 TOYOTA TRUCK 1979
1981030 TOYOTA TRUCK 1980
1988019 TOYOTA TRUCK 1988
2005261 TOYOTA TRUCK 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
2000083 TOYOTA TUNDRA 2000
2001203 TOYOTA TUNDRA 2000
2005151 TOYOTA TUNDRA 2002 2003 2004
1983115 TOYOTA VAN 1984
1986053 TOYOTA VAN 1984 1985
1989083 TOYOTA VAN 1986 1987 1988
http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/recalls/search_e.asp

It doesn't look like the latest recall has been posted yet.
--Toronto
 

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Well partly so Ben. The 1.3m vehicles recall last year was in Japan.
Oh yeah! It would help if I could read properly. ;p

Dirt doesn't stick to Toyota though - they had rusty cars up till the 80s like Alfa but everyone has forgotten that. My mother is recommending that my sister get a Toyota, because the fact that the only Toyota mum ever owned suffered head gasket failure and required rust repair has been forgotten.

I remember reading recently that Toyota are considering abandoning sports car production - not surprising when their sports models are the Missus and the Sillicar. :D
Toyota's unshakeable reputation for reliability is why Toyota owners I know purchased their cars.
 

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Ben_NZ said:
Oh yeah! It would help if I could read properly. ;p

Dirt doesn't stick to Toyota though - they had rusty cars up till the 80s like Alfa but everyone has forgotten that. My mother is recommending that my sister get a Toyota, because the fact that the only Toyota mum ever owned suffered head gasket failure and required rust repair has been forgotten.

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Toyota's unshakeable reputation for reliability is why Toyota owners I know purchased their cars.
I've been saying exactly that about all Japanese auto manufacturers for years, but hardly anybody listens to me. ;)

It all comes down to perception and marketting, and Honda and Toyota have those fields cornered. When something goes wrong on a Honda or a Toyota, the owner thinks it is an aberration, and forgives the fault as being a fluke. When something goes wrong with an American car, it's because the car is crap and is supposed to break down. :rolleyes: European cars fall somewhere in the middle of the perception scale, although they're closer to the Japanese products.

It's the same reason I said Alfa needs to win the marketting game in the U.S. (and Canada) before it does anything else, especially given its past reputation.
--Toronto
 

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Discussion Starter #9
But surely it isn't just marketing. After all the Japanese brands to get the top spots in various reliability surveys.

Perhaps a case of reliable product and effective marketing, though I must say the Japanese carmakers' marketing in Europe didn't strike me as being particularly effective.
 

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They're reliable because people expect them to be reliable, just as Alfas aren't because people expect them not to be. (Of course it could be argued that this isn't truly the case and that Alfas really aren't reliabl, but that's a debate for a different lounge.)

As I said, it's all about expectation. Hondas and Toyotas break down. They have bits that break and fall about. All cars do. The catch is that whenever it happens to a Honda or a Toyota, the owner says, "well it is just a freak happening" or "usually it's really reliable" because that's what they're supposed to say and what they've come to believe. At least, that's what I've heard from every Honda and Toyota owner I've known, whenever they've had to take their cars to the garage (and it seems that most of the owners I know take their Japanese cars in far more often and for more serious work than my cars have ever required, but that's just anecodtal evidence that means something to me and wouldn't do anything to convince you. I'm also willing to admit that my car gets more attention and preventative maintenance than typical cars.)

I'm really not sure how that perception has been created, although I think a lot of it is soft marketting -- not big flashy in-your-face ads -- but innuendo and word of mouth stuff. I think it is something that needs time to grow, and it seems that these companies have been working on the message since the early '80s. As Ben has said, marketting seems to have gained a toehold in his family, even though personal experience and reality should overruled the perception.
--Toronto
 

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The Japanese thing isn't all perception:

The only 4 cars in our immediate family to have never needed anything other than a service done to them (well one needed a brake bulb replacing) in each of 3 years of ownership were Nissans. 2 micra's for the wife, one for my mum (old shape ones) and a Primera GT for myself. This was up to 02 - although mum's micra is still going strong.

Shame they can't make a good looking car for the UK today (although the Z is ok), same with Toyota actually and I do think they are all starting to suffer from the effects of globalisation and the common parts bin. I know more than one Honda S2000 driver with a broken - unbreakable VTEC engine....

Saying that the foci' that the family run these days are proving to be **very** reliable comapred to the BM's Merc's and Alfa's that the rest of the family run.

Simes.
 

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If 4x4's are your thing Mr BF - yep I suppose it is...

I just don't like the 4x4 size thingy...

Both it and the Z are overpriced, and nowhere near the interior feel of the Brera.

But it's a horses for courses thing....

Simes.
 

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It'd be interesting to see figures that show what percentage of the overall output of cars get recalled. In that case if the mean rate of failure is relatively low in comparison to other manufacturers then the cars can rightly be perceived as being more reliable than their competitors.
 

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GhostyDog said:
It'd be interesting to see figures that show what percentage of the overall output of cars get recalled. In that case if the mean rate of failure is relatively low in comparison to other manufacturers then the cars can rightly be perceived as being more reliable than their competitors.
Tough one, I'd say though that the JD Powers' reliability surveys are pretty thorough investigations of brands' actual build quality. And Lexus is alwasy on top :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BTW, here is the JD Power's 2006 Quality Survey:

With previous year's result in brackets.
  1. Porsche (91)
  2. Lexus (1)
  3. Hyundai (10)
  4. Toyota (7)
  5. Jaguar (2)
  6. Honda (12)
  7. Cadillac (5) and Infiniti (9)
  8. GMC (13)
  9. Acura (10) and Chrysler (19)
 

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From about the mid 80's until the early part of 2000 the Japanese makers were doing something called 'overbuilding'. This was from what I understand, to get rid of the bad rap from the 70's. Supposedly they even sold at a loss for a time just to get the rep of solid workmanship. Think it was about 5 years ago they stopped this on all but the higher ends of the product line. A mate I know in the US used to sell them and he said that you can tell a BIG difference in the ones that are actually built in Japan and the ones that are built at the US plants.

I think you can tell a difference between the German makes made in, say Spain, and the ones made in Germany (though it might just be perception).
 
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