Toyota Pedal Fix Too Little Too Late
Toyota is under massive scrutiny due to major recall issues and, apparently, the damage might be worse than some expected.
The recall to fix the sticking gas pedal covers some 2.3 million vehicles in the United States, including some of Toyota's best-selling models, such as the Camry and Corolla.
"This is unprecedented in having caused this huge problem for customers," said Shinichi Sasaki, who oversees quality control at the world's No. 1 automaker.
One top officer confided that the enormous recall of 4.6 million vehicles might be more damaging than first realized.
Tatsuo Yoshida, an analyst at UBS in Tokyo, calculated that the overall cost might reach $900 million.
Despite the costs, Engineers insist that they and other experts have fully tested the “shim” that will be used for the repair. The 30 minute fix should begin to be available at dealerships by the weekend. Dealership technicians will secure the shim behind the gas pedal to prevent the friction that causes the pedal to stick.
"This is embarrassing for us to have ... this kind of recall situation," Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, told reporters. "But it doesn't necessarily mean that we have lost our edge on quality. But we do have to be vigilant. We have to redouble our efforts to make sure this doesn't happen again."
One Toyota dealer in Florida, Earl Stewart, stated that he was satisfied with the solution, although he had been critical of the time it has taken.
Analyst Toshirou Yoshinaga confided that Toyota failed to act in a timely matter, saying that top management should have gone public sooner.
To try and combat some of the negativity, Toyota took out full-page newspaper ads declaring the episode a pause "to put you first." On the heels of the advertisements, the company sent Lentz to morning news shows on Monday to express confidence in the fix.Continued on the next page