Earlier, The New York Times ran a story that brought to light how slow Toyota has been in admitting there was a serious problem with sticking accelerators. The report points out that Toyota has been receiving similar complaints about unintended acceleration and been under investigation by the government since 2002. The worst part for the company and the individuals that own the cars, now covered by two separate recalls, is that it took tragedy to create expeditious action. Though the views of how expeditious these actions were are still under considerable scrutiny; heightened more so after comments from the transportation secretary that they asked Toyota to shut down production. It doesn’t paint the best picture of concern on the automaker’s behalf.
More concerning is that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A) has conducted six separate investigations since 2002. The result? In three cases petitions for further investigation were denied with the agency citing that they didn’t see a pattern for the defects. There was also that little blurb that the agency had the “need to allocate and prioritize N.H.T.S.A.’s limited resources.”
In the end, both the investigations conducted by the N.H.T.S.A and how Toyota handled the investigation will be reviewed by a Congressional hearing or perhaps several. Toyota has made statements expressing their sorrow for the situation, but we suspect that it will be a long road for Toyota to regain the average consumer's trust. Current predictions are that sales will drop this month some 11 percent year-to-year.
[Source: New York Times]