This week I asked readers, regardless of their status as a Toyota owner/driver, if those issues/disclosures and/or response to those issues/disclosures had had any impact on their car buying behavior.
While a clear plurality said it would have an impact – the responses clearly cut both ways. True, more than a quarter (27.2%) said that the impact would be that they wouldn’t be purchasing a Toyota any time soon.
On the other hand, 17% said that the impact would be that they would keep buying Toyotas (and other related brands), and 2.7% said they would specifically look to purchase Toyotas.
Consider too that 26.5% said that none of this would have any impact on their buying behaviors (as one reader noted, “If I wanted a new car, and if I were interested in a Toyota, this would be the time to get one. I just don’t find anything they make intriguing, beyond a topped out Lexus. But considering the small number of cars that have actually had problems, I’d have no problem buying one. They just don’t “do it” for me though”), and while 6.8% weren’t sure if it would have an impact.
That said, nearly one-in-five opted for “other” – but, as I scanned the responses, I would say they broke out pretty evenly between people who had a good experience with Toyotas, and weren’t really influenced by the current situation, those who had no intention of buying a Toyota regardless of the current situation (most of these already had an affinity for another brand), and those who were still waiting to see how the current situation played out. As one reader noted, “I have a 2001 Toyota Camry with almost 170,000 on it. The car still runs great, it is the best car I've ever had. That said I will see if Toyota finds a real fix to the recall problems. I don't believe that they have so far.”
"I think Toyota had safety guidelines in place, as much as any other auto manufacturer. But the thing that turns me off is that it appears they knew about the safety issues for awhile before notifying the public, and that is simply unacceptable,” noted another reader.
“Tell me another car maker, save possible Daimler Benz, that hasn't had a recall issue?,” noted one. “Don't know why Toyota is being hit so hard with this recall issue. It's not like other (American) car manufacturers haven't had multiple recalls,” noted another. Who then went on to note, “It almost seems like we are targeting Toyota because they are not an American company (even though my Toyota was built in Tennessee).”
“My guess there is so much media attention as a way to divert attention from bailouts,” noted another. “I equate this situation to the weather man saying we are going to get a foot of snow and it turns out to be 2 inches. I'm not going to change my buying habits. I have always had wonderful experiences with Toyota.”
Another reader expressed an additional layer of skepticism noted by several readers “Does anyone else see a conflict of interest in the same government that owns GM and Chrysler hauling their primary competitor Toyota into a congressional hearing for what amounts to a public flogging?”
That said, another reader said, “We are a 2 Toyota SUV family and I wouldn't have any other car. I've had extremely good luck with them and don't see any reason to change. Every car manufacturer has their glitches and recalls, but Toyota is trying very hard to make this right. I don't think we should hold this against them. Besides, many Toyotas are made in the US creating US jobs. In my opinion they shouldn't be considered a foreign car for that reason”.
But this week’s Editor’s Choice – because while some might consider it in poor taste, it nonetheless made ME laugh – goes to the reader who said, “The media, as usual, have exaggerated the acceleration problem. They report that you can't stop the car, but that's not entirely true. The car stops just as soon as you hit the car in front of you. In rare circumstances, it may not stop until you push that car into the car in front of it, but it will stop. :-)”
Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!
And you can (and should) check out additional verbatim on the following pages!
My next car will be American made, just like my present car.
We are in the market for a new car. My husband and I have been carpooling since September when my daughter's car died and she took mine for school. I'm running out of patience, so a new car for me is definitely on the horizon. With Toyota's exposure, I'm not worried about the overall quality of the vehicle and if I can buy one inexpensively - why not! Even with these problems, they're still better cars than almost any American manufactured car.
The fact that Toyota is sooo open about their recalls speaks volumes about their Management! How many other car companies/corporations do you think have as many, if not more, recalls than Toyota? And of that lot, how many do you think are as open about it? (Ever have a friend admit to having bought a "lemon?" - or for that matter, you yourself ever bought one; a lemon, that is?) With that said, Toyota has always been a very good product; and, I am sure will continue to be so. When my car goes to car heaven, I might even buy a Toyota myself!
I've had several Toyota's in the past with no problems and currently drive a 2010 Prius which is at the dealership today for a 5,000 mile check up and a brake issue recall. I'm disappointed with their hiding the facts but hopeful that this mess will teach them a lesson about being upfront with problems.
I support "American Made", although it is getting harder to find. Looks like Toyota greed is destroying their quality, much as the US manufacturers did in the past. Maybe we all have learned a lesson here. Toyota is not as good as they once were, and US cars are better than they once were. If we are going to grow this economy, then we better start supporting our own industries. Yes, many Toyota's are "assembled" here. But the profits still go back to Japan.
Not averse to buying a Toyota, but they've moved back toward the pack some, in my eyes. Will consider with other brands.
I've never owned one, unlikely to in the future. Not because of these issues, but because my interests in cars are far more slanted to the enthusiast market, and Toyota doesn't offer anything that engages my interest (or checkbook).
i have owed 2 toyotas - they were both solid cars - probably every car on the market has issues (along with every product on the market) - the scare tactics are all media driven - hey, they tell me not to eat ego waffles any longer, coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you, water is bad for you, water is good for you - you get sick on cruises, they recall your pet food - if you only listen to the negative media, you would just crawl in a hole
Own a Toyota now and have had no repairs through 140,000 miles. Would still consider a Toyota but it's not a done deal now.
I have a Lexus and my daughter has a new Toyota Prius. This will have absolutely no impact on our car selection in the future.
Both of my vehicles are Toyotas and I have been very pleased, but am less likely to buy one in the future.
Have not and do not plan to every buy a foreign vehicle; will stick with GM, Ford or Chrysler products. They've made some big improvements and are competitive. I don't feel sorry for Toyota either.
We've probably bought 5 Toyota's in my family with 3 driving boys and my husband and I. I just bought a new 2010 Camry XLE in December. I'm currently leasing a 2007 Camry XLE. I will turn it in in March. I've parked the new one in the 3rd stall of my garage. I bought it in December because of the 0% interest. Anyway, I love the cars, have never had a problem. Both my 2007 and my new 2010 have the recalls. I've had the 2007 fixed and will schedule the 2010 soon. I've never had a problem with acceleration or breaks or anything else. My husband's Cambry has almost 200,000 miles on it and looks and rides like new. But I certainly hope the US Toyota factories can get their act together and go back to producing a great car.
I've had Toyotas in the past (we have a Hyundai and Subaru now). I would buy another one if the right opportunity presented itself.
I'm stuck with a mom vehicle and never really considered Toyota since I started buying car seats.
I traded in a 2006 Matrix for a 2010 Yaris in October. Liked the Matrix a lot and LOVE the Yaris. Great gas mileage for my 45 mile round-trip commute. I'm a small female and the car fits me well. Though the Yaris isn't a recalled model, I will be watching for problems just in case. However, I think the the other car makers (that I can afford) have had just as serious issues with only some of them being addressed. Remember the Jettas that had accelaration issues in the 80s? Design changes and mass production lead to problems sometimes. As long as they address the problems now, I will remain a Toyota fan.
I'm not a Toyota owner, but I am concerned about Congress treating Toyota fairly given that Congress is now in the car business (owning GM). If the government says participants can't trust investment managers with conflicted advice for their 401(k) account, how can we citizens trust our government to fairly police Toyota - and the rest of the car companies? Should we fear a coverup if there's a problem with a GM car?
I have never owned a Toyota and don't plan on buying any car for several years so I don't think the recent events will have too much impact but their response and future actions will for sure.
No. Of course I currently own a volkswagen and if I keep up the maintenance, this car will last for quite some time. In fact, it is 12-yrs old and I have not yet reached 100,000 miles.
When living in Lynchburg, VA in the early 70's, I bought the first red Toyota Celica offered by the local dealer, and followed up with another (Gray) when I moved to CA a few years later. Have considered buying Toyotas again over the years; however, doubt I will do so again.
Our two cars are Toyotas both for reliability and good car design. The most recent purchase (2008) is less impressive in the car design. Now that reliability is definitely in question, we have reason to look at other cars in the future. We will still probably include Toyota in our search but the leg up that they had in our mind is now gone and the field is open.
I bought my first (and probably last) Toyota four years ago - the first new car I'd ever bought. Part of the decision to buy new rather than used was that the residual value after the loan was paid off would be higher than if I'd bought used. I now expect the resale value to be next to nothing. I will probably not buy new again.
No impact at all. I think that Toyota got it's good reputation because people believed the cars were safe, not because they actually were.
I've only owned one Toyota in my life - many years ago. It was fine, but I think that in spite of the media blitz to make it sound worse, there are definitely some safety issues and they should be considered by car purchasers.
I plan to buy a car soon, but wasn't planning on a Toyota - wish I was, as the populace tends to overreact to hype and I would be getting even better value as Toyota struggles to sell units. I may need to go test drive a Toyota...
No - sounds like problems are not exclusively with Toyotas....
Having lived through the devaastation caused by an industry (basic steel) shutdown, I've never considered buying a foreign car - and probably never will.
I'm a Volvo girl, so it doesn't make a lick of difference to me!
Our SUV was not on the recall list
This Toyota stuff is pretty scary to say the least. I have owned a Toyota Avalon for the past 4 years and while I have not had a problem with sudden acceleration, to think that they know that there is a problem and didn't disclose. That is just crazy. Now with all the recall hoopla, who knows if the "sticky" pedal is really the problem or not or if it is just an inexpensive "fix" to try to avoid falling profits. I would think adding a bar to the pedal is a lot cheaper than fixing electronics problems. I bought my Toyota because of perceived quality. Now that's off the table. I know that the actual issue could have happened to any car company (and has I think with Audi back in the 80's where they had brake problems if I remember correctly), but to try to cover it up. That's the concern. I'm going back to Honda.
If I wanted a new car, and if I were interested in a Toyota, this would be the time to get one. I just don't find anything they make intriguing, beyond a topped out Lexus. But considering the small number of cars that have actually had problems, I'd have no problem buying one. They just don't "do it" for me though.
Puts some muscle back in the statement "Buy American".
Someone once said of us (United States of America citizens), that we have EVERYTHING anybody in this world could want; and, we still complain! What does that say about us as a people, nation, etc? (a very sad commentary, I think)
I have a 2001 Toyota Camry with almost 170,000 on it. The car still runs great, it is the best car I've ever had. That said I will see if Toyota finds a real fix to the recall problems. I don't believe that they have so far.
Will continue to monitor the Toyota situation for long-term buying decisions.
My guess there is so much media attention as a way to divert attention from bailouts. I equate this situation to the weather man saying we are going to get a foot of snow and it turns out to be 2 inches. I'm not going to change my buying habits. I have always had wonderful experiences with Toyota.
Tell me another car maker, save possible Daimler Benz, that hasn't had a recall issue?
Don't know why Toyota is being hit so hard with this recall issue. It's not like other (American) car manufacturers haven't had multiple recalls. It almost seems like we are targeting Toyota because they are not an American company (even though my Toyota was built in Tennessee).
We have two Toyotas and have never had any problems with them. I had a Celica as my first new car many, many years ago and I drove that car into the ground. I've always been a fan. Toyotas have been the best cars I've owned. Although my Nissan 300Z ROCKED!
We typically keep our cars for 10 to 15 years. We've historically bought Hondas (with success) and Dodges (without much success) and seriously considered a Toyota with our latest purchase. By the time we buy again, I anticipate that the problem will be ancient history (unless I'm buying a used car for a child). If I'm buying a used car for a child, I will likely be influenced by the Toyota issues.
I have two Toyotas, and my lease on my Honda is coming due in May. Unfortunately for Toyota, we won't be going to their showroom - even with the fixes, I'd rather know that something is right from the start, and not require a repair - so we'll be waiting at least two more model years.
Glad I have the 4 Runner
We are a 2 Toyota SUV family and I wouldn't have any other car. I've had extremely good luck with them and don't see any reason to change. Every car manufacturer has their glitches and recalls, but Toyota is trying very hard to make this right. I don't think we should hold this against them. Besides, many Toyotas are made in the US creating US jobs. In my opinion they shouldn't be considered a foreign car for that reason.
I am most concerned with Toyota's lack of disclosure. What else will we find hidden behind the Japanese corporate curtain. Whatever it is you can be sure we won't here about it until many more Toyota drivers die and safety officials threaten court action!
The media, as usual, have exaggerated the acceleration problem. They report that you can't stop the car, but that's not entirely true. The car stops just as soon as you hit the car in front of you. In rare circumstances, it may not stop until you push that car into the car in front of it, but it will stop. 🙂
I think Toyota had safety guidelines in place, as much as any other auto manufacturer. But the thing that turns me off is that it appears they knew about the safety issues for awhile before notifying the public, and that is simply unacceptable.
Not a Toyota owner but I owned an Audi 5000 which suddenly accelerated and the breaks were rendered inoperable. Audi was less than honest with the public, sending out recall notices to fix something (an obstacle) under the floor mat, etc. I can't remember how many notices I received while I owned the car--there were too many. 60 Minutes did an investigative story on the car and the Audi problems but I missed it. I probably would have gotten rid of the car immediately. I dubbed it "killer car" because it did kill people--I was one of the lucky ones.
I am disappointed in how Toyota's management in Japan have handled this situation.
Does anyone else see a conflict of interest in the same government that owns GM and Chrysler hauling their primary competitor Toyota into a congressional hearing for what amounts to a public flogging?
My 2004 Prius is fun to drive, gets wonderful gas mileage, and is mostly reliable. Ordinary maintenance is outrageously costly ($500 to replace a headlight) and the company is unresponsive to known defects. When an internal computer went out we were quoted $4,000 to fix it. When we mentioned that it was a known defect of our model/year the price came down to $800. I'm not interested in further dealings with a company that engages in price gouging!
Other place I would consider retiring is mid Texas around Austin. Was at Fort Hood in the 80s and loved the weather in that area. Mild winters and fairly hot summers without terribly high humidity (unlike sultry St. Louis summers).
Ted and Elizabeth James are friends of mine, and were one of the first people to bring the problem to Toyota's attention after Elizabeth was nearly killed a few years ago due to the stuck Prius accelerator. I decided to not purchase a Toyota product after their experience. The James' story has been on ABC Nightly News and in several publications.
I was planning on buying a Toyota, as was my husband, but we definitely won't now. Not just because of the faulty performance, but because of their knowledge of the defects (that they ignored) and the fact that they actively worked to not have recalls, and congratulated themselves on their efforts. People have DIED because of their greed.
Have owned a Toyota RAV-4 since 2001 and never had a problem. We have leased several Lexuses over the years as our family car. However, when we made a recent decision to buy a vehicle for traveling (family vehicle), we bought an Acura MDX.
We have two Toyota cars. Never had any problems and still driving them. This problem shall pass and I don't worry about the Toyota quality. Remember the old roll-over problem Ford SUV had? Yep, I had experienced the rollover as well.
Lexus was one of the most highly rated cars by owners and the recent problems does not change past performance. Toyota should continue to fix the problems and hopefull their cars will be even better due to this crisis.
Never bought a Toyota, never will.
Dare I mention a possible conspiracy theory -- Are Toyota's problems the result of a government conspiracy to promote (GM) Government Motors?
Having owned a Vega, Pinto, and Explorer? We'll keep our loyalty to Toyota (and related brands). GM lost me in 1972.
I wouldn't have considered buying a Toyota regardless.
The hype surrounding Toyota recalls is ridiculous. Voluntary recalls for problems have been occurring in all automotive makes, models and brands for decades.
I believe in buying American cars. The Toyota issue just proves that greed isn't limited to the US.
As a current Toyota owner of a vehicle not recalled, I am not impacted by the current issues. I still rely on consumer ratings to buy the best car at the time I am looking.
"This is the U.S. - ""Of the people, by the people, for the people.""
The posturing by members of Congress over this topic amazes me.
People have evidently died in accidents caused by defects that were ignored by the manufacturer. The same people who call for ""tort reform"" (forgot individual rights, save the corporation) are now pillorying a corporation for not doing the right thing. If Toyota knew they could be hammered in court by individuals, maybe they would have done the right thing in the first place.."