FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
It's the Tiger Woods of car companies. Never has a company with such a sterling reputation managed to totally trash it in a matter of a few weeks.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/04/art.toyota.jpg caption="Toyota is recalling eight million vehicles in the U.S., Europe and China, and has been ordered to investigate the brake system by Japanese government."]
Toyota is now recalling more than eight million vehicles worldwide for gas-pedal related issues... and this number could go even higher now that there's a formal government investigation into braking problems for the hybrid Prius.
The recalls in the U.S., Europe and Asia are due to several problems - including millions of cases where accelerator pedals can get stuck in floor mats; and millions more where gas pedals become sticky as they wear - and then don't come all the way back up when the driver takes his foot off the pedal. Some cars have both problems.
As for the Prius, while it's not one of Toyota's top-selling cars, it is the best-selling hybrid in the industry.
The Japanese automaker estimates the cost of this global recall could be as high as $2 billion - including the loss of 100,000 vehicle sales in the U.S. and Europe. This is a company that had an excellent reputation for quality and reliability. In 2008, it overtook General Motors as the world's biggest car maker.
But that reputation is gone - with millions of car owners scared, very scared... The car maker has shut down several new vehicle assembly lines and is rushing parts to dealers to fix the accelerator problems. And Toyota will have to face questions, lots of them, from Congress and other government investigators.
Meanwhile many consumer groups are asking if the gas pedal fix will even work.
Here’s my question to you: Would you buy a Toyota?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
I have a '97 4Runner and have never had any problems with it, just routine maintenance. Over 250,000 miles are on it and we are still driving it. I feel Toyotas are very reliable cars.
Chris from Toronto writes:
I will never buy one of their cars. The devious and ham-handed manner in which they conducted this series of recalls – first saying there is no problem, then it was the driver’s fault, then it was the floor mats, then it was wear-and-tear and now it can be both – is insulting at best and deadly at worst.
Yes, I would most certainly buy a Toyota. If everyone stopped buying vehicles that have had malfunctions in the past, we would all be walking. Even bicycles have had their share of problems.
David from Raleigh, North Carolina writes:
The U.S. government is trying to plant doubt in consumers’ minds about Toyota to boost the sales of General (Government) Motors.
Mike from Tennessee writes:
When a car company that has been hit this hard is looking to save its image and is this closely-watched, you can bet they're not only going to try to put out safer automobiles, but will also be hurting to sell some of them as well. I'd say, more than ever, the next few months will be the best time to pick up a Toyota.
I love Toyotas. They have been extremely reliable and safe vehicles for me. I will continue to buy them.
Mike from Missouri writes:
Just what the U.S. automakers needed. A "Thank You" card would be in order.
Dave from California writes:
Buy a Toyota? Forget it. I'm going out to the back lot to see if that old Pinto will start.