Talk:2009–11 Toyota vehicle recalls

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Toyota cars are being recalled in other countries, too. Not just the USA. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 16:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Additional section needed...

  • ...I have spoken to several people who believe this is simple politico-economics: the US government is partial owner of General Motors, and is simply blowing this out of proportion to knock out sales of the most powerful automobile manufacturer in the world in order to create a gap in the automobile market, which they hope can be filled by GM, thus making GM finally profitable.
  • Plus, doesn't it seem strange that all their vehicles that had bad accelerators didn't actually show symptoms until now... if toyota has made cars with bad systems in them for the last 10+ years, wouldn't that problem have shown its face at least a a few times since the faulty system was introduced? why are all of them going bad now, and none of them at all in the last 10 years. what's more, in the last 10 years, toyota has sold at least 100 million automobiles worldwide... if only a handful of them were manufactured with faulty systems, i'd say their quality control is doing a great job, especially considering that a toyota and will outlast a general motors product threefold.
  • and, has anybody thought to mention that it might be nice to see an unbiased, unaffiliated agency investigate this matter? anyone remember the firestone recall not too long ago? at the time, they failed to shed light on the fact that every vehicle that had the problem was a Ford Explorer... clearly, this is not the first time the government has falsely attacked a japanese company to protect and obscure the failings of an american one.
  • also, why wasn't there any recalls or forced investigations on ALL dodge products made since 1975 for having bad transmissions? any why hasn't general motors recalled any of its pontiacs, cadillacs, saturns, gmcs, or buicks made since the late '80s for having poor quality engines?
  • fact of the matter, that all americans will have to face is this: toyota is the biggest automobile manufacturer IN THE USA. if our government forces them to lose sales just so GM sales can increase, all that will happen is this: toyota will start closing its plants here, and next thing you know, there will be another 60,000 americans looking for jobs.
  • in closing, i'd like to see a section added that evaluates this issue more closely.

AeturnalNarcosis (talk) 9:57, 13 Mar 2010

This article is mainly about the actual problem and instances of the problem; there's already a section relating to financial damage. Ford is not a Japanese company, neither is Firestone a branch of the US government. But if you can find reliable information that Toyota is being 'falsely attacked', by all means, go ahead and include it. --IronMaidenRocks (talk) 23:41, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Firestone is a subsidiary of Bridgestone, which is a Japanese company; the government attacked Firestone (japanese company) to protect Ford (american company). unfortunately, i have little experience editing pages or starting new ones, else i'd do it... and besides that, wikipedia doesn't consider plain logical and rational analysis as evidence, they only want books, newspapers, websites, etc. that can be linked to. we all know how they behave when it comes to their profit margins... the truth is right there, you too can see it. unfortunately, i do not know of a way to hyperlink to it.
AeturnalNarcosis (talk) 10:51, 17 Mar 2010


Actually, there has been speculation for some time in the RISKS digest that this is really a software problem. Toby Douglass (talk) 02:06, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

I added a note at the bottom of the "Possible problem with electronic throttle control" section.Ghostofnemo (talk) 12:15, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Brake predominance and European precautionary safety[edit]

It might be useful to include information on the U.S. power:brake ratio laws, if they exist. Also of possible interest are the details surrounding the reason(s) that many cars (Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Nissan, Chrysler, ...) sold in Europe already have safeguards to neutralize adverse acceleration events.   — C M B J   06:59, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Systemis bias[edit]

The lede section may have systemic bias Is the problem predominantly in the US? If so it should be stated. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 07:18, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

I have the same question. Is this a N.American only issue or a global issue? Have incidences only happened in N.America or have they occurred in other markets? Is the recall only for N.America or also for other markets? This article has only N.American references and records N.American incidences but reads like a global recall and suspension. The Toyota Australia dealer near me is still selling the Camry, so is likely to be a recall/suspension for N.America only. Even if the recall/suspension is for N.American only, does anybody know if the actual issue only affects N.America cars (eg maybe due to variations peculiar to the N.American market) or if it is likely to affect cars in other markets?  Stepho  (talk) 02:25, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Found some partial answers to my own question.

  • Toyota Australia say the parts affected in overseas (ie non Australian) models are from a different manufacturer to a different design and therefore the recall does not apply to models sold in Australia. [1] (Wed, 03 Feb 2010).
  • Toyota Japan says the recall is for US only models (including Canada?) but they plan 'to implement a similar remedy in Europe, China and other countries and regions' [2] (10 Feb 2010)
  • Toyota Europe says they are doing the recall for the accelerator pedal but that the floor mat recall is for the US only. [3] (?? Feb 2010)  Stepho  (talk) 03:09, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Economic damage and human cost incomplete[edit]

The article's economic damage section does not include any estimate of the litigation losses! Being USA, I am pretty sure relatives of the dead will sue the pants off Toyota and the company being japanese it will have zero sympathy from the jury, so legal losses could also mount to billions of dollars.

I also wonder if some japanese Toyota executives will have to let their guts out in harakiri to save the honour of their company, that is the way the japanese do it traditionally. When one the JAL's Jumbo Jet crashed with 500 people onboard, many JAL employees, floor-cleaners and top executives alike, committed suicide out of shame, even though many of them were unrelated to the event in any way or shape. (talk) 12:13, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for explaining the Japanese mindset - it adds another dimension to this discussion that we should all be mindful of. Ottawahitech (talk) 15:29, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Japanese culture takes some understanding: seppuku is pretty horrible.--Felix Folio Secundus (talk) 19:28, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it does appear to be different, and makes me wonder if it would be better to be an owner of a Japanese made product vs an American made one? Would I be more likely to receive consideration from a company where it is not only the almighty dollar that determines the kind of service I get? Ottawahitech (talk) 13:51, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Peugot & Citroen[edit]

Also recalling cars Zerak-Tul (talk) 16:24, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I saw that on the BBC website; added that under the "other manufacturers" section. If you have the information from a reliable source, feel free to add it without posting it here. C628 (talk) 16:55, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Peugot do not make cars : the firm you ar thinking of is called Peugeot and started in France.

I cannot figure out who manufactured the faulty part in Europe: Was it CTS or Toyota itself? The article seems to be contradicting itself on this issue. Ottawahitech (talk) 00:18, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure on that either. The BBC article says the plant assembles cars, which makes me think that CTS makes the parts, since the plant would only assemble cars out of parts shipped there, but the BBC article doesn't say that, so I can't put it in, because it would probably constitute original research. C628 (talk) 13:18, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Unreliable Sources[edit]

Media is blowing this way out of line. Deaths due to faulty/sticky pedal? Really? The reported 4 deaths in California was due to floormat entrapment from an all-weather mat installed by the dealer without securing it with clips.[] Sounds like a dealership mistake yet Toyota's stepping up to fix it. Ford the next day announced they too are recalling for the same manufacturer defect for the "sticky" pedal. Does that sound like a software problem? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:09, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Government Motors needs all the help it can get from its primary investor... the US Government. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject. Thanks. --IronMaidenRocks (talk) 23:49, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Year in title[edit]

The article states the first of the two separate but related recalls began in August 2009. The second of the two recalls was in January 2010. Given that, shouldn't the article be named 2009–10 Toyota vehicle recalls.—NMajdantalk 03:28, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Other manufacturers[edit]

The 'Other manufacturers' section says 40% of complaints were against Toyotas (in the US?). But does this mean there are more reports because the design is particular bad or simply because there are more Toyotas. We need to know Toyotas market share. If the percentage of reported problems are significantly higher than the market share then Toyota has a worse design than other manufactures. Does anybody have the market share figures for the US?  Stepho  (talk) 22:32, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

If the percentage of reported problems are significantly higher than the market share then Toyota has a worse design than other manufactures. Not necessarily.  Dr. Loosmark  01:27, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I should explain more then. Assume that manufacturer X makes 90% of all cars under consideration. Assume also that cars from X are the same quality as cars from other manufacturers. Then you would expect 90% of all complaints to be about cars from X (ie more complaints simply because there are more of their cars). Likewise, if brand Y makes only 1% of all cars then we would expect about 1% of all complaints to be about cars from Y. If the percentage of complaints don't match the percentage of cars made then something is affecting the results. Possible reasons could be that the cars are not made to equal quality (worse quality means higher complaint percentage than the manufacturing percentage), public perception (faults normally ignored are now being reported) and owner loyalty (less faults are reported). As an extreme example, assume manufacturer Z makes 5 cars a year and they are all death traps but the percentage of total reported faults might be 0.001%, so they are considered safe. This is a long way of saying that '40% of reported faults' is a meaningless number by itself.  Stepho  (talk) 03:25, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Section ordering[edit]

There is a discussion going on over about my edits on the Admin Noticeboard dealing with COI and section ordering. [4] Astrakerie (talk) 05:12, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

I couldn't find the discussion. What is the name of the section? I just moved the government agency sections together. Hope everyone is ok with that.Ghostofnemo (talk) 12:06, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
It's probably been closed and archived. I think the alleged problems section should fall below the NHTSA investigations section which gives official conclusions. Astrakerie (talk) 20:41, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
I would also like to see this discussion. I doubt it has already been archived (it's only been a day since this item was posted here). Ottawahitech (talk) 21:31, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, I see your point. That is the chronological order. First the government said, "there is no electrical cause" and then the investigative journalists said, "wait a minute". I put it before the "Aftermath" section, thinking that made more sense chronologically. NTSA has been investigating this for some time.Ghostofnemo (talk) 01:43, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I could see putting it with the "Other possible causes -ETCS" section if that is the only aspect that the NTSA has investigated. Otherwise, the "NTSA investigations" section should include info about all 2009-2010 Toyota vehicle recall investigations, not just the ETCS ones. If moved into or next to the "Other possible causes" section, it should be renamed "NTSA investigations into electronic throttle control issues" or something like that.Ghostofnemo (talk) 01:48, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I have no problems with the current order, I do think some of the sections spill over into each other. Astrakerie (talk) 03:36, 14 February 2010 (UTC)


what about popping the car into neutral, shouldn't that be included? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:48, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Already covered in Accelerator pedal recall, Field workaround for sudden unintended acceleration and Driver error.  Stepho  (talk) 01:58, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I question whether switching off the ignition would cause failure of brakes and power steering, at least in a car with manual transmission. The engine would continue to be rotated by the drivetrain so there would still be inlet manifold vacuum for the brakes and the power steering pump would continue to rotate. The inlet manifold vacuum would be poor if the accelerator was jammed open but this would be the case whether the ignition was on or off. Biscuittin (talk) 21:15, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes they would work in a manual car but nowhere near as effective as normal. And they don't work at all for automatics, which are much more common nowadays. And for the Prius it is actually quite hard to turn off the power, requiring a quite different procedure than most cars (hold button down for a number of seconds) and must be done while in a panic situation - even the trained state trooper didn't manage it.  Stepho  (talk) 22:17, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
I've always thought it strange that cars have no emergency engine stop device. Buses have three safety devices - an emergency engine stop control, a fuel cut-off valve and a battery isolating switch. Biscuittin (talk) 00:09, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I think all that is needed is an ignition cut-out switch, which could be fitted as a diy item. A couple of provisos though - it would probably invalidate the guarantee and, in a car stuffed with electronics, it might have other unintended consequences. Biscuittin (talk) 10:56, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

casualties a hoax?[edit]

I wonder very much about the following sentence in the article:

 As of January 2010, 21 deaths were alleged due the pedal problem since 2000, but following the January 28 recall, additional 
 NHTSA complaints brought the alleged total to 37

We had such problem with our Yaris, automatic, about 2 years old. When I exceptionally pushed the accelerator to full, the pedal blocked and the car got faster. I pushed the brakes strongly: the car stopped without problem. However the blocking of the accelerator remained. Then I braked again and steered the car to the brink of the road, parked it there and switched off ignition. No problem at all. I live.  :-))

After some retrials, the blocking finally disappeared. Later I tested full acceleration and again the effects happened. I think, that very generally, with all cars, brakes are much stronger than the motors. Especially, because brakes effect on all 4 wheels, motor only on two. There is no real reason to panic.

How come, that in the USA, people are dying due to such non-problem???

I hope that I can help you to stay calm and survive, in case it happens to you.

Please report, if you had such problem.

p.s. do not switch off ignition and switch further, before you parked safely, because then the steering will lock. --Hans W (talk) 13:52, 13 March 2010 (UTC)


My report now is over two weeks old. Nobody replied, if such problem happened to him, and if he, same as me, succeeded to stop. What is the conclusion?

Two possibilities: aa) all, to whom same happened, died.(But are there reports in the press about additional cases?)

bb) nobody had problems. But why???--Hans W (talk) 21:30, 31 March 2010 (UTC) Again: ???--Hans W (talk) 15:21, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Temporary driving ban considered for Prius in Norway[edit]

Perhaps this should be incorporated into the article? __meco (talk) 02:01, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

I will add it. It definitely SHOULD be included in the article. (talk) 17:02, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Need for a geometry description[edit]

I feel this article needs a completely specific description of the geometry of the Toyota gas pedal and floor mat. I fail to understand how it is possible at all for the gas pedal to become jammed by the floor mat. The pedal is suspended from above, the mat is below. If the mat creeps forward it should get behind the pedal preventing it from reaching the fully open throttle position, rather than preventing its return to the idling position. It appears that the mat would have to be pushed forward until its leading edge creeps all the way up to the ceiling under the dashboard. Even then it should push the accelerator toward the idling position.

The only way I can imagine is if the driver's heel engages the edge of the mat and lifts up and then releases the mat covering the pedal. However, this extraordinary situation has not been described.

I suppose that my perceptions are wrong, but that just underscores what is missing in the article.Cacadril (talk) 08:50, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Head's up on a future recall item[edit]

There have been hundreds of complaints (on one single blog) concerning HID headlights on the 2004-2008 Toyota Prius going out after 2-3 years/30-40k miles of use. What makes it worse is that they are $470 a light, and only Toyota makes them. I recently had this problem, and the manager of the dealership was surprised that this hasn't become a recall item. The person I talked to at Toyota Headquarters was a victim of this issue as well. The only redeeming thing about this experience is that Toyota SUV lights cost twice as much (which is shocking). Just a head's up, since the sudden acceleration issue occurred with much fewer cars than this headlight issue is occurring. Thegreatdr (talk) 22:41, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

As a pleasant follow up, the left headlight went out after 8 days. Way to go Toyota! Thegreatdr (talk) 00:55, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Possible wrongful jailing of Toyota driver in fatal crash[edit]

Re: the "Possible wrongful jailing of Toyota driver in fatal crash" section...

Hi. I just wanted to mention that I've updated this sub-section, removing one dead link and adding two new live ones. I also reworded some of the text, added a few details, which I hope most readers will find relevant and not trivial. Lastly, I tagged the statement "Relatives of the victims now believe that the jailed man is innocent." with a {{citation needed}} because none of the linked articles explictly mention that. Perhaps it was mentioned in the now-removed dead link. If anyone can link to an available article that supports that statement, please do so, otherwise, we may have to remove that one currently-unsupported sentence. Cheers! -- Bgpaulus (talk) 16:29, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Hello, again. I found the needed citations and have updated this section. Cheers! -- Bgpaulus (talk) 22:19, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
In this recent edit, MTan355 (talk · contribs) re-worded the sub-section heading from "Possible wrongful imprisonment of a Toyota driver involved in fatal crash" to "Possible wrongful jailing of Toyota driver in fatal crash". I believe this is an improvement (thanks, MTan355) and, to avoid confusion, I've updated this talk page to match that heading change. Cheers! -- Bgpaulus (talk) 03:24, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

What is the point of this article?[edit]

I have to ask why Toyota and Toyota alone has a page dedicated to automotive recalls when every other manufacturer has them and will always have them? Why are Toyota's being singled out and have their own article? They've had more than usual this last year, but that doesn't really warrant an article or else GM, Ford, and others would have had many separate articles written. Just today GM recalled over 300,000 Chevy Impalas because seatbelts could not stay buckled in a car crash, and this also affected many other GM cars. Why isn't there a page for GM recalls? Or the infamous Ford Cruise Control module that started fires in people's homes when the cars weren't even running or the recall upon recall for the Ford Focus early on in its production run? All newsworthy, yet it seems only Toyota recalls are talked about on Wikipedia. It seems more as an attempt to bash Toyota or make them look bad when all other car manufacturers have problems, too. All of this information could easily be merged into the Toyota page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:34, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Read Talk:Toyota#Toyota Acceleration Problem for the discussion we had when this article was new. Short answer is that it was big in the news, so some editors thought the Toyota article should focus on that latest bit of news. Note also that my prediction that nobody would care in a year has come true. But we should leave this article intact, otherwise somebody will try to make it a massively oversized part of Toyota or History of Toyota.  Stepho  (talk) 12:15, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
I think Toyota has just had another recall. The question is, are they havng more recalls than other manufacturers? To be fair and NPOV WP should have an article on major recalls for all brands, IMHO. - 220.101 talk\Contribs 15:54, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps some people still refuse to believe the reality of the situation. Toyota has become an example of one of biggest blunders in automotive history. This is regardless of the origin of the problems with their cars. There have been various reasons that have been cited for this mess that include the strategic decision to become the largest automaker, cost cutting efforts, inadequate component specifications, outsourcing and vendor selection, design shortcuts, inadequate testing, communications problems among the firm's worldwide offices, as well as the obvious gaffes in the company's handling of the media and public relations. I am sure the company would like their problems (and this article to go away), but that does not seem to be the case. As of October 2010, another 1.53 million Lexus, Avalon, and Highlander models were recalled, this time for leaking brake master cylinders and electric fuel pumps that could lead to stalling. Of course all the automakers have recalls, yet Toyota's quality problems have now become infamous . CZmarlin (talk) 02:03, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
CZmarlin, you have to realize that Toyota has ALWAYS had recalls. The point is that they have ALWAYS had less recalls than GM and the like. For example, in 2009, one of their "worst" years, Toyota had 9 recalls whereas GM has 17. Since the NHTSA started keeping track, Toyota has had 655 recalls. That seems like a lot until you realize that Ford has had 2558 recalls and Chevy has had 1939 recalls, and Dodge has had 1312 recalls. Do you see what I'm saying here? Nothing has changed. The media has jumped on the anti-Toyota bandwagon though. Toyota's quality problems have become infamous due to the US government's intervention. Has the NHTSA ever told the public to ever stop driving a Ford or GM vehicle because of an ongoing recall? Please. Direct yourself to the section on this article describing the evidence for human error, and you'd realize that Toyota didn't even do anything wrong with regards to the defects. They were just singled out for it by the government for whatever reason. I'll let you take a guess. (talk) 18:04, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Special Contributor 99., I think what makes this situation special is the amount killed (national news tonight said 91), and the manner in which they were killed. The thought of your personal vehicle locking you out, forcing you (and possibly your family) to accelerate to 90 miles per hour, and slamming you and occupants into whatever is in your path - that's probably one of the most terrifying scenarios you could face. Reporters and commentators have fanned the flames by calling victims "stupid" and otherwise downplaying the situation. One of the drivers killed was on off-duty policeman; do you really think he wouldn't be able to tell after 10 minutes that there was a floor mat on top of the accelerator? I agree that the publicity might be due to an American campaign to eliminate economic competition in the car industry. But Toyota buried themselves by trying to sweep the problem under the rug; increasing advertising spending and blaming it on the floor mats. They should have honored the dead and fixed the problem. So, yes, that's why people care. --IronMaidenRocks (talk) 00:15, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Electronic throttle control system evidence for/against[edit]

Shouldn't the NHTSA's findings be under the section "Electronic throttle control system" under other possible causes? instead of just being under the NHTSA investigations section? These are the statements I'm referring to:

"On June 30, 2010, NHTSA reported on its latest broad study of unintended acceleration on all car makes, including Toyota, in conjunction with NASA and the National Academy of Sciences. NHTSA stated that it was unable to find electronic throttle defects, but identified floor mat entrapment and pedals that were slow to return to idle as two causes of Toyota complaints. NHTSA also stated it could only verify one Toyota unintended acceleration accident caused by a vehicle defect.[117]" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:09, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Insulting Comments from News Articles[edit]

I noticed that some of the news articles quoted in this article highly favor Toyota, even to the point of calling victims of these accidents "stupid". Do we really need to quote these vehement people, whose statements verge on slander and defamation of character? Their statements seem to be deliberately intended to draw a line between those who are upset about these accidents, and those who support Toyota. They are extremist in nature. They're not really notable, and do not reflect common opinion or effect the actual events in any way imaginable. But there's so much of this angry, slanderous speech in the article, it would probably take hours to remove it all. --IronMaidenRocks (talk) 00:04, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

I also tagged the "Media Coverage and Criticism" section for being unbalanced; as it does not relate any media coverage or criticism of Toyota. --IronMaidenRocks (talk) 18:23, 10 February 2011 (UTC)


An editor has recently been trying to have this known as 'pedalgate' and oter editors have been reverting it. I searched on google for

pedalgate toyota recall -"involved three separate but related recalls of automobiles by Toyota Motor Corporation"

and it found 7020 hits - mostly blogs and no big name news sources (note, the big quoted part of the search is to remove sites that are merely copies of wikipedia). A search for

pedal toyota recall -"involved three separate but related recalls of automobiles by Toyota Motor Corporation"l

found 1,120,000 hits. The name 'pedalgate' is being used only by a minority of sites and most telling, not by any of the usual trusted sources (eg big newspapers, magazines, government departments, etc). Since the big news corporations are ignoring the name, I infer the name 'pedalgate' is non-notable.  Stepho  (talk) 07:48, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Software analysis[edit]

Smallman12q recently added some details about the analysis done on the Toyota software. It was then removed because 'this is not an article about computer code software tools or methods.' The details were not that involved or weighty, so it wasn't overly distracting to non-technical readers. But it was directly applicable to this case (ie it listed tools used on this software to study this case). As a software engineer myself, I found it interesting to read. It shows that sound analysis was done, not just somebody having a quick glance at the code and pronouncing it 'good'. It is also referenced to the report itself and also to criticisms of the report (ie the article is balanced). I would like it to be reinstated. Thoughts.  Stepho  talk  23:24, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Stepho-wrs, I appreciate your comments regarding the details about the analysis done on the Toyota software. As a non-software engineer I found this section to be designed more to promote specific computer software tools and products rather than expanding the understanding of any of the problems the automaker encountered. Moreover, the Wikilinked list of software packages seemed to represent undue promotion, and could even perhaps signal sponsorship of the debugging effort. I think that most non-technical readers will have a positive evaluation of NASA engineers that evaluated the computer code. As uninvolved outsiders it stand to reason that NASA's evaluation was done carefully, in addition to utilizing the most appropriate methods and tools. In other words, the average reader already had sufficient information provided in the article to indicate that this analysis was more than just "quick glance and pronouncing it 'good'." The public also knows that computers and software are (apparently) tested using various methods and respected companies pronounce them as "good" enough to sell in the marketplace. Nevertheless, brand new machines and software applications still seem to crash on a regular basis! As a further analogy, the detailed information about the software systems used in the Toyota case could be considered equivalent to listing all the systems and products used on a particular vehicle that had set new records at an important motorsports event. Such details about the vendors and parts suppliers used for record braking efforts may be interesting to a particular segment of the audience, but it is not encyclopedic for the purposes of Wikipedia. The purpose of an encyclopedia article is to present facts, not to teach everything about the particular subject matter. In short, a Wikipedia article is not a complete exposition of all possible details. I hope this explains why details about the analysis and the specific tools used to evaluate the Toyota software code could be included as an example or a case study in an article about software bugs, how computer code software is analyzed, or Software Engineering, but this detail is not really germane to this article. Full disclosure disclaimer: I own a 2010 Toyota Camry ... just in case someone may think that I have personal agenda against providing full information about this subject. Thanks! CZmarlin (talk) 16:18, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 11:47, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Jeffrey Liker[edit]

Hello, I am Jeffrey Liker, author of 7 books about the Toyota Way, including the recent Toyota Under Fire. There is a tremendous amount of great information in this entry about the recalls with a good balance, but also some factual errors and some critical missing information about key events that provide a richer context. I at first did some editing citing my book and that was blocked. I am a first time contributor and did not read all of the rules in details such as providing data from my own research or citing my own book. That was clarified for me and I now understand the rule and the rationale. There are a number of places where I believe I can add value with factual information citing publicly available information. My question is whether having cited my book and given my position as the world's expert on Toyota I should avoid doing any editing as I would be viewed as inherently biased. I already spent a great deal of time on this and would prefer not to spend the time if that is the case. Here are just a few examples of what I would want to add. I will not write out text to be included as again I want to wait to see if it is a better idea just to avoid involvement in any Wikipedia piece that has to do with Toyota. 1. first paragraph that sets the context for the whole piece and especially for people who will not read the whole piece:

---possible incursion of an incorrect or "out of place" front driver's side floor mat. To make this more accurate and give a richer picture I would say: possible incursion of an "incorrectly installed all-weather" front driver's side floor mat. (Note that there was never a case of the carpet floor mat's that come with Toyota vehicles entrapping the gas pedal and NHTSA never claimed this. They were always all weather rubber mats and in all cases investigated they were placed on top of the carpet mat and not attached to the retaining clips so they were free floating. Most people when I give talks are not aware of this and think it had something to do uniquely with the way Toyota makes their carpet mats and one USA reporter that it was bad installation in the factory)
---"The second recall....after some crashes were shown not to have been caused by floor mat incursion." I would change this to: ....after several cases of "sticky pedals" were reported to NHTSA (after several others had been found in Europe).
(The statement as written is completely untrue. First, if you look at NHTSA's report on June 30, 2010 or the final report in February of 2011 the only verified crash that resulted from something about the Toyota vehicle was the Saylor family. No other accidents were verified except ones related to pedal misapplication. This is clear in the final report. Second, Toyota and NHTSA were not fishing around for some other possible causes of crashes, particularly since they were not verified as caused by a defect to begin with. The only reason this came to NHTSA's attention is because Toyota reported three cases of sticky pedals and in the heat of all the claims about runaway, uncontrollable Toyota's, and with NHTSA being criticized by the press for being too cozy with Toyota, NHTSA came down hard on Toyota and pressured them to make an immediate recall, before they had found a workable countermeasure. In normal times three cars with sticky pedals that Toyota had verified on their test tracks would stop in normal stopping distance--a Camry with a sticky pedal stopped in a shorter distance than a Ford vehicle--would have been investigated with no immediate action. Of course I would not put any of this into the entry but just change the one statement so that it is accurate rather than highly inaccurate. )
---sticking of the pedal causing unintended acceleration, referred to as a"Sticking Accelerator Pedal" by Toyota.
I would delete the "sticking accelerator pedal reference if my change above were accepted which already included this and change the reference to "causing unintended acceleration" to "making it slow to return or sticking in a high idle position according to Toyota."

(Most of the cases Toyota found with sticky pedals were slow to return to the neutral position. There were a few that stuck but none stuck in a full open throttle position or even close to it but rather in a position where the car was revving at a higher than normal idle level. When Toyota tested the vehicles on their test track when first finding them in Europe they tested them on their test track and they all stopped in almost the exact same distance as vehicles without sticky pedals. Again this is for your information and it is Toyota's view. But acceleration is a very specific technical term meaning velocity increases whereas with the sticky pedal the velocity usually was reduced but was slower to decelerate than usual or in some cases stayed at the same velocity.)

---Third paragraph starts with NHTSA and NASA releasing their findings about the drive by wire system. Two issues:
1. The term drive by wire has not been defined.
2. There was nothing earlier that talked about this electronics issue so the reader could wonder why they had studied this, when did NASA get involved, and what did this have to do with the three defects discussed in the first paragraph.

This could be solved by adding some introductory sentences at the beginning of paragraph 3 such as:

"Almost all modern vehicles operate using an electronic throttle control in which the accelerator pedal sends a signal based on its displacement to a computer which then communicates to the electronic throttle control which governs speed and acceleration (also called "drive by wire"). There was a good deal of speculation in the media that Toyota vehicles were uniquely susceptible to electro-magnetic interference (EMI) from sources like cell towers, power stations, radio tower that caused the computer to accelerate even when the pedal was not depressed (cite for example: “Experts point to throttles, not floor mats, in Toyota incidents,” Los Angeles Times, November 29, 2009). All vehicles have a fail safe system to detect this, slow down the vehicle, and light up a light on the dashboard, but they argued Toyota's failsafe system had unique flaws. This was a prominent theory in congressional hearings about Toyota unintended acceleration in February, 2010 and to investigate this more deeply NHTSA enlisted computer and electrical engineers from NASA to study the issue.
--I have citations for all the above. In addition there are some important sources of information that I noticed and some prominent events that I believe should be added to the article and in a few cases even to the time line:
--June 20, 2010 NHTSA presented well over 100 slides of data about Toyota SUA to NASA and the National Academy of Sciences and the slides are all on the internet as a public record. Taken together they make a very convincing case that electronic problems are not the issue and in fact most of the vast complaints and accident claims from customer occurred after October, 2010 were due to what they call a "publicity effect." For example, the presentation by Roger Saul and Mike Kirsh is full of data such as:
--p. 36--number of consumer complaints related to acceleration to NHTSA in the "Vehicle owner questionnaires from their hotline, the web site, and through the mail from 2000 to 2010 were 19,269 unintended acceleration complaints for all automakers and 3054 for Toyota only. These include aggressive cruise control resuming in adaptive cruise control, transmission shift surge, and other causes and fall under the general category of "speed control." So Toyota was at 15.8% which was about the average of their market share over that period.
--The majority of the 3054, about 1800, occurred in the third quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010. In February of 2010 alone there were 990 speed control complaints in February of 2010 alone. In other words almost 1/3 over a ten year period occurred in one month. This is important since the complaint database in the broad category of "speed control" was the main source of data presented by Sean Kane, publicized first by the LA Times and then virally spreading across media. It should be noted that when NHTSA manually reviewed the complaints to throw out duplicate cases and those not related to unintended acceleration they eliminated 40% as being irrelevant or duplicated.
--The pattern was that there was a surge of complaints in the fourth quarter of 2004 and then the complaints went down to about 5-10 per quarter until the end of 2009 after the floor mat recall where they then began to sky rocket.
--There were 75 complaints involving fatalities in Toyota vehicles in the 10 years from 2000 to early 2010: 11 I15 deaths) prior to October 2009 and 64 (78 deaths from October, 2009 on)
--Of these complaints involving fatalities, only one involving 4 people was verified by NHTSA as relating to a Toyota vehicle based defect--the Saylor family in San Diego and as the entry already points out that was determined to be a problem of the wrong,oversized floor mat that was not attached to the clips by a Lexus dealer (so technically not a vehicle defect).
--They studied in detail Camry complaints pre-October 5 2009 s and found 92% of the alleged incidents were at an initiation speed of 15 miles or less and in alleged crashes due to a Toyota defect the initiation speed was 15 miles or less. In other words these were not high speed highway cases like those dramatized in the media but rather people starting from a stoplight or stop sign or a parked position. These are exactly the most common scenarios in which people mistakingly press on the accelerator thinking they are pressing on the brake.
---I think it should also be noted that a police report at the end of October, 2009 was complete that showed the Saylor accident was the result of the wrong floor mat not properly installed by the dealer which because of the fire when the car crashed had fused to the accelerator pedal. So while all the speculation based on the Saylor accident leading to looking at the database was going on about electronic problems the evidence that that crash was not related to electronics already existed in a publicly available report online at the San Diego police website.
--I believe it is also interesting and relevant that in March of 2009 Rice University released the finding of its survey of vehicle owners conducted mostly in February--when the worst negative publicity about Toyota was raging--and they separated Toyota owners from non-Toyota owners and found that Toyota owners rated Toyota an average of 8 out of 10 on statements like Toyota vehicles are safe, Toyota handled this well putting the customer first, I would buy a Toyota vehicle, whereas non-Toyota owners rated these between 3 and 4 out of 10. The media reported surveys reported in the press were of the total population--over 80% non-Toyota owners--and they found on average mostly negative ratings. Rice University called their findings a "brand insulation effect" as the reputation and strength of the Toyota brand had insulated Toyota owners from the negative press. So statements of great reductions in Toyota's reputation were greatly exaggerated.
--In the spring of 2010 Toyota fell dramatically on JD Power initial quality ratings and the president of JD Power issued a public statement that the non-recalled vehicles actually went up in quality ratings and among the recalled vehicles there were an unusual number of complaints about gas pedals and brakes. He predicted this was a temporary perception issue and would climb. By the Fall of 2010 Toyota topped all automakers in first place quality awards in JD Power, Consumer reports, Polk, Kiplinger, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Intellichoice, and Motorist Choice. Their market share was about 1-2 % below where it was before Oct 2009, though if you looked only at retail sales (excluding low profit fleet sales) Toyota was number on in retail sales and very close to the pre-crisis levels. Its stock price had shot up from the 60s to over 90, though after the Great East Japan earthquake when Toyota could not get parts its stock price dropped again.
--I believe some additional information that came out of the NASA-NHTSA briefing in February 2011 would be helpful such as Ray LaHood answering a question about whether Toyota vehicles were safe by saying that in 2010 his daughter asked if he could guarantee it was safe for her to buy a Toyota Sienna and after he checked with his chief scientists at NHTSA he guaranteed her it was safe and she bought one. When asked if this whole thing was overblown LaHood said that the only reason he contracted NASA to do the study was because congress did not believe NHTSA's data that showed there were no electronic problems with Toyota vehicles so he had to prove it to congress. It was also the first time that he admitted that the Smith car that they had purchased from the second owner in early summer 2009 had no electronic problems and the problem was an entrapped floor mat related to the 2007 recall of poorly designed all weather mats. In other words everything that came out in that presentation could just as well have been presented in the spring of 2010 thereby letting Toyota off the hook at least 11 months earlier.

All of the above can be written as factual information verified by public sources.

Obviously I got carried away and wrote more than intended. Again, the question is whether you want me as a contributor on this article or because of my perceived bias I should stay away from the article.

Thanks, Jeff Liker — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeffliker (talkcontribs) 21:08, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi Jeffrey,
I haven't gone through all the points you listed yet but I'll make a few comments just so you won't feel we're ignoring you. The WP:Conflict of interest rule can be very tough on bona fide newcomers but it is needed to weed out those that are hear for selfish reasons. A quick check on Google books ( shows that you are indeed an author of many Toyota books through respected publishers like McGraw-Hill (ie you are not a fly-by-night using some unreliable publisher). A quick read of some of your books on Google books also shows that you are quite good as an author. So, you are exactly the type of editor we want.
For anywhere that you want to put your own book as a reference, I recommend that also you put the source you used for your book. The twin references (your book plus the original source) should erase any fears of conflict or interest.
Now for a few wiki tips - wiki syntax can be a bit fussy at times. Paragraphs need a blank line between them - which is why your comment above became one massive lump. Lines that start with a space have a box put around them. Lines starting with * become bullet point lists. Lines starting with # become numbered lists. Lines starting with a : are indented one level (:: for two indents, etc). Talk page comment get an extra level of indent for every reply. Talk page comments should be signed by putting 4 tildes at the end (ie ~~~~).  Stepho  talk  13:54, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Wayne, Thanks for all the time you spent and for your tips on wiki. To clarify, you are saying I can edit the article directly? You are also saying I could cite my book if I also cite the source that the information came from in my book? Obviously I do not want to or need to do this a lot of times as mainly my sources from the books are public records. I made a lot of visits to Toyota and interviewed many people but wherever possible we used independent public sources for the credibility of the book.


P.S., On another note, one of my associates, Tony McNaughton spent 10 years with Toyota of Australia and is the best external TPS consultant I know. He also lives in Perth in case you are interested in an introduction since you also have an interest in Toyota.


—Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeffliker (talkcontribs) as of 19:11, December 27, 2011

Jeff, welcome to Wikipedia! I have made some formatting changes to help make your first posting on this talk page more readable. Please note that according to WP guidelines, "all interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary source." Therefore, your visits and interviews at Toyota should not serve as the basis for the analysis of facts. Moreover, the policy of "how accepted, high-quality reliable sources use a given source provides evidence, positive or negative, for its reliability and reputation" means that internal Toyota documents would not serve as reliable citations, no matter how high your opinion of the "Toyota Way" may be. Please also be aware of your potential conflict as a book author focusing on Toyota. According to WP guidelines, "some sources may be considered reliable for statements as to their author's opinion, but not for statements asserted as fact without an inline qualifier like "(Author) says..."." Thus references to your books should "make it clear to the reader that they are reading an opinion." I hope this helps! BTW - for full disclosure, as well as to expose my first-hand experience, I have now put over 30,0000 miles on one of the Toyota Camry's that was recalled for the accelerator sticking problem. I also do not agree with the Rice University study that Toyota owners thought "Toyota handled this well" ... nor will I get another vehicle made by Toyota. CZmarlin (talk) 00:08, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Rice university survey[edit]

I understand your points. I am surprised you would disagree with the Rice University Survey. They worked with a professional survey firm and reported the data. Are you saying you personally disagree with what the people surveyed said or that you have studied their survey methodology and found some methodological flaws? I understand you had a bad experience with your Toyota. For any product there is wide variation in opinions. But the study was not of a given individual and not the opinions of the researchers.

In any case, other than Toyota Under Fire, all my books are about The Toyota Way as I interpret it based on studies of Toyota, 15 years of experience working with companies around the world who are trying to learn from it, and my academic background. The Toyota Way is not Toyota but rather a set of management principles. One can argue that Toyota has not lived up to them, but that is different from arguing that the principles are bad ones, e.g., principles like think long term, put customers first, go to where the work is being done and study it first hand, strive for continuous flow to surface problems, solve problems at the root cause. My direct observations at Toyota is that they follow the principles unusually well and consistently, but I also know of many bad Toyota managers and many instances of violating the we point out in all my books including Toyota Under Fire. My purpose is not to place Toyota on a pedestal but rather help organizations that are seeking to earn from the Toyota Way-and in my broad experience most that try have a long way to go and struggle to get consistency of purpose and direction to keep the pursuit of excellence going. The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement is based on examples from a variety of industries--none are Toyota--and shows some great successes and serious failures in organizations based on their understanding and commitment to the principles of continuous improvement. I only wrote Toyota Under Fire because I saw such gross misstatements in the media about the facts and felt someone should clarify the reality.

Jeffliker (talk) 03:11, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

I appreciate your comments and observations!
Regarding bias - it is a universal human characteristic. I find it especially prevalent among those who consider themselves researchers and should have gone through academic training to help avoid it. This being the case, everyone should be aware of bias and the limitations of the information.
Regarding the findings by Rice University - I am sure they used proper methods and quality tools, but these findings are in fact useless. The same results could have been easy accomplished without doing any fancy research. I often use the example of conducting a random sample of people attending a sports game to determine if they like that sport. The results can be predicted with precision. This is a similar case with the Rice University results. The Toyota owners (who had paid, or were still paying many thousands of dollars) answered the survey in a way to confirm their purchase of their car, and also prove that they believe Toyotas are better than the competition. If they didn’t think that, then they would own something other than a Toyota! On the other hand, the non-Toyota owners that were asked have no vested interest and probably didn’t even care what Toyota does or how it handles the recall situation. They simply provided confirmation of whatever was being hurled against Toyota at the time. Research into cognitive dissonance indicates that consumers will seek reinforcement of their beliefs. Moreover, research shows that people will change their perceptions to match what they think the researcher wants. Thus, with all the Toyota bashing in the popular media at that time, it is clear that Toyota owners would defend their selection. Most people will have a subconscious need to justify their purchase. They can do this by believing all sots of reasons why they bought and own a Toyota. Because of cognitive dissonance, many owners tend to downplay, and even overlook, anything that runs counter to their beliefs. Such people will strongly defend their car brand’s reliability, economy, performance, etc., while at the same time smearing the similar (and often better) characteristics of other automobile brands. Furthermore, most Toyota dealers tried to bend over backwards to handle owners of recalled cars. For the vast majority of individuals, the only point of contact to the huge automaker is the person at the nearest Toyota dealership. It is patently obvious that the owner of a recalled car waiting for parts is going to praise Toyota’s handling of the problem as they drive around in a free loaner car (often much better that what their own model) for several days, or even weeks. There have been many examples of automakers using recalls to improve their levels of satisfaction among owners, and even increase their sales. No Rice University survey is needed to tell us that.
Regarding disclosure as owner and my Toyota way experience (not the same as the Toyota Way) - please note the sample sizes of one. No statistic can be used with n=1. In any case, I will not defend Toyota's management and the way they created their own problems. Besides, there is another major problem with surveys, in that automobile owners are not alike. Research into the psychology of marketing and consumer behavior clearly shows that individuals have personality traits that have direct influences in their choices. This includes the type and brand, as well as their expectations about their vehicle. So bias is inherent. There is no control for this kind of systematic error in surveys. That is why I disclosed my Camry ownership experience and bias up front, just as you describe your work with, and opinions about, the managers at this automaker.
Regarding the Toyota Way - There is no secret that corporate growth, and rapidly increasing production in particular, creates quality problems. This is unavoidable, particularly for a global automaker. Toyota began to focus on numbers and profits a number of years ago. The slide in product quality began to appear some time ago. It finally became evident, and Toyota ended up just like the old GM. However, I think the most egregious problem with Toyota management was their relentless pursuit to cover up their mistakes. By 2010, Toyota vehicles moved up to be the number one most problematic brand on the market (in terms of recalls and investigations). Nevertheless, top management at Toyota continued to be arrogant about the problems. This is not defensible. It is also not the Toyota Way.
Thanks! CZmarlin (talk) 06:10, 28 December 2011 (UTC)


Thanks for your clarification of your views. I am not particularly interested in getting into a debate. I do not believe this is the forum for that anyway. The question was whether I had a right to edit that document given my extensive study of Toyota or because of perceived bias I should avoid it. I do not have any interest in using Wiki to promote my books and there is no reason why I would need to cite my own work given anything that I would right would need to be based on public sources that are not Toyota. I have learned clearly that any changes I made must be backed up with public references, as in a peer-reviewed journal. I have also learned that any data or information coming from Toyota would not be allowed as it would be viewed as biased. My only interest is in accuracy and telling a complete story about what went on with the recall crisis which as you point out is itself subject to bias. What I think is a relevant set of facts such as the Rice University survey you can make a cogent argument is not and vice versa. Given all of the time I have taken so far in writing material that was not allowed and then these exchanges, which I personally find unpleasant as I was never enthusiastic about debating, I am inclined not to participate in Wikipedia. I will leave the door open to change my mind later. I am glad that there are interested editors acting as gate keepers for Wiki who are trying to maintain high standards.

Jeffliker (talk) 15:29, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Another new editor beaten into submission - sigh. Let's look at it from another angle - if I want to a book store and bought his books, would I be allowable to put them in as references? They are published by a reliable publisher (McGraw-Hill) that has a reputation to keep and doesn't like being sued (ie they have an interest in keeping Jeff honest). Of course the flip side is that Jeff may have slipped in a few points here and there that aren't backed up and then repeated them here - hence the conflict of interest part. So we watch his edits like hawks and flag anything that seems suspicious and look for multiple references for the more extraordinary claims - which is what we do for all editors anyway.

As for the Rice University survey, my personal opinion is that their recall and replacement program saved their bacon but their early denials nearly burnt their bacon to a crisp. But that's just a personal opinion. We can always put Rice's claim in there and also put in other claims that it was handle badly - or other references that point out the flaws in Rice's survey. As editors we don't have to solve the issue of whether it was handled badly or not - we merely report what others say it is and let the reader make their own judgement.  Stepho  talk  05:02, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Reply from Jeff Liker

Thanks for the words of encouragement. As you know I am a full professor at University of Michigan and grew up starting in 1976 when I entered graduate school in sociology being trained to do research. I learned all of the professional ethics associated with research, proper citations, using facts, and the like. Obviously a more popular book like Toyota Under Fire does not have the same level of requirements for being factual as a peer-reviewed academic journal, but Tim is a professional writer and I am an academic, and we knew that because of all my writing about the Toyota Way I would be perceived as biased. Tim acted as the watchdog eliminating speculative statements without facts and he would not allow presenting data from Toyota without explicitly noting it was from Toyota. That was mostly in the form of quotes from various people and the data was hard data in that they sent us spreadsheets, for example, on retail sales versus total sales with fleet sales included. There is some data they have access to because they pay services that we did not have access to.

I agree that their responses were poor, and Toyota executives would ague they responded poorly more strongly than I. We point out these weaknesses in detail in Toyota Under Fire. What "saved their bacon" was a combination of things. We spent time in their call center in California where overnight when they stopped production because of the sticky pedals calls per day went over night from a few hundred to thousands. The capability of that group and how they responded to customers was one element that helped restore confidence among Toyota owners. Dealers responded in heroic ways, for example, paying out of their own money to send tow trucks to pick up vehicles and providing loaners that were not recalled. Obviously there were some not so great dealers, like the Lexus dealer who completely messed up leading to the death of the Saylor family, but there were so many that were good. And they are generally carefully cultivated and developed by Toyota and have high degrees of loyalty. Toyota contracts out regular customer surveys and the satisfaction of those whose cars were recalled were higher than those not recalled (another fact I would not use for Wiki as it is based on what Toyota told me). The sales incentives were high by Toyota standards but still low by industry standards and mostly were not cash give backs but rather a special warranty for all types of service for 3 years (which they have continued) and zero percent financing which they could afford to do because they hoard cash.

I have known Toyota for 30 years and I have full confidence that they are not liars and cheaters but act in unusually ethical ways. A central part of the culture is scientific thinking data and actual facts are worshipped like a religion. It would be totally disgusting to them to find that one of their engineers gave me cooked data and the engineers would consider it violating everything they have learned about professional ethics. They also have a culture of hansei (reflection)i which means you only point the finger at yourself and critically evaluate what you did wrong and feel deeply sorry and vow not to make that mistake again. Every part of Toyota was asked by Akio Toyota to go through hansei activities and come up with plans for improvement, even parts of the company that had nothing to do with the recalls like manufacturing. Akio Toyoda was as self critical as anyone, including the negative newspaper articles. I found it embarrassing at various points when I interviewed him how he was taking the blame for everything and found myself pointing out facts like the fact that any automaker has the problem of all weather floor mats, placed on top of the carpet mat, unsecured, potentially interfering with the accelerator pedal. He would counter every statement like that with, yes but we should have known..... and our standards are zero accidents. If you go back to any public statement or interview with a Toyota official you will never find them pointing the finger at customers or people found to be lying for personal gain (like James Sikes and the faked runaway Prius) or so called expert witnesses paid by lawyers suing them. Their policy starting with Akio Toyota was never point the finger at anyone else but themselves, apologize, and take corrective action. They are really good people (more than I can say for the LA Times journalists, or safety advocates like Sean Kane paid by lawyers sueing Toyota, or so-called Professor Gilbert being paid by Sean Kane, or congressional representatives who obviously knew very little about the case but seemed only interested in scoring political points. All of these people were out for themselves and Toyota was trying to control the damage and then look in the mirror and figure out how they can improve themselves.

On the issue of the Rice University survey, what was so interesting to me at the time was that the press had gotten on the bandwagon of saying virtually nothing positive about Toyota. They wanted the story to stay in the top 5 everyday for as long as possible. I spoke confidentially to several journalists who told me their editors would cut out any sentence that countered negative claims about Toyota. In February when the Rice University survey was done the environment for Toyota was absolutely toxic. They were portrayed as knowingly covering up defects that were killing people--akin to murderers. In that environment to have Toyota owners rate them 8 of 10 on statements about trusting the company and believing Toyota vehicles were safe was impressive to me, despite the known effects of cognitive dissonance. And seeing how low the non-Toyota owners rated them also was perhaps not surprising but interesting. I know many people who will only "buy American" and at the time in the heart of the recession protecting America was a strong sentiment. So many people I know were delighted to see this big bad foreign company that had been beating up on American companies finally get theirs. In any case, the most interesting thing is that the Rice survey was not covered by major news sources who did report general surveys that failed to separate out Toyota versus non-Toyota owners with headlines in effect-- public perception of Toyota at all time low. That was true, among non-owners and many people who would never buy a Toyota, but it did not reflect the intense loyalty of Toyota owners. That loyalty was shown when by May Camry was again number 1 in sales and if you see the broken out retail sales numbers Toyota was number 1 in retail sales and that continued through the year and should have gotten even better after the February press conference in 2011 when Ray Lahood announced Toyota vehicles are safe his daughter even bought a Sienna with his "guarantee" it was safe. But then almost immediately the worst Japan earthquake in recorded history happened and we do not know what would have been.

I would not think of including any of the above in a Wiki article. I guess I am just venting. And Tim Ogden would have edited out almost all of this before it reached our book. In the book we did include a number of the self critical quotes, like those from Akio Toyota. For example we point out that the Americans in public relations were kept in the dark about the sticky pedals until early January when Jim Lentz immediately flew to Washington to talk to NHTSA. All recall decisions were made by a quality control division in Japan, so one department would have all the global information and also be separated from any pressure to violate quality or safety standards because of short-term business pressures--sort of ironic. Akio said that for about 3 months starting in October they in Japan did not realize this was a real crisis in America and thought it was a regional issues the Americans could handle. But the Americans lacked the authority to recall or even the authority to issue press releases without approval from Japan. This was a very serious problem inside of Toyota and the basis for many of the changes they made--like strengthening regional autonomy. They had plenty of weaknesses and they were very honest about them and sincere in their desire to improve. What they could not do was take what the press wrote and allow false, superficial statements to be the basis for their analysis. If you read the report of the independent blue chip committee Toyota hired they were extremely critical of Toyota's internal communications and decision making about safety issues and Toyota paid them to write this highly critical report and then made it public. Who else would do that? Anyway, I agree they did a lot wrong in dealing with this because of control from Japan and internal communication problems and slowness in decision making and that is all in our book. But these were internal weaknesses, not corrupt attempts to hide facts and the reality is there is only one known accident causing a fatality associated with floor mats, sticky pedals, or Prius brakes and that was the Saylor family which was caused by dealer error. Toyota had thoroughly studied the sticky pedals much earlier and determined even in the most stuck position it did not effect stopping distance at all. Ultimately only 12 vehicles with sticky pedals were found in the US and reported to NHTSA in defect investigation reports. Very few Toyota dealers ever saw a sticky pedal. They studied the Prius brakes and found they worked fine to stop the car but felt funny because the ABS was coming on at low speeds in surprising situations and making it feel for an instant like the brake was not working---but it worked just as designed. These are the type of technical issues that happen every day in vehicles and historically would not lead to a recall, except in this highly politicized environment in the U.S.

Anyway I am rambling again. My opinions are based on my 30 years of experience with Toyota, greatly respecting the company and its culture (like you might respect your close friends and family), experience trying to teach hundreds of companies what Toyota does do well and seeing them struggle to learn, and a lot of data--but they are my opinions and experiences and certainly one can argue that if I like and respect the company I am biased. I do not believe that influences what I write professionally but I certainly am portrayed that way by some. I will take a shot at some changes--try to keep it short and simple--and anything I all will be factual based on public sources.

Jeffliker (talk) 15:24, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Stepho-wrs and Jeffliker - perhaps I was too rough on the edits. Contributions that expand the information in WP articles are much welcome. However, it seemed that the edits such as this to the Toyota Way article did not report information and then let the reader make the final judgement. It could be summarized that that "based on 25 years of studying Japanese management, and Toyota in particular" there was nothing wrong with the company because negative reports "was based on weak data, poor interpretation of the data, and uninformed speculation by people who had not intensively studied Toyota." Moreover, there was a clear conflict of interest in promoting the "Evidence of the widespread interest of the book is sales which by July, 2011 exceeded 700,000 units in 26 languages." Wow! what is the relationship between the subject matter and the contributor. This is self-promotion and overt corporate marketing. This is nothing new in the business as I know professors and researchers who are paid by corporations to write (positive) studies about their firms. Thanks! CZmarlin (talk) 15:51, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Okay, so if Jeff puts in something like "a Rice University survey reported that Toyota's handling of the event was well received", then you are free to provide a counterclaim from some other place. I have no problem with conflicting claims - that's life in the real world. If Jeff puts in value judgements like you just mentioned above without independent proof, then yes, call him out on those points. Personally I prefer to report on just the facts. Between the media hype and the shrills, I don't trust any statement along the lines of "Toyota is evil" or "Toyota are saints".  Stepho  talk  01:11, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Stepho-wrs, Jeff is free to contribute to Wikipedia to make the articles better. It is up to all editors to uphold WP standards and guidelines. When I started my first WP edits over five years ago, my changes were also unceremoniously reverted. It took me a while to learn WP rules and to properly "upgrade" my contributions. There are still many things I am learning every day. The requirements for an encyclopedia are different than for other types of writing, such as an academic research articles or even a book for a publisher.
My comments about the Rice University study were simply in answer to Jeff's statement "I am surprised you would disagree with the Rice University Survey." The first step in any survey is deciding what you want to learn. I think that it was almost obvious to anyone as to what the 58 Toyota owners in the survey would say. They "proved to have a more favorable opinion of the company" than the 397 non-Toyota owners. It would have been very surprising to report any other result given the decades of brand equity and the Toyota brand insulation effect. Other non-scientific polls conducted at that time also showed similar results. I even had Toyota owning university colleagues that claimed the U.S. Administration created the whole problem at Toyota!
Nevertheless, the issue seems to be Jeff's apparent conflict of interest. His university home page lists five books and the objective of all is to put Toyota in a positive light. He has steadfastly defended Toyota, such as in a February 1, 2011 podcast "how he was really surprised by the reports of quality defects, considering how good the factories were (he saw them first hand) and the quality awards that Toyota was still winning." This was just after 1.53 million 2004 - 2006 vehicles were recalled for brake fluid leakage from the master cylinder. What about the November 2011 recall to replace defective crankshaft pulleys on 550,000 V6 engines produced in 2005 and 2006? The reality of such problems runs clearly counter the podcast where Jeff: rejects the idea that "there were weaknesses in the Toyota Way philosophy or principles of the Toyota Production System or anything like that." This sure sounds as Jeff is being acting as an apologist for Toyota. This is at a time when safety experts and industry analysts contend that quality problems could haunt the automaker for years to come, affecting its reputation and bottom line. Thus, it would appear to me that Jeff should report his conflict of interest at WP:COIN in accord with WP guidelines described here, and then make positive contributions to WP articles! Thanks! CZmarlin (talk) 04:32, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
WP:COI suggests COI editors introduce themselves on the article talk page. WP:COIN is for other editors to report if they wish an administrator to chime in. But if it gets the ball rolling then I have no objection to CZmarlin reporting it at WP:COIN.  Stepho  talk  01:05, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Just to clarify I never said my purpose of writing Toyota way books was to portray Toyota in a positive light. Apart from the Toyota Under Fire book I only had one purpose: to explain the principles of management I derived from my study of Toyota and from many other sources like organizational theory, socio-technical systems theory, Deming principles, and my large amount of experience trying to positively influence other organizations using Toyota examples to illustrate the principles. The fact that Toyota has done a better job than other organizations I have studied or taught or consulted to at creating a comprehensive system integrated with its culture makes it a great case example. I did not make it as clear in the Toyota Way, but in later books when I realized people thought I was trying to write books documenting Toyota I put in a caveat early on saying things like "Toyota is made up of people and people are not perfect." In Toyota Culture, for example, we spend a good deal of space talking about the sexual harassment problems at the Kentucky plant they had and that the women involved were afraid to tell management violating every principle of the Toyota Way. Mike Hoseus was assembly plant manager and then human resource manager at the time and lived through it. We were quite frank. But then we went on to talk about how Toyota solved the problem--not to excuse Toyota--but to illustrate the value of a rigorous problem solving process that gets to the root cause and illustrate the strength to corrective action based on respect for people. Toyota Under Fire was more like a journalistic story,,, which I wrote with a professional writer who has been a journalist. It was not something I ever expected to write and my audience has always been organizations interested in improving themselves by applying their own version of Toyota Way principles. If you were to spend time at some of the organizations that have succeeded in making progress you might be amazed. And to damage Toyota's image based on poor journalism and personal interest has the effect of diminishing the enthusiasm of these organizations that are trying to use Toyota principles to dramatically improve their performance. I do not expect to teach Toyota and they never have asked me to even sign a confidentiality agreement and always make clear that any suggestions they make on my manuscripts are suggestions and I should write why I believe to be true. As for why I mentioned the sales, my thinking was that it illustrates that there is a great deal of interest in learning about the Toyota Way--not to brag or use it as a way of selling more books. That may have been misguided but I am very professional and have a great deal of professional integrity and ethics. I would never knowingly distort facts or use an encyclopedia for self promotion. Certainly in an wiki article about The Toyota Way talking about my 14 principles, that I developed, it makes sense that I know the principles and their intent better than whoever wrote the article and can see misunderstanding. So you can believe that my purpose is to be an apologist for Toyota and promote my books for personal gain, but you would be as wrong as many of your statements about Toyota indicate--assumptions without data or understanding. I actually have integrity... and I believe that Toyota leaders and engineers (on average) have very high levels of integrity based on my vast experiences. I did not see that level of integrity from many journalists who jumped on the story with little data, politicians grand standing for votes, lawyers trying to make a small fortune suing Toyota, or safety experts being paid by those lawyers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeffliker (talkcontribs) 04:29, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

All Toyota Prius 2010- obviously has this potential parking button problem in the SW of Sudden unintended acceleration[edit]

See Sudden unintended acceleration, talk

  • [5] All Toyota Prius 2010- obviously has this potential problem in the SW — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:54, 27 March 2012 (UTC)


This article was orginally created to handle the recalls concerning 2009 sudden unintended acceleraton issues. But now it seems to be an unending list of every recall issued by Toyota USA. Other manufacturese don't have recall article articles. Should we restrict its scope to the SUA recalls or extend its scope to all recalls?  Stepho  talk  22:53, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

I think it's absurd this page even exists at all, since no other manufacturer has Wiki pages devoted to their recalls. It seems more like a page created by Toyota detractors than anything else. I suggest deletion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:49, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
When the issue was making headlines, editors kept changing the main Toyota article with "OMG! OMG! Toyota is killing people!" type comments. At the time I predicted that in a few years time nobody would care (hence the reason for wanting them off the Toyota page). So, this page was created to keep them off the main Toyota page. And of course, my prediction turned out correct. I don't have a big problem with this page existing, only whether it is meant to cover all recalls or only those associated with the SUA issue.  Stepho  talk  04:37, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

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External links modified[edit]

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Pro-Toyota bias[edit]

The present article seems slanted to favor Toyota, dwelling on the flaws in its critics and minimizing or simply ignoring evidence of problems both physical (i.e., something caused unintended accelerations) and organizational (the company lied about it). It reads more like a brief for the defense.

The introduction begins that 2nd sentence by saying that Toyota initiated the recalls, conveying the impression the company voluntarily did what was right. There is no mention anywhere in the introduction that Toyota, in its settlement with the US Dept of Justice, agreed that it "misled US consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements",%20Statement%20of%20Facts,%20and%20Information.pdf paragraph 2. Instead, we have a company diligently and voluntarily fixing problems as it becomes aware of them, albeit hounded by questionable accusations.

The intro also highlights an NHTSA finding that there was no electronic defect, only then noting that there was a finding of a mechanical problem. This seems somewhat of a setup for the next paragraph--note the transitional "However" at its start--inviting the conclusion that the jury accepted a nutty theory to find Toyota liable.

There is no mention of the size of the verdict ($3 million) or of the class action settlement ($1 billion according to the later discussion), or of the size of the fine paid to the DOJ ($1.2 billion). These are not only newsworthy in themselves, but useful to someone attempting to assess the merits of the arguments.

Turning to the body of the article, the bias is pervasive.

The section on Investigations notes the possibility of driver error in the second sentence, and the automaker's claimed reluctance to raise this issue in the 3rd sentence (there is no information on Toyota's actual behavior, which I suspect did not display such reluctance). The next sentence suggests that the problem was only in the US (while conceding that is not quite true), suggesting a form of cultural hysteria or litigiousness at work.

All remaining paragraphs in the section concern complaints that were fraudulent, or crashes the might have had some other explanation.

NHTSA investigation subsection discusses the material mentioned in the intro more thoroughly, but again, only discusses the finding that the electronic control system was not at fault--even though the material quote in the introduction does make clear that the NHTSA did find a defect.

The impression at the end of the discussion of investigations is that the NHTSA gave the company a clean bill of health, and that even in cases where there were suspicious there were other possible explanations. It is rather hard to square this with the fact that Toyota ended up paying out over $2 billion to settle (or in the case of DOJ, suspend) legal claims.

In the Media coverage and criticism section "Toyota came in for extensive editorial criticism". This is followed by 1 reference to such criticism. The next sentence names 7 publications (with references) criticizing the criticism. We then get a list of reasons for criticism, and detailed discussion of one story as being slanted against Toyota.

The next section, "James Sikes..." is an extensive discussion of another apparent fraudulent claim against Toyota.

We then have a major section devoted to other possible causes of unintended acceleration. This begins with yet another repetition of the claim that the electronic throttle control system was not at fault. As with the previous discussions, there is zero mention of the findings that lead a jury to conclude it might be. But there is extensive discussion of possible conflicts of interest of a critic.

The next subsection, which doesn't even appear to belong in this section, is about ABC news allegedly faking a criticism.

In the section on litigation "Judge Selna issued an order establishing which attorneys would be granted the potentially lucrative positions of lead counsel for the plaintiffs". The point of mentioning that being lead counsel is potentially lucrative is presumably to impugn the motives of counsel.

Finally, at the end of the litigation section, the existence of the settlement—though not of the admission of wrongdoing—with the US government is mentioned (as written the text makes clear the government thought that the company lied, but not that the company had agreed that it lied). In contrast to the loving treatment of every critic's flaws, the discussion here is quite brief (compare, for example, the discussion under "ABC New acceleration controversy" and "James Sikes alleged unintended acceleration case").

The final section on other manufactures appears to be an exercise designed to minimize the whole thing by saying that Toyota had a low reported number of complaint, and that anyway reported complaints are unreliable.

Judging from the article, Toyota's only financial motivation would be avoid blaming driver error to avoid alienating customers, while its critics motives were to make money (the lucrative lead counsel positions, James Sikes getting out of debt, Sean Kane, head of the for-profit firm Safety Research & Strategies). Not a very neutral point of view.

RossBoylan (talk) 00:40, 23 January 2017 (UTC)RossBoylan

The issues you have raised seem valid from the quick read I have given them - although I might change my mind on some of them when we get into more detail. But I can tell you that if you made all those changes in a short time then somebody will have a knee-jerk reaction of reverting you as an anti-Toyota editor. I suggest you make a change of one point only. Then wait a day or two before changing another. Then work you way through the list slowly. This gives people a chance to see that what you are changing is reasonable and not just a blanket smear campaign. If someone complains about a particular point then skip it. When the list is complete, bring the issues that got a bad reaction back to this talk page and the community (including you) can present their views for both sides.  Stepho  talk  09:05, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

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