08/02/2010

This Toyota Recall, Is There More to it Than Meets the Eye?


I don't drive a Toyota, nor is it likely that I will in the next few years but, that has more to do with my being quite fond of the Subaru I now drive, than any reaction of mine to the massive recall the car manufacturer recently issued.

In fact I wonder these days about all the attention being given the recall in the media. It seems that every news organization going has been whipped into a blather by the direct, hard hitting criticism directed at Toyota by the American automobile safety people. There is no question that it is their job to bring these issues to light and we are most likely all safer as a result historical role.

I do wonder however if this latest reaction has more to do with trying to even the playing field for struggling American automobile manufacturing industry than it has to do with keeping us all safe. Interestingly, media play the story has received here in Canada although the Canadian consumer protection group has not received even one complaint about the Toyota accelerator or the braking system for that matter.

Canadian media, along with their American counterparts, speculate about Toyota's survival in the face of this recall. It make me wonder if this is all a manufactured crisis.

Over the years we have seen recall after recall of vehicles built in the U.S. and in Canada by the American automotive industry. We have seen U.S. built cars that caught fire, brakes that failed, steering failures, sticky accelerators and seat belts that didn't work properly. I don't remember anyone ever suggesting the demise of those corporations until then almost collapsed last year. That had nothing to do with recalls but, was as a result of their own colossal lack of vision and fiscal mismanagement.

It makes me wonder if what we are seeing is the American media struggling to find a good news story in the face of a fiscal meltdown and speculation about the demise of a Japanese auto manufacturer was the best they could do.

So, don't hold your breath. Toyota isn't going to disappear and the Hummer ain't coming back.

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