19th Jun 2010, 13:52

I agree, and I can't seem to find any real information on it either. I have a '96 Toyota Corolla, and I have NEVER had any serious issues with it in over 180,000 miles of driving. It still runs like new. I've yet to find any safety issues with it either, so I'm not sure what it could possibly be recalled for.

20th Jun 2010, 13:09

The information is out there. Last week's USA Today featured a headline article stating that Toyota is now looking at recalls on models going back to 1991 For defective steering parts that have resulted in fatal crashes. That's TWENTY YEARS. If you drive ANY Toyota built in the past two decades, you are probably putting your life and those of your passengers in danger.

21st Jun 2010, 08:17

I have to question the actual "defectiveness" of these steering parts. I would say that the real problem is WORN STEERING PARTS IN NEED OF REPLACEMENT. Not steering parts that are defective. You're talking about up to 19 year old vehicles (not twenty, 1990-2010 is twenty years) most of which have very high mileage (my Corolla for example does actually have a little over 180,000 miles on it. Do the math, if each of these Toyota's being recalled did the national average of 15,000 miles a year, they would have up to 285,000 miles on them) these vehicles have seen years of wear and tear, parts wear out and need replacement. Unfortunately, if anybody has a problem of any kind with a Toyota now, it's automatically life threatening and dangerous.

21st Jun 2010, 16:58

"I would say that the real problem is WORN STEERING PARTS IN NEED OF REPLACEMENT"

Nice try, but no cigar. The article contained an actual photograph of a BROKEN (NOT worn) steering rod. It was pointed out that the metal itself was of inferior quality (as is much of the material used in imports). A 1" diameter piece of metal does NOT "wear" into two pieces. It BREAKS. Sadly that particular breakage caused the death of one person and serious injury to three others. I just read that damage control and repairs to inferior parts is now costing Toyota the equivalent of a new Camry every 33 minutes. The truth finally catches up to those who try to hide their defects.

29th Jun 2010, 18:18

It's actually the Chevy Cobalt being investigated for steering defects. I wouldn't trust a small article from the USA Today in deciding that all Toyotas of the last twenty years are unsafe. That newspaper has been parodied countless times. Some don't even consider it credible. Furthermore, there would be many more headlines if people driving old Toyotas were suddenly dying in droves.

30th Jun 2010, 16:43

It isn't just one news source that is reporting Toyota's 20-year history of poor build methods. TV news, radio news and most national news sources have reliably reported the millions of Toyotas that are being recalled for major safety defects worldwide. Several sources have carried the photo of the crashed 1991 Toyota that killed the young man and seriously injured his 3 friends, after the defective steering rod fell into two pieces, causing him to lose control.

1st Jul 2010, 20:22

If you want, you can investigate Toyota build quality for yourself. Go in any parking lot and look underneath the Camries. About 20% (not an exaggeration) of them have their exhaust pipes hanging down low, not like when they came from the factory at all. If stuff anyone can easily see is clearly poor quality, just imagine what kinds of corners they cut where we can't see.

2nd Jul 2010, 11:14

I'd say the figure on the Camry's hanging exhaust is more like 50%. I see these driving down the road every day with the exhaust pipes nearly dragging.

Another easy-to-spot cheap shortcut on Toyotas is the exhaust hanger brackets. Where Ford and most domestic use large, heavy rubber strapping that allows the engine vibration to be isolated and kept from stress-cracking exhaust parts, Toyota uses a tiny little metal tube that only allows side-to-side movement. I've worked on most Japanese cars, and can attest to the fact that ALL of them use sub-standard, under-engineered structural components.

4th Jul 2010, 18:25

So now all Toyotas are death traps, and Ford is the Guru of safety and reliability? I don't believe it.

12th Sep 2011, 12:44

The perception that all Japanese/import cars are death traps, intentionally built with shoddy materials, started saturating the American media around the time that the American government bought/bailed out General Motors. With the American government now making cars, would anyone expect different?

Japanese cars have been consistently more reliable than American cars for decades. Ford has improved, yet so has the Korean Hyundai/Kia.

Regardless, since planned obsolescence is no longer immoral, we should expect to see a leveling of the playing field, in that all cars, foreign and domestic, will not outlast their warranties. It isn't profitable to build cars that last forever.

13th Sep 2011, 18:00

Well, the U.S. auto industry was doing just fine in the late 80's when we had our experience with imports. I can assure you that as a mechanic and car enthusiast who does all his own maintenance and repairs, I found the build quality of those late 80's Japanese cars just as bad if not worse than the newer ones. I have never seen anything to convince me that domestics are, or ever were, inferior to Japanese cars. All you have to do is compare the size of major structural components and the way the car is assembled. Domestics use much larger structural members and real screws instead of plastic fasteners on most body parts.

When companies spend billions on PR and ad hype, as Japanese auto makers did, you can buy any kind of mythological image you want. I rely on real world experience to make my car buying decisions, and no domestic has ever let me down, while every import I've driven has.