Friday, February 05, 2010

Toyota Recall; Super Bowl

Hey, guys! Happy Friday!
Not much news. I watched Fringe last night, and I thought it was a good episode. They actually caught me by surprise (this is a small touch of a spoiler, but they provided a genuinely surprising plot twist regarding the background of one of the main characters). That show has got some clunkiness to it (sometimes the dialogue is awkward, and sometimes the characters move in ways that don't make a lot of sense other than to advance the plot), but it has some cool ideas in it as well. Take the good and leave the bad. I guess I try to do that with a lot of shows.

First of all, before I write on this next point, let me make the disclosure that I own a small amount of Toyota stock. It's a very small amount, but I don't need one of my friends charging into the comments section to tar and feather me over an undisclosed conflict of interest (and yeah, I have a lot of friends who like to argue. Those are the kind of friends who keep things lively!).
The Toyota recall business goes on. Of course, it's not a good thing that Toyota has had to issue a recall after having problem with accelerators sticking, and it's going to look even worse (potentially quite a bit worse) if it turns out the company was covering up some significant issues on the brakes on the Prius line of cars. Those things having been said, Toyota is a company which has safely been manufacturing cars for decades with very little problem. Toyotas, for many years, have been consistently rated as producing very reliable cars that are a good buy for your money (by Consumer Reports and other critics of the automotive industry- in fact, Consumer Reports is still recommending Toyotas as good vehicles, even in the midst of this recall). Basically, the recent problems with Toyotas seem pretty few and far between (with accelerator problems, when they occur, typically coming on gradually so that owners have time to get the problem fixed before it becomes dangerous), and, on the whole, the company still has a reliablility and safety record which is up there among the best cars on the market. I guess I just figure that just about every car manufacturer that's on the market for long enough is going to eventually have one kind of problem or another (no manufacturers- not even even airplane manufacturers, have a perfect, 100% perfect record with their products). The best that you can hope for is that the problems are few and far between, and that the companies take quick, meaningful action to solve the problems.
But the media onslaught that's occurred in the face of these recalls has bordered on downright hysteria. To listen to the media tell it, you'd think that every Toyota on the road was a rolling death machine set to take out busloads of children and nuns.
Anyway, I'm keeping my little bit of Toyota stock. In fact, I should probably get some more. I still tend to think that Toyota has a bright future before it.

What else? The Super Bowl is this weekend. I haven't watched an NFL game all season, really (although, sort of sadly, I sat with Reed and watched the overtime part of the Minnesota/New Orleans game). Anyway, I'll still end up watching the Super Bowl. It's just sort of a tradition, I guess. I'd like to see the Saints bring a national championship back to their city. People are saying it's not going to happen, but it would be cool.

Well, I might write more later, but I don't have anything else right now, and today is busy.
Hope you guys have a good weekend! If you go out and party for the Super Bowl, be safe when you drive yourself home!!!

1 comment:

Ryan S. said...

I think the word I'm looking for is "manufactured hysteria". The press is going crazy on this story. If anything, the bizarre angle taken on the story is going to make it impossible for auto manufacturers to recall cars for defects in the future. For the numbers of cars sold, a very small minority had the issues. Small enough that I can see how it would take a while to identify the problem across almost 4 million cars, and after engineers had already suggested another fix.

Any fatality is one too many, but its sort of idiotic to believe Totoya acted in bad faith (bad faith is Ford knwoingly selling SUVs they knew would flip). All signs point to Toyota falling on their sword and putting a fix in as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, the only story you keep hearing is that this is going to destroy Toyota, which is far more likely to hurt Toyota than if the press were reporting the fact without the suggestion of how this is likely to make consumers lose faith in the product, which is, honestly, not my take away at all. I see a company realizing it had an issue and working to resolve it as quickly and efficiently as possible.