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Engine failures in MR2 Spyders

6/11/2014 - Updated the original post by entering direct links to reference material, and added remarks about the legal issues involved with...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sudden acceleration: Prius joins Camry, Solara

Oops. Bad enough for Toyota that government investigators have been looking into allegations of unexpected speedups in Camrys and Solaras. Now it seems that Toyota's much touted Prius is yet another model with a mind of its own. Worse yet, customers say the Prius also has a nasty habit of ignoring those frantic stabs at the brake pedal. Just keeps going, and going, and going. Ask the guy whose Prius wound up taking him inside a convenience store and then exploded. He has filed a lawsuit against Toyota.

Leave it to Toyota to blame its customers. When the problem is an outrageous number of engine failures, Toyota says its because their customers don't change the oil regularly. When the problem is unstoppable, sudden acceleration, Toyota says its customers can't distinguish between the gas pedal and the brake. Toyota has also suggested - with a straight face - that some of those pesky customers have even jammed floormats underneath the brake pedal. Comforting to know that Toyota thinks folks who purchase its products are so highly intelligent.

Horror stories galore:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Video: victims of oil sludge speak out

Take a look at oil sludge, hear interviews with Toyota's victims, and check out an automotive expert's opinion regarding what caused the problem. He calls Toyota's response to customers "demeaning." Hear about someone who accepted Toyota's "one time goodwill offer," only to have her engine stop running again after less than 300 miles. Click "more info" for a written summary of the problem, and links to other websites.

Apparently, Toyota's engine failure/oil sludge issue isn't going away anytime soon. Customers are still complaining, at least one lawsuit is in progress, and hopefully there will be class action lawsuit number two, including models not initially listed. Hear some howlin' at

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More bullying from Toyota

Update 10/30/10 -
This week, documents surfaced showing that on two occasions, Toyota service personnel drove vehicles to investigate customer complaints of sudden acceleration and verified that the customers' claims were correct. Toyota repurchased the vehicles and urged both customers to keep quiet, even requiring one of them to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Yahoo News censored my comments about this matter, and is now refusing to publish any comments I submit, regardless of the topic.
On 5/12/09, which was less than a week after I began directing people to this blog, I got a telephone cItalicall from Mr. Dave Adams - Southeast Toyota's "Customer Loyalty" guy - claiming he wanted to "help me get some of my money back." But it turned out to be exactly the kind of bullying I've come to expect from Toyota. Specifics - if you can call them that - were kept verbal (the trademark of someone who's tryin' to scam you), I would be expected to accept considerably less than my expenses, and I would be required to tow the line in terms of loyalty to Toyota. They don't call him the "Customer Loyalty" guy for nothin'. To ensure that Toyota was making a "good investment," I would "say nice things" about Toyota when I visited their dealerships, and this blog "might have to come down." Seems I also needed to "learn how to be a gentleman." Any more picketing, and the Customer Loyalty rep would see to it that I didn't get a dime. Even gave me a couple of days, he did, to "think things over." Yessir, he put on quite a performance. Flogged me good n proper for darin' to criticize Toyota, and simultaneously whined that my remarks about Toyota had "hurt his feelings."  Touchy folks, these "Customer Loyalty" guys. But things could have been worse. At least I wasn't required to buy a new Toyota...

Since Toyota refused to offer bonafide specifics and put them in writing, I finally made my position crystal clear. Sent 'em an e-mail stating that I better not settle for anything less than reimbursement for all of my expenses. Reminded 'em, I did, of the continuing problems I'm having with the engine they rebuilt. Unfortunately - as I've noted elsewhere on this blog - multiple engine failures are not uncommon. And incidentally, when it comes to hurt feelings, my feelings were also a wee bit challenged when I had to fork over thousands of dollars due to Toyota's improperly designed engine.

Point is, Toyota shouldn't profit from their design defect, and potential reimbursement shouldn't be held as a club over a customer's head. C'mon, Toyota. Clean up your act.