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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...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Speaking of hoods, Toyota...

'Bout two and a half months ago, my MR2 Spyder's hood release AGAIN failed to operate (See "Shoddy service: Dick Dyer and The Toyota Center" and "Hey, Toyota: Someone else fixed my car").  This time, I got the rest of the story.

To begin with Toyota designed the release cable to stretch from the driver's side all the way underneath the car to the passenger's side, and then around the back end to the latch.  Kinda like goin' from Atlanta to Miami via Las Vegas.  Faced with customer complaints, Toyota had issued a technical service bulletin for a new cable (same length) but were not as forthcoming about the later addition of an extra spring for the latch. 

The independent shop I dealt with did their homework, got a redesigned latch, improvised to accomodate the exceptionally long cable, and the repair bill was about $450.  Underscoring Toyota's lousy service, the Toyota parts dealer initially sent a latch for the trunk instead of the hood, even though the order included the correct parts number.

Toyota, you've got problems with your products, your dealerships, and your attitude, and its not about growing too big too fast.  Its about an unwillingness to do the right thing.  A determination to see how much you can get away with at your customers' expense.  As your parade of recalls continues, I wish your former-attorney-turned-whistleblower, Dimitrios Biller, all the luck in the world as he attempts to expose the way you do business.  You're a sick company, Toyota.  And as far as I can tell, you have no intentions of changing for the better.

Regarding Toyota's latest recall - announced today - of 1.53 million vehicles for fuel pump and brake problems, Yahoo censored my comments.