On this day in 2010 Toyota Motor Corporation agreed to pay the US government $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis. The latest settlement, on top of a $16.4 million fine Toyota paid earlier in a related investigation, brought the total penalties levied on the company to $48.8 million.
I believe that many Americans are what I call “self-hating Americans.” They think the grass is greener elsewhere. Inherent in that view for many of these people is the incorrect belief that American cars are inferior to those made elsewhere. These are people for whom the facts don’t intrude into their views.
For the last five years, for example, Buick and Chevrolet have ranked in the top 5 or so in the JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). This is a more meaningful survey than the JD Power Initial Quality Report. The VDS surveys thousands of car owners about their three-year old vehicles (the 2019 study is about model year 2016 cars/trucks) and tabulates the number of reported problems. Here are the results from 2015-2019 for Buick and Chevrolet:
By the way, the historical fact presented in this post is not a knock at Toyota. That make has finished 3rd or 4th in the JD Power VDS every year except one since 2015 (a 9th-place finish in 2018).
For the vast majority of people, facts that run contrary to their a priori beliefs are ignored. However, as Huxley wrote, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” I could write the somewhat vulgar, yet often-repeated, remark about opinions being like a certain part of the human anatomy in that (almost) everyone has one and almost all of them stink, but I would never do that.
Not that my life experiences are representative of everyone’s or constitute a significant sample, but I have owned vehicles manufactured in the US, in Japan, in Germany and in South Korea. The least reliable car I ever owned was a product of the supposedly superior Germans.
I would really like to own one of these as a companion to my 2016 Corvette Z06, but they are too expensive for my budget and, of course, do not represent the product of a defunct American make. Of course, if/when I actually pull the trigger who knows what I might buy?
If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.