Toyota’s CEO apologized to shareholders for the brand’s negative image

Toyota’s image still suffers from the massive recall at the beginning of this year. In these circumstances, Akio Toyoda wanted to address to shareholders official apology.

Toyoda has spoken to the people who have invested in the brand’s development, showing his apologies for the many problems caused by the globally recalls.

The timing was an important one, this being the first time when Toyoda met with shareholders face to face after the manufacturer received the bad reputation.

At the end of its speech, Akio wanted to underline that Toyota is making significant efforts in order to improve the quality of its vehicles and also thanked to shareholders for their support during this difficult period.

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Dodge Caliber has the same issues that Toyota had several months ago

According to information published by Chrysler, the issues are identical to those of Toyota.

Chrysler has no knowledge of accidents, injuries or material damages caused by this potential problem.

Also, NHTSA has not yet announced any recall. Besides, the first tests showed that the problems refer only to cars produced in a window of just five weeks, between March and April 2006.

Chrysler announced it will closely work with NHTSA in order to resolve potential problems.

A special thing to notice is that Dodge Caliber’s pedals were produced by CTS Corp., the same supplier who produced all the pedals with problems for Toyota.

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Toyota promotes a campaign to rebuilt its image

Toyota will run on TV, print and online and will include images of workers from the European factories that send a message full of tenderness: “Your Toyota is my Toyota”.

In Toyota’s internal network, the campaign is called “restore the confidence”, each employee will outline the Japanese’s image in the campaign following to describe with his own words how they contribute to the quality of Toyota services.

The campaign will begin in May and will reach all major markets. The total amount invested by the Japanese in order to promote their message is €20 million.

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Toyota will recall another 670.000 cars in U.S. and Canada

These recalls concerns the sold cars in several U.S. states with cooler climates and in Canada, because of the risk of corrosion caused by prolonged exposure to salt thrown on the roads in winter.

Therefore, Toyota will recall 600,000 cars sold in the United States and 270,000 in Canada.

The incident is the latest in an endless series of problems of Toyota, which hit the Japanese’s brand image.

Thursday, the car manufacturer Toyota has suspended worldwide sales of the new Lexus GX 460 to perform a series of safety tests after Consumer Reports magazine gave a rating of “Do not buy.” In recent months, Toyota has recalled about 9 million cars worldwide.

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General Motors’s brake override software ready by 2012

General Motors is one of those manufacturers who intend to apply the algorithm globally by 2012.

Although GM has started adding brake override software on ETS-equipped cars as an additional safeguard.

The software automatically kills electronic throttle input once the driver steps on the brake, in order to prevent the chances of unintended acceleration.

“New media analyses of government data consistently validates that GM’s safety record on this issue is among the strongest in the industry,” said Tom Stephens, vice chairman of GM’s global product operations.

“At the same time, we know safety is top of mind for consumers, so we are applying additional technology to reassure them that they can count on the brakes in their GM vehicle.”

GM says that by the end of 2012, all of its vehicles sold around the world equipped with automatic transmissions and electronic throttle control will also be equipped with a brake override system.

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Tips on how to verify if your Toyota is included in the recall

If you want to know if your Toyota is included in the recall you will have to check your vehicle identification number and the pedal itself.

Toyota uses as a source for accelerator pedals the Denso and CTS suppliers.
The latter supplies the pedals that are currently being recalled. Toyota announced that the vehicles built in Japan all use pedals from Denso, while those built in North America are equipped with the recalled CTS pedal.

It seems that vehicles such as the FJ Cruiser, which is built only in Japan, can only be equipped with the Denso pedals. Meanwhile, vehicles that are only built in North America such as the Tundra, Avalon, Matrix, and Sequoia, are virtually guaranteed to be equipped with the recalled CTS pedals.

Therefore, if you take a look at your VIN, which is affixed in the lower left hand corner of the windshield and in the driver’s doorjamb you will know if your Toyota is included in the recall.
If the first character of the VIN is a “J,” then your vehicle was built in Japan and is not part of the recall. If the first character is a “1,” however, the vehicle was made in North America, and is part of the recall.

Nevertheless, there’s an exception to the rule. Camrys with VIN sequences starting with “4T1” were built with both pedal types, making a visual inspection necessary.

According to Inside Line, owners can identify CTS pedals from Denso units by crawling under the dash and looking at the accelerator pedal assembly. Denso assemblies sport four silver bolts on the left-hand side of the assembly casing, and is also stamped “Denso.” CTS units, however, are devoid of the bolts, and sport a rectangular metal plate on the assembly’s left-hand side.

Nevertheless, if there are any doubts on whether or not your car falls under the recall, don’t hesitate to visit your local Toyota dealership for an inspection and more information.

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