Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Echoes of Audi: Toyota says drivers may be confused

Recommended Posts

Echoes of Audi: Toyota says drivers may be confused

Automotive News -- May 10, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Print Email Reprints

Toyota's chief quality officer in North America is voicing a delicate and potentially dangerous argument as the automaker tries to repair its safety reputation: Some reports of unintended acceleration are the result of owner misunderstanding, not a mechanical problem.

Steve St. Angelo thinks some Toyota owners simply may be unfamiliar with their car's features. He pointed out that Toyota's radar cruise control system automatically slows down the vehicle if another car comes too close. But when a gap opens up again, the car automatically returns to its previous speed. The resulting speed-up could be confused with unintended acceleration, he said.

"We're realizing that we haven't done a good job of educating our customers about our cars," said St. Angelo, a top North American manufacturing executive who was tapped in March to head the U.S. quality task force. "We must do a better job of educating them about the features."

The argument bears an eerie resemblance to how Audi executives reacted in 1986 when the Audi 5000 was the subject of claims of unintended acceleration. Company execs blamed driver error. Indeed, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation eventually corroborated Audi's contention. But insulted and fearful consumers avoided the Audi brand over the next 15 years.

A Toyota spokesman said St. Angelo's point is different.

"We're not saying our customers are at fault here," said Rick Hesterberg, a spokesman for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, where St. Angelo is also president. "We're saying we're the ones at fault. We haven't done enough to educate customers. This is on us."

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100510/OEM06/305109962/-1#ixzz0nXCwaPAy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We  Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×