Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Old news, but still note worthy.

So, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. She drives an old Audi, and told me "I will never buy American." When I asked why she admitted to having no good reason, only that she has never given a first--forget about, second thought to American made vehicles.

One of my roommates in college last year said he will only buy Toyota. Not just only foreign, or just only Japanese, but ONLY TOYOTA. I could have told him at the time, but he never would have listened to me, but lo-and behold:

"TOYOTA RECALLS ONE MILLION VEHICLES WORLDWIDE"

Yup, that’s right. By comparison, in the first quarter, General Motors announced 113,000 recalls. So, 113,000(x4 = 452000) VS 1,000,000. That means that within the same time frame, General Motors recalled less than half of Toyota's recall quota.

I will admit I am eschewing the data a little bit. The 1-mil recalled Toyotas are of a worldwide production, where my source for General Motor's recalls only quotes the American production. So the 452K does not count Opel, Holden, Vauxhall, and the many other rebaged GM vehicles around the world.

Still, in America alone, 170,000 of one model are being recalled. So what little I am messing up the data, the stats still valid.

I also remember a recall with the Tundra pickup. The Tundra is supposed to be giving the Silverado a run for its money--and is, very well. But that is only because people think Toyota is of better quality. The recall I am, uh... recalling (sorry, I don’t mean to pun) is the Tundra's Ball-Joint recall.

You might remember reading this in Detroit Free Press, "Last year's Tundra recall was for the replacement of ball joints, a suspension component that might have been scratched during assembly."

But the problem, as DFP noted, was that "The safety administration said Monday it has found 142 incidents of ball-joint separations. The part fails nearly twice as often on four-wheel-drive versions, compared with two-wheel-drive models, the investigation summary said."

Compare that to a Silverado recall stated in full here from the NHTSA website:


Make / Models :         Model/Build Years:



CHEVROLET / SILVERADO 1999-2000

GMC / SIERRA 1999-2000



Manufacturer : GENERAL MOTORS CORP.

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 06V066000

Mfg's Report Date : MAR 08, 2006



Component: STRUCTURE:BODY:TAILGATE:HINGE AND ATTACHMENTS

Potential Number Of Units Affected : 805368



Summary:

CERTAIN PICKUP TRUCKS HAVE GALVANIZED-BRAIDED-STEEL TAILGATE

SUPPORT CABLES USED TO SUPPORT THE TAILGATE IN THE FULL OPEN

(HORIZONTAL) POSITION. OVER TIME THESE CABLES CAN CORRODE AND

FRACTURE WHEN LOADS ARE APPLIED TO THEM.



Consequence:

IF ONE CABLE FRACTURES, THE REMAINING CABLE MAY RETAIN THE

TAILGATE IN A HORIZONTAL POSITION. IF BOTH CABLES FRACTURE,

THE TAILGATE WOULD DROP AND STRIKE THE TOP SURFACE OF THE REAR

BUMPER. IF ANYONE IS SITTING OR STANDING ON THE HORIZONTAL

SURFACE OF THE TAILGATE WHEN BOTH CABLES FRACTURED, THEY

COULD FALL AND BE INJURED. ON VEHICLES WITHOUT A BUMPER,

THE TAILGATE MAY DROP TO A LOWER POSITION.



Remedy:

DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE GALVANIZED SUPPORT CABLES WITH STAINLESS

STEEL SUPPORT CABLES. IN ADDITION, DEALERS ARE TO INSPECT THE

TAILGATE HINGE AND REPLACE IT, IF NECESSARY. THE RECALL IS

EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING APRIL 2006. OWNERS MAY

CONTACT CHEVROLET AT 1-800-630-2438 OR GMC AT 1-866-996-9463.



The Note that you really want to read is, "IF ANYONE IS SITTING OR STANDING ON THE HORIZONTAL SURFACE OF THE TAILGATE WHEN BOTH CABLES FRACTURED, THEY COULD FALL AND BE INJURED."

So in other words, you can trip and make a boo-boo if you don’t get your Silverado fixed, or you can crash and burn if you don’t get your Tundra fixed.

Oh well. I guess some people never learn.



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