Toyota has been criticized–and rightly so–for its handling of the recall clusterfracas in the United States and Europe. But how many cars have been recalled for possible unintended acceleration issues in Japan, where consumer protections are much weaker than in the U.S., Canada, and the E.U.? According to today’s New York Times, that would be zero. Even though some Japanese drivers have had similar runaway acceleration incidents, consumer protection in Japan is weak and the government tends to side with industry. This means that car owners experiencing problems have nowhere to turn.
Toyota has recalled eight thousand Tacoma pickup trucks because of possible cracks in the driveshaft. Interestingly, this same part was used in some Ford and Nissan vehicles, but apparently Toyota management said, “what the hell, we’ll recalling everything else–might as well bring this one in too while we’re at it.”