It certainly wouldn't be inappropriate for executives at Toyota's world headquarters in Japan to affix a plaque with this statement at the main corporate entrance: The best of times, the worst of times.
Company workers -- as well as financial analysts, dealers, repair shops and millions of consumers across the globe -- would certainly get the message.
In a nutshell, it is this: Notwithstanding continued high sales of Toyota vehicles (Toyota was designated the world's best-selling car company in 2012), the company has been plagued time and again over the past several years by safety-related concerns and massive vehicle recalls related to car accident risks.
Many readers will certainly remember the nearly unprecedented recall of eight million-plus vehicles in 2009 and 2010 prompted by car crash concerns owing to vehicles' sudden acceleration. Scores of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits were filed against the company. In one class-action suit, Toyota paid more than $1 billion in settlement costs.
Following upon that, 2012 spelled another year of both high sales and publicity-related woes for the company. Toyota suffered two huge recalls last year relating to fire risks and steering problems, respectively.
And now, fresh into the new year, 2013 is bringing more of the same, with Toyota announcing just two days ago that it is issuing yet another recall, this time owing to defective air bags and windshield wipers.
Some wipers in a Lexus model have power-related problems, and Toyota has informed consumers that air bags in some Corolla models could deploy unnecessarily and without warning.
If you or a family member has been injured by a motor vehicle accident, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.
Source: CNN Money, "Toyota recalls 1 million cars in the U.S.," Mark Thompson, Jan. 30, 2013
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