After nearly seventy years of carefully building an international reputation for quality, Toyota's image was badly tarnished last year as a result of a couple of the largest recalls in automotive history. Once Toyota finally admitted the problems, they attacked them aggressively on all fronts from twenty four hour service hours at dealers to their chairman voluntarilly testifying before Congress.
These extreme measure seemed to go a long way in re-establishing confidence in Toyota quality until now. It has just been announced that Toyota will be recalling 270,000 Lexus and Crown automobiles worldwide (138,000 in the U.S.) because they have engines that can potentially stop at any time due to faulty valve springs. Imagine, you're cruising Route 8 (at the legal speed limit, of course) and your car just stops! To anyone who knows the story of how Toyota carefully crafted the Lexus brand from nothing into dominating the luxury car field, this is a huge blow.
Although I've generally considered most Lexus offerings as four-wheeled pablum wrapped in leather and gold trim, I have recommended the cars to non-"car guy" friends due to their bulletproof reputation and excellent dealer service. Now, I can no longer do that in good conscience. Do you also feel that Toyota has lost their edge in the quality game and is now, just another carmaker?
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