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US Tries To Maximize Its Equity Return In Bankrupt Automakers, Tells Americans Not To Drive Recalled Toyotas

Tyler Durden's picture


This whole Toyota recall thing has had us puzzled. The scale of the recall keeps getting bigger and bigger, the hit to Toyota stock greater with every single day. This is extremely uncharacteristic for a company that has taken PR fallout containment (not to mention quality) to an artform. Which, one would speculate, may implicate other forces in this dramatic collapse in everything that Toyota has stood for. The just released announcement from the US Government, in which the government is telling Toyota Owners to "stop driving the recalled vehicles" (can Congress quickly make this into a law please?) which is a defacto endorsement of buy American, and not just any American, but cars made by bankrupt and spun off automakers, in which the country has a major equity stake in via TARP and loan facilities, could be a big clue as to what the behind the scenes play here is. As everyone knows, Cash For Clunkers was a benefit exclusively to Japanese automakers, with Ford barely sneaking into a top 5 spot for cars sold. Well, now it's time for Uncle Sam to demand his pound of flesh; if that involves a "recall" and a huge hit to Toyota's sales and market cap, so be it. One thing for sure: with the various spending freezes, we won't be seeing another Cash For Clunkers for years to come, if ever... Or we may, if and only if, Toyota's reputation has been destroyed beyond measure.


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Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:03 | 215861 johnnyBoy
johnnyBoy's picture

So Japan doesn't want our 47,000 troops!  Well, what should the US do about that?

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:55 | 215956 MarketTruth
MarketTruth's picture

Exactly! Not many Americans realize that Japanese citizens and their gov DO NOT want an American MIL base there anylonger. Japanese citizens have been raped and assaulted over the years by various USA MIL people. It also seems that crime is higher near the USA base than in other parts of Japan.

Now as this situation is coming to fruition and the Japanese officials want USA troops out...

BTW: The british Bentley and other vehicles have the same 'gas on/no brakes' problem.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:08 | 216099 geminiRX
geminiRX's picture

The Japanese are pretty stupid to let that base go considering North Korea could crush that country with relative ease. It is only the American presence in that region that holds them back. That base is also a boon to the economy in that region. 

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:22 | 216125 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

So true geminiRX,

One DPRK ground assault over the DMZ and Japan is in flames from Sapporo to Naha.

-Keep Ol'Glory flying over our rightful possession.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:29 | 216232 MarketTruth
MarketTruth's picture

Perhaps you missed the news, amazing as it is... China and Japan relations are warming up. As the world knows, China has quite an impressive arsenal at their disposal and far more massive than USA in 'feet on the ground'.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:30 | 216140 suteibu
suteibu's picture

North Korea is not a concern.  All they can do is lob rockets at Japan and the defenses for that are not on the Okinawa base.  That base is a communist era relic and serves no purpose for Japanese security.

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 00:37 | 216781 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

You drinking too much Kim Jong Ill kooaid buddy boy? North Koreans are starving because Kim Jnr decided to confiscate wealth by devaluing. NK doesn't have any rockets or missles left, everyone in Asia knows it, the CIA and Pentagon are still trying to create a ficticious enemy in case Iran decides to implode, then there would be no more reason for buying new nuclear subs and advance fighters and bombers. The CIA and Pentagon are trying to justifyb their own existence, why can't stoopid peop,le understand that. This is the same CIA/Pentagon who invaded Nicaragua and Dominican Republic because they are security risks to the US of Z! Common, even for a country printing trillions and put Ben in charge of the printing press, americans can't be that stoopid!

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 02:35 | 216844 Rick64
Rick64's picture

 The bases are to our advantage as well. The U.S. being a close ally is enough to deter any attacks. The Japanese are helping foot the bill for our bases now and they take up a lot of valuable realestate(less valuable lately) also stated the crimes and sentiment towards the bases. This is especially true in Okinawa which we gave back to them in 1972.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:32 | 216139 knukles
knukles's picture

'Zat mean we don't want their 47,000 cars?  Jez, add this into the Sr. Anonomyous Treasury Unofficial comments about China, and we gots a Par-teeeeeeeee!   

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:04 | 215862 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Congressional hearings scheduled:


Everyone, fear not!  Congress is on the job!

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:07 | 215867 Rainman
Rainman's picture

The Ministers of Disinformation will now reprogram us to LOVE Government Motor vehicles. It's a Joyous New Era for American carmaking.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:09 | 215875 suteibu
suteibu's picture

I'm with you on this.  How blatant is this move?

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:48 | 215939 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture


Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:01 | 215974 deadhead
deadhead's picture



the hits just keep on comin'.....


Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:02 | 215978 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

Speaks volumes about how the administration perceives it's dumbed down citizenry.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:27 | 216028 E pluribus unum
E pluribus unum's picture

Do you mean the "dumbed down" citizens who aren't doing 120mph on the I-15 right? My cousin was killed by a Lexus with a faulty gas pedal.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:09 | 216100 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

My condolences but I thought the Lexus wasn't involved in the gas pedal recall but "just" the floor mat recall? 

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:11 | 216206 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

The floor mat recall was really gas pedal recall I.

It is amazing and too strangely coincidental how this will help the US Owned car industry immensly.   

Toyota will shrink immensly as a result of this.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:09 | 215871 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

" which the government is telling Toyota Owners to "stop driving the recalled vehicles" (can Congress quickly make this into a law please?) which is a defacto endorsement of buy American, and not just any American, but cars made by bankrupt and spun off automakers,...."


I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that you're inferring that the US Government might have a conflict of interest in this matter and might not be acting in good faith when dealing with Toyota or any other non General Motors car maker.

In the land of the brave, we don't do "conflict of interest" and I resemble your inference. I expect an immediate apology from you in writing, preferably before the Honda exploding gear shift knob recall is announced.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:13 | 215885 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Must be frustrating to have your competitor also be your regulator.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:56 | 215961 velobabe
velobabe's picture

it's the shock doctrine therapy usa applies whenever it can on anything it can. probe into prius brake problem, now. got to get even with those japanese hybrids.

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 18:08 | 215965 velobabe
velobabe's picture


Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:09 | 215874 darkpool2
darkpool2's picture

Its a very slippery slope.  hmmmm, dont we have a few trillion dollars of reserves potentially on the line here?

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:10 | 215876 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

You can have my Toyota Camry when you jaw of life me out of it. It's the only car I've ever had that hasn't completely sucked.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:49 | 215943 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

i agree. maybe after the 187th waterboarding, i'll tell them what they want to hear. that "toyotas suck."

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:59 | 216083 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

You have to say toyotas suck AND GMs rule before they stop pouring water.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:09 | 215949 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Ironically I purchased a brand new 2010 Camry 4 days before they announced the production and sales suspension of my car. Where are the class action law suits for those of us who purchased just before the production and sales suspension? I suspect they knew they were going to suspend production long before they announced it. So my car was OK to purchase on that Friday afternoon but not the following Monday?

Don't get me wrong, I've owned Camry's for 15 years and swear by them. But in this case I'm swearing at my Camry and Toyota. What will really burn my ass is the huge "rebates" and other incentives Toyota will offer to drive people back into the showrooms in a week or so. And those incentives will lower the already lower value of my new purchase.

So was I supposed to anticipate this by purchasing the extremely expensive "GAP" insurance Toyota was offering at the closing? If I total my car in an accident this afternoon, I suspect my insurance company will tell me the car is worth $2,000 less than it was worth the Sunday before they announced the suspension, even thou the car is only 9 days older and has 220 miles more on the clock.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:39 | 216049 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

so all you smart traders AREN'T driving german cars??


toyota is fine crap but still crap - don't get delusional 

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:25 | 216132 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I would have the same attitude if this were about BMW or Yugo. It's about something I bought from a corporation through their dealer representative that was misrepresented. I would not have bought it if all the details were know to me and that makes it an illegal deal in the eyes of the law. It was not a fair bargain. At least in my state, where state laws protect the consumer from this shit. 

When this shit is pulled by corporations, it's just business. Let me pull something like this and my ass is grass. Would anyone have bought a car they knew would be suspended from production and sales in 4 days because of safety issues? I think not.

Just because there is no justice in the world doesn't mean I can't complain. I've seen you display the same righteous indignation but on different subjects in the ZH comment section so I ask you to not get delusional as well.

BTW, you bias is showing with the "so all you smart traders AREN'T driving german cars??" comment. You're better than that.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:08 | 216213 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

No he isn't. He is a boastful scumbag.

I had an interaction with one of the same that was driving an RS6 this morning. Didn't go well for him.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:43 | 216273 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Vokswagen Jetta - the worst car I have ever owned.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:10 | 216376 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

And then the logical question is where was it made?  Most likely Puebla Mexico

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:15 | 216383 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Hecho en Mexico is why.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:57 | 216077 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

You're just caught in the nastier undercurrents of globalization. Ok so you have the hottest car and it's being subjected to a bit of shall we say corporate undermining. All you gotta do is NOT FLOOR your car and well I'm a gear head so I can make a linkage from shit from a Jegs catalog if your not find someone who can.

Bill Gates is going to spend 10 billion dollars on "immunizations" for the poor. Immunizations that will cut thier life short and get rid of the poor problem. You have NO IDEA HOW FUCKING NASTY THESE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GET. So watch your back and do everything yourself or just adopt my easy going philosophy. KILL ME YOU FUCKING BITCHES. I'M NOT GOING TO RUN BACK TO YOU ASKING WHAT I DID TO DESERVE IT. IT'S JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE EVIL CUNTS. IT'S NOT MY FAULT.

I'll be the ghost that keeps causing all the unexplained electronic failures all over certain peoples networks. You can call me pissed off gremlin.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 21:59 | 216659 Rollerball
Rollerball's picture

Goddam right!  It's not about Quality, it's about loyalty (to genetically deficient inbreds).

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 16:27 | 216334 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Had you read this already when you made that post

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:10 | 215878 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

One of the distinct advantages of governemnt owned car companies, they can force other car companies out of business. I wonder if it works for health insurance companies as well.

Is a Hugo Chavez mentality good for the USA.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:13 | 215879 suteibu
suteibu's picture

Note also that the problem cars are all made in the US.  Until now, when they decided to go after the Prius which is made in Japan.  Can't have the American worker smear validated, I guess.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:49 | 215942 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Also note that most Lexus are made in Japan, and are not subject to these recall, at least not the one I own (made in Japan).

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:08 | 215988 suteibu
suteibu's picture

From what I read, all of the Japanese auto makers are putting a lot of capital into the Chinese and Indian markets.  The US is no longer a growth market for these guys.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:42 | 216056 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

you all are really showing your feathers


there is a strong belief that toyota's issue is electronic and not mechanical

if you all are this blind with your trading no wonder all i hear here is complaining!!


Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:23 | 216111 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Ya that's what steve wozniak says. Only he's talking about the pulse width modulation problems in the braking system they are experiencing. There's nothing electronic in the gas pedal other than the cruise control which could be causing a problem. I don't know. I don't run around with my cruise control on all the time because well you're really not supposed to do that. The ONLY problem I've ever had with my car is yes you are supposed to have a reset on your cruise control setting if you drop more than 15 miles an hour below it's set point and I've accidently hit it from 5 miles an hour and its wanted to yank back up to 55 or 65. But that's not even a discussion point in this thing with anyone.

But I will relay a funny Toyota story. After moving to Florida my girlmonsterfriend and her mother took me on a little tour in their landcruiser. The mother started complaining about her ass burning and it took me 5 minutes to get the girlmonster to relax and problem solve basing on the assumption that yes her mothers ass was indeed burning. It then took a whole nother 2 or 3 minutes to figure out that the seat heater was on and at full blast after I finally got one of them to show me the owners manual and looked at various equipment. But we did have a strange experience where the brakes faded out and I spent a couple minutes inspecting everything. She did have to take it into the shop to be looked at and it did have a brake problem.


Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:29 | 216137 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

if you read people's individual stories you hear more and more that once you shut the car off and then back on the acceleration problem goes away..  no change needed with floor mats or pedals


yes there is probably a rare issue with sticking pedals and some annoying floor mats but they are totally ignoring the electrical issues

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 16:41 | 216340 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture


It flows right off your tongue, too. It's like back when I was a restaurant server in college and I would walk up to a table of senior citizens and say, "How ya fucks (folks) doing tonight?"

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 02:45 | 216848 Rick64
Rick64's picture

girlmonsterfriend. I've had a few of them. Thats funny

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:14 | 215886 Dixie Normous
Dixie Normous's picture

The accelerators are made by an American co. in their Canada plant. Viva NAFTA.

LOL funny was a news broadcast last night that went something like: " and Toyota, which stopped selling many models in January, showed a sales decrease of 16%."

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:28 | 215913 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Yo Dipsie if your implication was that it wasn't
Toyota's fault because the components were made in North America than you are terrrrribly mistaken. The design
is completely and totally controlled by big T, if the parts
fail it's because they designed it incorrectly not that the
manufacturer created a bad part. As an auto parts supplier
do you think I would put my ass on the line for any of these
Auto makers, nope. Hell half the time they don't pay me
for a year on Molds and Dies, want me to carry all the inventory for 90 day terms while having it in stock for JIT.
No this was Toyota's fuck up plain and simple.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:25 | 216022 Dixie Normous
Dixie Normous's picture

It's Dixie. And don't try to figure out what I am implying.

I was pointing out a fact that the MSM and many others covering this story have failed to mention: these parts are American made and Americans are going to lose jobs as brilliant government hacks try to inject their 2 cents.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:39 | 216160 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

You should take 2 seconds to understand what CTS does before you go bashing others comments. CTS is integrally involved in the design and engineering of components for its customers.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:58 | 215963 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

My train stop to work is right across the street from CTS, where the part was manufactured. The odd thing is ... a few years back, the plant next to it was involved in a scandal. It was distributing pet food with Melanmine (sorry spelling) in it. A massive recall and a few dead puppies.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:17 | 215891 Internet Tough Guy
Internet Tough Guy's picture

Sucks for all the americans on toyota assembly lines and in dealerships who got tapped to lose this round. No bailout for you!



Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:41 | 216167 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"No bailout for you!"  

Not Yet! Never say never with this government. There is not a single level of absurdity they will not try to exceed.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:08 | 216374 viahj
viahj's picture

are they unionized?  I rekon if they are, Obama wouldn't stand for this.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:20 | 215896 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

No one thinks this has anything to do with US Military bases in Japan and their population wanting us out.

Bases stay or your car company goes bye-bye. Game of chicken anyone?

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:27 | 215911 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Non-tariff barrier.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:29 | 215914 SDRII
SDRII's picture

Response to the rumored Japan/China detante and/or street demonstrations against US troop presence?

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:32 | 215921 Cpl Hicks
Cpl Hicks's picture

...yammer, yammer, yammer.....

Just buy a Ford.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:13 | 216109 geminiRX
geminiRX's picture

The lincoln towncar by Ford is the best vehicle I have ever bought. 

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:39 | 216161 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

shutup ford FANBOY

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 14:11 | 217404 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Oh yea! Nothing like a V8 when the oil trading desk gets on a roll again!

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:34 | 215924 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

Of course everything is blown out of proportion. Have you heard that currently we have recall for GM Cobalt with faulty steering or Fords F150?

Any way Toyota "is too big to manage" and has to scale down or be scaled down, for few years their quality is steadily going down, have you seen on the road brand new Toyotas with some of the lights not working? Never happened before! They're preaching that "5S" system of production, which is in other words - "5xslave", obviously it has not helped and all other businesses all over the world which hopped on "5S" ba(n)dwagon will ultimately fail.


Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:53 | 216183 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

I've been watching industries very closely. As they have been emersed in the competitive production cycle campaigns that the fractional reserve money system eventually funnels them into. Fractional reserve systems always start out overleveraging banks and then overhyping production. I've watched HP turn from a wonderful production company to just a steaming pile of shit that I wouldn't trust to make quality plastic picnic forks let alone high end electronics. How intel has managed to do it's 6 month cycles and not screw up beyond all recognition I'll never be able to answer. I guess chip making is easier than it looks because it looks pretty damn hard.

This has all been subconciously forced onto people in the new product cycle expectional energies from wall street as it all unthreads and turns into a giant hair ball during it's scam progression.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:40 | 215926 Traianus Augustus
Traianus Augustus's picture

Well, if you can only buy american cars going forward that should be good for at least a dozen or so cars sold each month.  Besides isn't everyone glued to their tv sets watching and cheering for the markets rally another week.  Shouldn't we all be singing praise to our new budget mantra: "A trillion, a trillion we all fall down!!!" 

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:41 | 216052 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Trick tariffs, on-the-sly duties. Little outcropping variants of Smoot-Hawley creeping in. When the country and its powerful industries are starving off and demand can't be pulled forward with ridiculous credit, take demand from a foreign competitor...BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

Debt destruction will ruin the debtors and creditors alike.

That's fine in a little Pottersville town; supremely dangerous when between testy and highly armed sovereigns.

War by 2012 when this bottoms? We're in a form of it now.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:55 | 215957 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Toyota has been getting away with an undserved reputation for years. They are experts at covering up their mistakes. From rotting frames, defective camshafts in their pickups, engines self-destructing from oil sludge buildups, inadequate brakes to today's recall, quality is no better with their vehicles than with any other. I work on a variety of cars and Toyota is definitely no better. They break and break early and often. Their failures occur under their warranty period and people do not end up spending anything on them, thus they don't think of the problems as anything notable. If your not paying for the repair, you will generally not count it against a product - its human nature. Justification is to see how much Toyota's waranty claims cost the company and why most cars are sold shortly after the warranty expires - when the real cost of repairing these foreign pieces of junk comes from the owner's pocket.
It really is better to buy American for all of our sakes. Ford is the only company not owned by the Government and is making it on their own with great quality vehicles that are beyond Toyota and Honda per Consumer Reports and other quality rating organizations.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:47 | 216066 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

all these southern gold clowns are anti union so they suck prius cock whether they like it or not since that fits their agenda


toyota screwed up massively on this - admit it

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:00 | 215968 economessed
economessed's picture

Also puzzling to me is why the US Government did not issue a "cease purchase, utilization and/or consumption of Chinese made products" after damn near every toy, food item, or what have you contained poisonous materials, massive safety issues, or operational defects.

Other than the fact we'd eliminate 86% of available consumer goods, why haven't they done this?

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:06 | 215983 suteibu
suteibu's picture

I think Government Motors swung the balance.  Now, when Mattel and Hasbro gets nationalized....

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:10 | 215997 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Don't you dare touch my GI Joe with the Kung Foo grip. Don't even think about it.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:09 | 215992 JohnKing
JohnKing's picture

The Japanese need to step up and start buying more Treasury Toilet Paper. Buy our paper or we re-call all your cars sucka! sayanora bitch!

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:12 | 216000 suteibu
suteibu's picture

Unfortunately, the Postal Bank has decided to buy US Treasuries.  I think, like here in the US, the Japanese people and the government are not on the same page.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:14 | 216004 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Aren't more Toyotas made in the USA than the domestic companies?

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:15 | 216007 whereismyorange
whereismyorange's picture

Maybe I misinterpret your sarcasm, but how does telling consumers not to buy a recalled product an endorsement of a competitors product?

Usually a recall of some item means there is a large enough problem you should stop using it...

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:18 | 216012 suteibu
suteibu's picture

Maybe you are correct.  However, LaHood is all over the place at this moment clawing back his earlier statement.  The administration pushed too hard for this unlike any other auto recall I can recall.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:29 | 216034 deadhead
deadhead's picture

correct, LaHood just pulled back big time....that call from the Japanese must have had alot of screaming in it!

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:33 | 216037 suteibu
suteibu's picture

Hah...the Japanese don't scream in such situations.  They have other ways.  I'm thinking, since most Japanese have shares of all of the big Japanese companies, that they reminded the administration of the difficulty they might have in continuing to purchase the US debt.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 19:01 | 216524 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Agree. Team Obama is running out of big creditors to piss off. Good thing the Chinese detest the Japanese ( a long story from 60 years ago ). If they got together on a US debt-buying boycott, we'd be looking at a 9% 10-year T overnight.

Never a good idea to say fuck off to your banker while you're standing in the lending line.

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 03:48 | 216876 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

You ain't kiddin.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:28 | 216031 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I don't buy the conspiracy theory. Toyota has a faulty accelerator and they have hidden it under the floor mat, so to speak. I don't believe that the LATimes story about the death of the CHIP officer and his family was fabricated by the US government nor all the other deaths caused by the accelerator problem. The US government does a lot of things wrong, but big Corps are quite capable of blundering too.

I suspect families will be suing the US government along with Toyota because they both knew there was a problem and didn't act in a timely fashion to fix it. I think there is just a lot of ass-covering going on in the administration to hide their tardiness in getting these dangerous vehicles off the road earlier.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:15 | 216112 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Could not agree more. I think the conspiracy is at Toyota Corp. While Lexus was not involved in this recall - complete BS there - they also display the same problem. It's a problem which almost killed me when a speeding camry nearly rear-ended me at 100mph on 280.

I swerved right. I thought he was some crazy bastard. I didn't find out that it was some 60-year old guy. He ended up rear-ending and killing someone in a Honda about 2 miles ahead of me.

The real conspiracy is the billions of dollars that Toyota and Japan's economy stand to lose. I don't think the REAL problem is 'faulty gas pedals'. I have reason to suspect the real problem is the on-board computer - specifically the logic behind the electronic gear-shift.

Each year, your car gets more and more high tech. Computers do more and more of the work. Who tests the logic of a car's on-board computer? What are the testing standards if the are any? If there's accountability to be had, the gun has to be pointed at both Toyota and the U.S. Gov't branch delegated to oversee consumer safety.

The reason they're recalling this is because its such a huge to their bottom line and probably their reputation. Do you remember Firestone after the wheel debacle came out? There's countless reputation-killers. This one probably sits near the top. This newly released statement is more of a belated Cover Your Ass memo than a protectionist push towards 'buy American' There are still plenty of foreign car makers selling quality vehicles (i.e. Honda anyone? VW?) which are not involved, nor will they be impacted adversely by Toyota's recall. The Obama administration is right to be worried - they're going to catch a hell of a lot of public anger/outcry for not 'speaking up earlier'.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:38 | 216046 Magua
Magua's picture

So let me get this straight, The government is;

1) Bashing Toyota, while the government and its labor friends own General Motors and Chrysler.

2) Pushing for mandatory investment in annuities, while it owns 80% of the largest annuity issuer.

Big brother has got to protect "your" public investments

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:52 | 216073 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

They may want to be a little cautious: the Japanese may decide to dump their US Treasury holdings in order to spend, spend, spend their way through the depression.

Might not bode well for future multi-trillion $ US deficits.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:58 | 216082 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Toyota's reputation definately not damaged, especially when you consider how long they've been producing excellent vehicles. No North American auto builder could begin to scratch their fine reputation. Ditto for Honda.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:03 | 216089 Dr Hackenbush
Dr Hackenbush's picture


unless, it isn't

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:07 | 216098 Kissy Ass
Kissy Ass's picture

Funny, looks like Uncle Sam is taking a page from the Goldman playbook.

You know, Goldman does not want US investments in the `China Bubble` so they declare it a dangerous toppy bubble. LoL Beware, don't get burned, invest in AmeriKa not China. LoL.

So Goldman gets a call from the Treasury asking: "How can we use the same rhetoric that you guys use to dissuade investment in China, but apply it to the US auto industry"....

This is awesome, great, and a wonderful idea.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:14 | 216110 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

i havent looked at the ZH store lately but I am starting to think they will be selling tinhats with their logo soon...

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:12 | 216103 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

who drives toyota? lol im rich b*tch im a real big tymaa

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:13 | 216105 suteibu
suteibu's picture

I see all the government agents have come in late to smear Toyota and tell everyone here that we're stupid for questioning the goodness and wisdom of our government.  Can't wait until the inevitable recall from the new Government Motors. 

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:30 | 216143 Screwball
Screwball's picture

I don't trust our government, but I don't trust Toyota either.  Do you trust the banks or the media for example?  Just because you have contempt for the government, as many of us do, it doesn't make the entity blaming them as credible either.  From my years serving in corporate America, I distrust them as much as the government. They are one and the same - trust none of them.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:41 | 216166 suteibu
suteibu's picture

I don't disagree with you about corporate America, including Toyota.  What I see is overkill by the government on this with dangerous undertones since they obviously have some skin in this game.  However, I will say this about responsibility in the Asian culture that is different than here.  When this kind of thing happens in Japan, someone will take responsibility and apologize and resign.  Some commit suicide because of the shame it places on their company and their family.  In this country, the person responsible writes a book, hits the talk show circuit, and reappears with another company.  Say what you will, but there is a difference.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:06 | 216208 Screwball
Screwball's picture

Point taken.  Maybe I'm too old, but I don't trust anyone.  I will be interesting to see how this shakes out, if we ever find out the real truth.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 16:03 | 216292 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Maybe I'm too old, but I don't trust anyone." 

I understand your point but if I may answer (being from the over 50 crowd myself) as long as you are not throwing a blanket over everything and anything and not trusting on general principals, I see nothing wrong with being distrustful.

After the finger has been burned enough times, common sense and survival instincts requires that you approach life with a heightened sense of caution. In so many cases they really are out to get us.

In fact, it's in the best interest of parties with dark motives to play upon the natural sense of trust humans generally extend to each other when dealing with each other. We have a tendency to treat others as we wish to be treated and we tend to believe someone else can be trusted if we are trustworthy ourselves.

Unfortunately the true sociopaths and psycopaths use this against us at every turn. As far as I'm concerned, I assume that any corporation or person in power does not have my best interest in mind when dealing with me and move forward from there. That doesn't mean I hate everyone, only that I understand my natural tendencies and that in this world they are often used against me.

After the 10th time of having my own pencil taken from my hand and jammed into my eye, I no longer greet strangers with pencils or any other sharp objects on my person. I still smile and shake hands. But I don't immediately sleep with the person and I always wear a condom.

Safe sex with corporations and governments. What's wrong with that? 

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:18 | 216118 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

This kind of thing is going to happen more often.

There are way to many electronics in cars these days. You can't even see the engine and there's just way too much automatic everything. It's not "if" but "when" something like this happens again. It's not just financial products that jack up risk as they get more complex.

The worst part is, now that cars park themselves and that probably only 1 in 5 Americans can conceptualize a mechanical solution in the event of an emergency where some computer chip suddenly accelerates the car (brakes...shift out of gear...kill ignition etc.) Call 911? give me a break, that's for when McDonald's short changes you at the drive through.

After some American car model kills a few people the government will respond by having cars "expire" after five years or so (check engine light goes on and stays on)...for your own good of course....and that will have the benefit of creating a permanent demand floor for new cars!

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 16:26 | 216333 ThreeTrees
ThreeTrees's picture

Oh there's ways other than "expiry", Google the term "shaken".  It's a mandatory inspection process that's mandatory for all automobiles in Japan.  Let me just say there's a reason used Japanese cars can by imported to places like Canada and Australia dirt cheap.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:24 | 216131 TheGoodDoctor
TheGoodDoctor's picture

Douchebaggery! LaHood just backtracked on his statements. Anyone wonder if the Japanese government threatened to dump treasuries? Hmmmmmm. One wonders.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:40 | 216163 Dixie Normous
Dixie Normous's picture

They didn't even have to make a call.

Sect of Labor: ahh, LaHood?

LaHood: Yes?

Sect. of Labor: You do realize that Toyota, it's suppliers, dealers, advertisers, etc. employ hundreds of thousands of Americans. Right?

Lahood: Really?

Sect. of Labor: And there appears to be a bit of a jobs issue in the country right now.

LaHood: Oh wow, so do think what I said might jeopardize our efforts to show only 10% unemployment?


Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:26 | 216135 Comrade de Chaos
Comrade de Chaos's picture

It does sound like a witchhunt. It's rather sad when taking into consideration the fact that TOYOTA has oppened more North America plants in the last decade then the Deitroit trio combined.

I just don't get WTF is media so f obidient? They increasingly sound like Putin's media across the lake, when the party says jump they ask how hogh. Sick.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:35 | 216141 Comrade de Chaos
Comrade de Chaos's picture

"Ford is the only company not owned by the Government and is making it on their own with great quality vehicles that are beyond Toyota and Honda per Consumer Reports and other quality rating organizations."


haha. Take a 5 year old Ford vs. 5 year old Honda, only than those ratings are going to be worth anything. Beyond, it was the Japanese car makers pressure that made our cars more reliable. SO let's take the competition away and watch what will happen next. Well, there is no need to guess on what will happen next.

5 MPG with 2 repair stops every other week. It has its upside, just think of all of the jobs in the car repair "industry" it will create.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:40 | 216164 chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

American consumers aren't stupid and Ford and GM cars still have a pretty crappy reputation (although Ford is getting better, from what I understand).

The gubmint can say anything they want, and people might stop driving (or even buying) Toyotas, but they'll just go buy a Honda instead.  Or a Nissan.  Or a Kia.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:25 | 216239 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"American consumers aren't stupid"

Are you sure about that? Plenty of American Idol watching
nitwits driving GM cars with 7yr GMAC loans. However
this won't drive buisness to GM poeple who were going
to buy a toyota will likely buy a Honda or
Hyndai instead, and the smart poeple will just be that much
more annoyed with the UAW/Obongo butt buddy combo...

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 14:50 | 216180 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture


Goldman Sachs downgrades Toyota (TM) to neutral from buy,
predicting company's market share and stock performance could be sluggish for three to six months. That's what previous major recalls by Honda (HMC) and Ford (F) suggest, and Goldman sees no reason it'll be better this time.
Expects "further harsh news flow surrounding Toyota until recall problems are resolved."

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:11 | 216220 Screwball
Screwball's picture

Speaking of irony, the shitheads on CNBC have been carping about their falling stock price.  Beaker and MCC more than anyone (how those two are on TV is still a mystery) and have talked about it every chance they get. Blaming the government for all the trouble.  Maybe it's my contempt for these clowns, but if they would just shut the hell up about it, maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal. Report on it and move on.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:00 | 216196 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

It is hard to feel sorry for Japanese exporters when they meet a teeny bit of nationalist resistance. After all, for decades the Japanese have worked diligently to prevent US products from being sold in Japan. Moreover, Toyota has real problems. This may be the largest and most expensive recall ever, and they have handled it extremely poorly, with a very late acknowledgement of the problem, too little effort to inform the affected owners, a highly inefficient manner of distributing replacement parts, and a generally bad attitude. Yes, the US manufacturers have all commmitted similar gaffes, but Toyota's stock and its car prices have a massive premium built in because of their perceived edge in quality. That premium will be reduced: this is not a temporary blip in Toyota's reputation but rather a medium-severity event that crystallized perceptions of a host of existing problems.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:01 | 216197 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

LoL never heard the safety heads grounding any of the ford explorers despite their being flipover death boxes

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 14:16 | 217414 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Pay no attention to that real hot exhaust pipe just inches from the inner sidewall of your passenger rear tire..................

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:10 | 216219 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

That is bad bad bad bews. Japan will have less dollars sucked out of the American consumer to buy even lesser of our Treasuries. Which means interest rates will rise and people will buy even fewer cars (less of all brands).
circular argument for high rates.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 15:27 | 216247 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I wonder if this affects GM cars that are really rebadged toyotas. My wife drives a pontiac vibe and its just a rebadged toyota corolla - chasis and drive train. She said she has had a couple of instances where the car starts accelerating on its own but it has been in low speed instances like parking.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 16:03 | 216297 suteibu
suteibu's picture

Wouldn't that be the ultimate irony?

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 16:08 | 216308 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I m long toyota today.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:21 | 216395 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

my girlfriend also.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 16:50 | 216348 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Only a moron would buy a LEXUS. It is nothing more than a rebadged Toyota using the exact same parts (and part numbers) as the regular Toyota vehicle. Only a fool would pay more for one.

There are a lot mor 5 year old + American cars on the road than foreign vehicles. Most foreign vehicles bodies are worn out beyond safe use by then. Just check the junk yards and the statistics - those from the real world and not the Toyota-paid media.


Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:18 | 216388 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

US cars are crap.
Nobody in europe buys a us car,
but toyotas, also in the
whole world.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:31 | 216407 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

turn the key, push the
automatic on neutral,
turn the key back,
that the steering is not
I have done it with my Hummer
2 times in the last month.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 16:52 | 216350 ThreeTrees
ThreeTrees's picture

Bottome line:  Drive-by-wire can suck it.  Give me a throttle cable and a physical connection to the steering rack any day.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 18:40 | 216499 jakeman
jakeman's picture


Wed, 02/03/2010 - 21:45 | 216650 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

That's exactly the problem and the one Toyota will not mention. There is something wrong with their drive-by-wire.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:43 | 216419 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Considering that many of Toyota's models are manufactured in the US by US workers with US parts, isn't this administration shooting itself in the foot by letting Ray Lahood run his mouth in front of a camera?

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:49 | 216432 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

this guy is GS sponsored,
naked short.
Upgrade in 5 days.
"Toyota solves the problem now".

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 17:48 | 216429 crzyhun
crzyhun's picture

While agree with the previous points made by you all.....but this is the smell of trade war, skid marks all over the place.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 21:25 | 216638 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Toyota's quality has been sucking off & on for years.

I was a "lucky" brand-new 2000 Corolla buyer.

5 1/2 years in, 95K miles, engine craps out on me.

Used replacement engine, 6 months and 10K miles later, craps out on me. I told them the car was theirs (for a small fee).

Dealership and Toyota HQ refused to do anything about it.

Crappy engine re-design in '98 thru '02 for a few models. Caused a lot of problems. I later read that engines were going at 70K, 50K, even 30K miles. Toyota refused to acknowledge anything was wrong. Too costly a recall, both in terms of money and image (more $).

Amazingly, I traded it in at the time for another Toyota. Why? Family had driven Toyotas for more than 20 years at that point. Never a problem besides mine.

My '06 has been fine. Knock on wood.

That's my story....

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 22:10 | 216669 Privatus
Privatus's picture

Complete hysteria over an extraordinarily anomalous defect by the statistically most reliable - by far - auto manufacturer in the world. The utter, utter garbage manufactured by the Big Three (plus American Motors) in the '70s and Detroit's parlous mismanagement are what gave Toyota its window of opportunity and led to the bankruptcy of the US automotive industry one generation later. GM? Never again. Chrysler? Never again. Ford, perhaps, but it has a long way to catch up with the metric kilotonnes of goodwill earned by Toyota. Toyota is supposed to be finished because of this one anomaly? Step away from the crack pipe, Detroit.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 23:53 | 216742 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

These situations tend to overshoot so while TM may be a good short here, there will come a day where it's gonna be a great buy.  Once they fix this issue, they will be fine and while it may take some time to repair their reputation, Americans have extremely short memories and anyone who goes and buys an American car will be quickly reminded of what pieces of shit they are.  Millions of people are driving Toyotas right now and they aren't crashing their cars.  This too shall pass.  When to buy, when to buy?

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 00:42 | 216785 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

good, I nearly wanted to buy the lexus in december thanks to ben the printer but held back; now i get a 30% discount, hey that's $15k more for my trading pool, a good month's trading profit :)

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 03:00 | 216854 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Subaru, bitches!

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 14:19 | 217425 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Keep an eye on that mile long timing belt. Especially if you are a "sport" driver with a turbo subi.

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