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Old 12-15-2007, 07:37 AM   #1
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New Tundra Recall

Tundra recall: Toyota's new woe

Drive shaft issue with 16,000 pickups adds to recent quality concerns.

Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday that it would recall close to 16,000 new Tundra pickups in an announcement likely to generate fresh concern about lapses in the Japanese automaker's vehicle quality.
Toyota's standing has slipped in recent surveys, and it was dealt a blow in October when the influential Consumer Reports magazine said it would no longer automatically recommend new Toyota vehicles because of a drop in the reliability of some recent models.
The Tundra recall represents a further setback for the company, which has been the leader in quality for decades.
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Toyota said it was recalling 15,600 four-wheel-drive 2007 Tundras, or just under 10 percent of the new Tundras sold, to check the rear drive shaft. In some cases, a joint in the shaft may have been improperly heat-treated and may be too soft. That could cause the shaft to separate at the joint. The shaft transmits the drive force from the engine to the axles.
Toyota said the defect had not caused accidents or injuries, but it had seen an instance in which a customer complained of noise and the joint turned out to be too soft.
Owners will be notified starting later this month.
While the recall is modest in scope, it adds to the negative chatter about the new truck. Some customers have complained about problems with the tailgate, and 20 owners suffered engine failures early this year because of defective camshafts delivered by a supplier for the new 5.7-liter engine.
When Toyota rolled out the third-generation Tundra last year, executives described it as the most important launch in the company's 50-year history in North America.
"This is an all-new platform, and an all-new truck. The big engine is also new. A lot is going on there," said George Peterson, president of consulting firm AutoPacific in Tustin, Calif. "Even a Toyota is going to have some problems."
With the new Tundra, Toyota hoped to take a bigger slice of the full-size pickup segment dominated by Detroit's Big Three.
Tundra sales are up 58 percent this year, bolstered by generous incentives, but Toyota is unlikely to achieve its goal to sell 200,000 this year. Through November, it has sold 177,336.
"It looks like they'll fall short unless they have a really good December, but they'll come close," Peterson said. "Selling as many as they did is good news. The truck is pulling sales from competitors."
In the past two years, Toyota's CEO Katsuaki Watanabe has made it his highest priority to restore top-notch quality. The first vehicle to go through the more rigorous "Customer First" process is the Toyota Highlander SUV launched in October.
You can reach Christine Tierney at (313) 222-1463 or ctierney@detnews.com.
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:08 AM   #2
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Toyota is not alone. Nissan is recalling some Titans and Armadas because they wired up the a/c radiator fan to run backwards, pushing instead of pulling.
Seems like maybe the Japanesse manufacturers are taking a page from the American manufacturers, and not the one about "quality is job 1".
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:57 AM   #3
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humm, where are these units being manufactured?
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:12 AM   #4
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humm, where are these units being manufactured?
Indiana and Texas.

My 07 Double Cab 4x4 was made in Texas and may be on the list.

It sounds to me like Toyota jumped on this problem quickly and is doing the right thing.
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Old 12-15-2007, 12:05 PM   #5
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Toyota is violating the japanese quality rules.

In 1989 my company had an expansion going on with our japanese joint venture partner. Our ex vp asked for a buildup schedule (units per day) and their operating director flat refused to give us one. His explanation was very simple; how do I know when the material specs will be right?, when will the equipment be debugged?, when will "tap on the shoulder" labor training be complete?,and a host of other unknowns? He then went on to explain that the "japanese market" would punish a manufacturer who produced a less than quality product.

Toyota has way over extended their organization. They are building too many factories at one time. The only question is whether the american public has a competitors product that is capable of exacting the punishment.
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Old 12-15-2007, 12:36 PM   #6
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I have an '02 Tundra Access Cab 4WD with a 3.4l six. I absolutely love it. It's had one recall for ball joints; I got new ball joints and a free alignment at 57,000 miles. I was quite pleased!

I've looked at the '07 Tundras, and frankly I'd seriously have to consider all of the competitors before I'd buy a new Tundra. I'm just not a fan of the new truck. IMHO, they've missed their old Tundra target market altogether in going after the market of the "big three". The new Tacoma is aimed at the old Tundra buyer market, and there's no one building trucks in their older and smaller "compact truck" line market any more.

That said, for building a new truck from the ground up, I have to say I don't think only having a couple of small recalls is all that bad.

I think the '04 F150 has had four or five recalls; that was the first year of the new body for them.

So far as I can find on the web right now, the '07 F150 has had two recalls, one electrical, and one for the fuel tank.

The '07 Chevy Silverado 1500 has only had one, and that had to do with the towing package Bargman plug being wired wrong.

Just in a quick check, I haven't been able to find anything for the '07 Titans, although I've read that the Titan has been problematic for some drivetrain service issues... althought I can't remember exactly what they were off the top of my head.

So, apparently the other manufacturers aren't doing any better than Toyota. It's just that Toyota had raised the bar so high it's hard for them to meet their own standards.

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Old 12-15-2007, 01:16 PM   #7
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At least Toyota made the recall and didn't try to hide the problem or blame future accidents on "driver error". I too had the ball joint recall on my Tundra. It was fixed quickly by the dealer at no cost to me, except a couple of hours wait. I must agree that I would have a hard time buying the new Tundra because it looks like the other big boxy trucks on the market. I have the step-side which is no longer made. It is a beautiful truck and I continue to get stopped by strangers wanting to know if that's the "new" Tundra design. I also saw the video on the frame type used by Toyota vs. the box frame used by Ford. That was eye opening. Perhaps Toyota will correct their quality control and address the frame issue before I need a new truck.
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:12 PM   #8
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Perhaps Toyota will correct their quality control and address the frame issue before I need a new truck.
My Ford is 20 years old this year. If your Toyota lasts that long, you can afford to be patient.
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:07 PM   #9
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Just to set the record straight, I bought my husband a new Ford F-150, 5.4L Triton V8 as a gift four months ago so I could have my Toyota back and he would not have to drive the Japanese truck. He has been a Ford man his whole life. Have to admit the turning radius is better and it is a very comfortable truck, fun to drive. Bob loves his Fords. I asked him once what he would save first if the house was on fire. He said maybe I better sleep in that little yellow truck to be on the safe side.
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:29 PM   #10
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:43 PM   #11
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He said maybe I better sleep in that little yellow truck to be on the safe side.
Oh, wow... that truck was my very first "car"! A 1950 F-1!!! Flathead V8, granny gear low... wow! That was 1971... that truck was old THEN!

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Old 12-15-2007, 07:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by juel
Just to set the record straight, I bought my husband a new Ford F-150, 5.4L Triton V8 as a gift four months ago so I could have my Toyota back and he would not have to drive the Japanese truck. He has been a Ford man his whole life. Have to admit the turning radius is better and it is a very comfortable truck, fun to drive. Bob loves his Fords. I asked him once what he would save first if the house was on fire. He said maybe I better sleep in that little yellow truck to be on the safe side.
I'm liking Bob a LOT.

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Old 12-15-2007, 07:27 PM   #13
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It's a 52 Ford with the original Flathead V8 still in there. And you sure are right about that gear ratio. I keep thinking I need to shift again, but then I'm out of gears. He even has one of those evaporative coolers to fit in the window, for you old folks like me who remember what I'm talking about.
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:50 PM   #14
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I'm liking Bob a LOT.

Barry
Me, too. I had a 1950 F1 that I drove to work in Louisville. I finally pulled out the tired 90 hp flathead and 3 speed, and put in a 351 cleveland and automatic. One of the other engineers talked me into selling it to him, he promptly wrapped it around a tree the next weekend.
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