Full disclosure: I grew up in Metro Detroit, so I’m connected to the automotive industry via uncles, second cousins, great uncles, parent, friends, friends parents and our neighbor cool Joe, all of whom have worked for the big 3 or one of their suppliers at one point. Upon hearing that I was getting a Volkswagen, one family member said “Well, I won’t disown you, Adam, but… I may not help you fix it… ha ha.” I don’t think he was kidding. By the way, the VW was given to me and, luckily, didn’t need that much work (as long as I always parked it at the top of a hill).
It was an unspoken rule and eventually became part of my DNA — buy American, especially when it comes to vehicles.
This clashed with what I read as I grew up, that manufacturers like Toyota and Honda were second to none when it came to overall quality. Toyota was especially known for its TQM (Total Quality Management) and even led other car manufacturers to learn from (copy) their design and manufacturing techniques.
Oh, what a feeling.
I’m not ready to draw any conclusions yet. It’s too early. I will say that it’s not fun to watch something go bad, even though my Big-3 DNA says to do otherwise. My Big-3 DNA also remembers Firestone Tires, Misplaced Fuel Tanks and, oh boy, the Edsel.
I find it fascinating that the US Government, whose job it is to protect and administer, are now in the awkward position of also being a stakeholder in the automotive business as you and I are all tax-paying owners of GM.
I also think it shows how geared toward faithfulness we are when we see something we trusted — Toyota, or even Tiger Woods (or even Ted Haggard) — become untrustworthy. It really does shake some people up. The world is full of things that disappoint. “Everything under the sun is meaningless!” writes Solomon.
I wonder if a bunch of Toyota Dealerships will be putting up barricades to stop Corollas from running through the walls of the service center? Maybe that will be part of the recall: new pedals and cement walls.
I wonder if this will all be forgotten in 6 weeks?
I wonder why that guy isn’t stopping for that red light…