Consumer Reports nixes Toyota
This "do not buy" recommendation
is especially salient and poignant because it was Consumer Reports that triggered Toyota's original takeover of the American market.
Toyota has been around for a long time, starting in the '30s with a copy of the Chrysler Airflow.
They began sending cars to America in the '50s without much success. Partly because the "Toyopet Paster Ribbon"
was a fairly big car when Americans who bought foreign were looking for small; partly because the "Toyopet Paster Ribbon" was called the "Toyopet Paster Ribbon".
has been around for a long time too!]
After several generations of improvement and half-hearted importation, they tried again in the early '70s with the Corona.
That's when Consumer Reports stepped in, noticing that the repair and reliability records of Toyotas were stunningly
better than any other car in any price range.
The difference was indeed stunning. At the time I was an active shade-tree mechanic, fixing imported cars for friends and relatives. When a friend asked me to tune up her Toyota, I was astonished by its superiority and integrity
. Driving qualities (steering, handling, shifting, ergonomics) were beyond anything I'd ever experienced, and the internal parts were beautiful and pleasant to work with. At every point where machine interacted with human, whether driver or mechanic, Toyota's engineers had taken infinite care to make the experience solid and satisfying. So round, so firm, so fully packed, so easy on the draw.
Thus Toyota's current mess is truly distressing, especially because the main failure occurs at that critical human-machine contact point. I have to conclude they've grown fat and complacent like GM, though probably not quite