When looking at auto scandals, such as the one Volkswagen’s facing right now, you have to wonder just what could possibly be the worst — is it the tires like with Firestone and Ford? Or perhaps it’s all about the cutthroat marketing with GM and Chrysler? No. It has to be something that could very well jeopardize human life. Acceleration. And we saw something like that before regarding Audi (although that automaker was indeed vindicated).
This Toyota Scandal Is Exactly About That: Acceleration
To be clear, that’s unintended acceleration. When your car seems to be gaining in speed and you don’t even have your foot on the pedal, there’s a problem! And it turned out that only just three years ago, Toyota had agreed to pay the government an astonishing $1.2B, avoiding prosecution in the automotive industry for years of proof showing unintended acceleration occurrences with your Toyota and Lexus models.
This payout happened to be the largest criminal penalty ever. And with no surprise, the Toyota scandal did result in the carmaker blaming the issue on everything but the kitchen sink —
- Driver Errors
- Floor Mats
- Lack of Proof
Sadly, it turned out that the Toyota scandal had been blanketed by the fact that the company was effectively hiding documents about the one central flaw — the gas pedal assembly! Executives of Toyota had to take one good look at their hands and realize that the skin’s smeared with the stains of many facing the flaw and potentially realizing death due to accidents that could be prevented.
It’s a Miracle Toyota Still Manufactures Vehicles Today
That’s tenacity and professionalism, something Volkswagen can take notes on regarding the Toyota scandal of that decade. Toyota admitted fault, recalling 9.3MM vehicles worldwide. Replacing those gas pedal assemblies took a lot of money, but in the long run it was well worth it for the automaker. And the truth shall set you free.