Bad news for Hummer, Hyundai, Suzuki & of course Toyota
Bad news hit several automakers over the past few days, not least of which is Toyota’s continued pounding due to recalls. Hyundai and Suzuki have also joined the recall craze, while Hummer suffers from bad news of a different kind.
In the United States, Toyota bosses are now being questioned by politicians in an inquiry into whether the Japanese automaker deliberately hid safety issues. This comes in the wake of an internal company memo bragging about saving US$ 100 million by avoiding recalls. Also, it gets worse for Toyota, as a news channel claims to prove an electronic defect for unintended acceleration, while it has come out that Toyota recalled floor-mats ten years ago in Britain for the Lexus IS, but not anywhere else. It also doesn’t help that many U.S. victims of various Toyota accidents are suing the company.
Moving on, Hyundai already has a recall out for the 2011 Sonata, just as it was starting to trickle into U.S. dealerships. The Sonata’s front doors has a feature that allows a locked door to be unlocked and opened by pulling the inside door release handle without first unlocking the door with the inside door-lock switch. If a front inside door lock switch is held in the locked position while the inside door handle is pulled to open the door, the door latch may malfunction. If this occurs, the inside door handle will not return to its normal, stowed position and the door latch will remain in the unlatched position when attempting to close the door. In the GCC, we assume this only affects the handful of demo cars used at last month’s media event in Oman, to which we weren’t invited. Falling out of a moving car and off a cliff in Salalah isn’t our idea of a good time anyway.
And India is playing along too, as a faulty fuel-pump gasket forces the recall of the Maruti Suzuki A-Star to replace the leaky gasket. It will cover A-Star models belonging to a lot manufactured till August 22, 2009. These include cars shipped overseas. We don’t know what action will be taken for the Indian-built cars here, sold in the UAE as the Suzuki Celerio since last summer.
And to top it all off, Hummer is not suffering from any recalls. The brand is going to be killed off gradually, according to a General Motors statement. Apparently the deal to sell to the Chinese didn’t go through, possibly due to the communist government’s interference. But spare parts will still be available for the next 10 years, in theory anyway.
On another note, we find it funny that, while millions of cars from various manufacturers get recalled in America every year, these recalls are brushed off in the GCC with statements saying it does not affect cars in the Middle East. We appreciate the fact that only perfectly-built cars get shipped to this region.