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Old 04-14-2010, 10:58 PM   #1
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More Problems for Toyota?

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This Time, Swift Action From Toyota
By MICHELINE MAYNARD
Published: April 14, 2010

DETROIT — The chief engineer in Japan for the Lexus GX 460 sport utility vehicle was roused from bed early Tuesday by a phone call from Toyota engineers in the United States.

The company had gotten advance notice from Consumer Reports magazine that it would warn buyers not to buy the vehicle. The magazine said its safety tests had determined the GX 460 had a dangerous handling problem that caused its rear end to swerve and had a risk of rollover.

After absorbing the predawn news, a Lexus spokesman said, the Japanese engineer immediately promised to get on it. Later on Tuesday, Toyota announced it was temporarily halting sales of the $52,000 luxury S.U.V., demonstrating that it had learned the lessons of dawdling during a safety crisis — and also reflecting the influence Consumer Reports exerts.

While Toyota’s step might have seemed an overreaction under other circumstances, it had no choice given the current climate, auto analysts said Wednesday. “Safety problems and Toyota seem to be lumped together in the zeitgeist right now,” said James Bell, an executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book, which tracks vehicle trends.

Through the years, Consumer Reports’ positive recommendations of Toyota vehicles — the company makes Toyota and Lexus brands — were a factor in the Japanese automaker’s rise to second place in the American car market, behind General Motors. Many car buyers walk into the company’s showrooms carrying the magazine’s car-buying issue.

But in late January, Consumer Reports suspended some of its positive recommendations when Toyota temporarily stopped building and selling eight models involved in a recall for sticking accelerator pedals. The company has since resumed production and sales of those vehicles, but the magazine’s positive recommendations have not returned.

Ever since, Toyota has been working closely with the magazine’s editors, and Toyota executives said last month that they hoped the return of the positive, or recommended, ratings on those vehicles was imminent. That might help explain why Toyota moved only hours after hearing the magazine’s recommendation on the GX without being prodded by federal safety regulators.

On Wednesday, as Lexus dealers provided loaner cars to owners who felt uncomfortable driving their GX models, Toyota engineers were focused on fixing the problem. The engineers were going over the Consumer Reports’ data, video footage and other information about the tests the vehicle had failed. Consumer Reports provided Toyota with the materials, said Ken Weine, a spokesman for the magazine’s parent, Consumers Union.

The handling problem arises if the driver of a GX eases off the gas pedal while driving quickly through a sharp turn, the magazine said. That causes the rear end of the vehicle to slide toward the outside of the turn, a condition called “trailing throttle oversteer.”

David Champion, the senior director of Consumer Reports auto testing, has theorized the control system was at fault, but Toyota had reached no conclusion on Wednesday.

“Our engineering teams are vigorously testing the GX using Consumer Reports’ specific parameters to identify how we can make the GX’s performance even better,” Mark Templin, the general manager of Lexus, said in a statement posted on the division’s Web site.

Consumer Reports said it would not let the company use its testing track because of a longstanding policy of barring manufacturers from its test facilities. “We test for consumers. They are our constituency,” Mr. Weine said. “We don’t test for manufacturers or the government.”

That means the automaker must try to reproduce the turn and surface at a test facility in Japan, in part relying on satellite photos from Google, said the Lexus spokesman, Bill Kwong. “We are going to try and duplicate it as much as possible,” he said.

If they can do so, Mr. Kwong said Toyota engineers would check tires and the vehicle’s suspension as well as the responsiveness of the electronic stability control system, which is meant to stabilize the car.

The company’s fast response to the problem, analysts said, showed that the lessons of the last half year, in which Toyota was criticized by federal officials, members of Congress and lawyers for taking too long to deal with safety issues that led to the recall of six million vehicles in the United States and eight million worldwide.

Lexus had largely escaped the taint of the recalls even though the highest-profile accident involving a stuck accelerator, involving a former California state trooper and his family, took place in a Lexus ES 350 sedan. Over all, Lexus sales were up in 2010, even before Toyota initiated generous incentives in response to the recalls that caused its sales to soar in March.

And it had high hopes for the latest version of the GX, introduced in December and built at a high-tech plant in Tahara, Japan. Lexus has sold 4,787 GX models so far this year, up 180 percent from 2009, when the previous version was phased out.

Based on the same frame as the Toyota 4Runner sport utility, the GX starts at $52,800 with destination charges and features a 4.6-liter V-8 engine.

Before Consumer Reports “don’t buy” designation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s defects database showed only one consumer complaint about a sliding problem with the vehicle, dated March 10. That complaint had not appeared on the database until Wednesday. A second customer also wrote to the agency on Tuesday, asking for information about the newly publicized problem, the database showed.

Nick Bunkley contributed reporting from Detroit and Christopher Jensen from Bethlehem, N.H.
A version of this article appeared in print on April 15, 2010, on page B1 of the New York edition.
Toyota Deals Quickly With GX 460 Problem - NYTimes.com
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:32 AM   #2
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

They just need to do what they have been doing, Deny it all... seems to work for them.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Yep, saw this yesterday. "When it rains it pours" comes to mind.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:21 PM   #4
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

I need to get my girlfriend out of her matix before they find out something is wrong with it too.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:31 PM   #5
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Toyota is beginning to remind me of the Big 3 back in the 80's. One mistake after another, looking for the dollar and not quality.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:57 PM   #6
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

They were on top, let quality fall due to they knew people would just ride on the band wagon and BAM it hit.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

They went from safe and reliable to dangerous almost overnight. I don't think things are as bad as the media is portraying it to be, but it's definitely good news for companies like ford who are improving reliability and safety.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:51 PM   #8
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Just a thought..

Don't forget the basics when cars go awry | detnews.com | The Detroit News
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:55 PM   #9
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

I don't agree with what that guy was saying. Good input though.
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:58 PM   #10
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

All I have to say is,

Toyota orina me via.
Ive ha detto che esso è lungo toyota un tranello mortale.
Ford Lincoln Mercurio lungo vivo.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:51 PM   #11
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTCOBRA View Post
All I have to say is,

Toyota orina me via.
Ive ha detto che esso è lungo toyota un tranello mortale.
Ford Lincoln Mercurio lungo vivo.
lol

Sí, ma il 1970 Ford Pinto è stato un tranello mortale

I was kind of curious as to what you had to say Monte, not trying to knock your company. Last I heard the acceleration problem was being reevaluated to see if it could be the electronic signal, but I have no doubt that a few floor mats got caught under the pedal, someone thought it might be dangerous and now Toyota has a massive recall.

While I'd like to say that it seems Toyota is just riding their sales on the "reliability factor" (or up until recently were), the cars still aren't breaking down, randomly going ablaze (although in the paper yesterday there was a photo of a NYC taxi cab (looked like a Toyota minvan or Prius) engulfed in flames) other than the sticky floor mats and back end oversteer.

While no design is with out flaw, I have to say that, in my own personal opinion, the Toyota engineers and designers could step it up a notch.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:43 AM   #12
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Thanks for the kind words, Osiris And I agree on the kicking it up a notch.. But not just for quality, but for introducing some more affordable and more exciting vehicles.

The goal of Scion, for example, was to get young people into the brand The tC accomplished that by a landslide, but if they wanted to move up and out of the scion brand as they aged... What would they move to in the Toyota world? A corolla XRS? give me a break, you don't go from a 'sporty' coupe to a lame sedan - you go from a 'sporty' entry level coupe to a 'sporty' mid level coupe, at least I wouldn't want to go from a coupe to a sedan if I weren't weird and into buicks...

Upton, upton upton...
Keep in mind, I'm a ford guy at heart, I'm a fan of our squeaks, rattles, creaks, weak transmissions and sub par paint (At least from the generations of mustangs that I have owned haha, I know Ford has improved a ton.)


I still respect Toyota's appliances.
Say what you want about quality, but I don't buy the unintended acceleration deal...

If there were going to be electronic interference, the way everything is integrated it'd affect radio/power windows/combination meter, things that aren't shielded as well, way before the accelerator circuits.. Solar flares wouldn't reach out and screw with JUST the accelerator circuit and completely kill all control to (mechanically linked) brakes and transmission control at the same time (most of which are still mechanically linked).

As unfortunate as the deaths in San Diego were.. The gas pedal was still stuck under the incorrect floor mat AFTER the wreck, and that's what set the majority of this in motion.

I've seen one case where the lady claimed UA, two floor mats were in place, neither factory and neither secured in any way.. And there was a coconut on the drivers side floor. Yes, an actual coconut

A lot of the complaints, after being investigated were people not realizing that their cars were acting exactly the same way they had been (transmissions downshifting as they slow down, RPMs go up.. Car is not accelerating but people are suddenly paying attention to the tach.. they see the RPMs go up while coming to a stop and they think 'oh my god, my car is one of the affected, I'd better let people know' and they realized their cars were fine after the fact, or after it was explained and/or demonstrated on another similar car.

Not to mention the sheer statistics out there that crashes caused by 'UA' (NOT related to floor mat and not reproduced nor verified) seem to affect only the senior and elderly above 60, and usually in parking lots and other low speed instances. Who knew that UA would be targeting basically only our elders? Hell my grandma wrote me a letter disagreeing with all the Toyota media attention - She told me she often had to consciously think about where she put her feet because she couldn't go by pedal feel from the time she was 70. She drove until she was 90 She said 'the acceleration may have been unintentional, but it might not be the car's fault' Just as a computer program can receive a faulty input, the driver's foot can be that faulty input. It's entirely possible

And guess which car company is comprised of mostly older customers?

... Not going to rant anymore, just had to respond to your line that you disagreed with the article - I chose to share that one because I'd had the link today, but there have been several that linked a lot of this to media doom and gloom, and have said someone needs to start looking at the drivers, as well as the vehicles.


Was chatting with a 50something guy at Toyota dragway at Irwindale tonight.. Who was driving a 492 CI stroked mopar, he was telling me how they have a prius and love the thing, he feels the 48-50mpg they get regularly easily counters the 6MPG his car gets.

The best line he said is "anyone who says their Prius accelerated wildly out of control is an idiot and I'm scared to be on the road with them, our prius is one of the slowest cars I've ever driven."

And Upton, your GFs matrix is fine and should provide years of safe. trouble free service for her. However I bet she'd look great in a new TC or FT86

Of course she'd look great in a mustang, too

*edit - How's that for input, Upton?
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:05 AM   #13
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

What really makes me upset about this whole Toyota thing is not that their cars are accelerating out of control or all their recalls, because all manufactures have their problems. It is the fact that they are not truthful to the consumer that really pisses me off.

Good sources of mine have said that Toyota knew of these problems and more or less blew it off. To me that is a company that doesn't deserve a "look up to" image in quality and reliability in the automotive industry.

Don't get me wrong Toyota vehicles get good fuel milage but they play the consumer for stupid and the consumers plays along.

I have never liked Toyota. I have always campaigned against Toyota but to each their own.

But I wish people would look past the recalls and look at how Toyota cares about its consumers. They really don't have the customer in mind if they blame everyone else when it is their self to blame.

By the way what did OsirisGuy mean when he said
"I was kind of curious as to what you had to say Monte, not trying to knock your company"?
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:08 AM   #14
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OsirisGuy View Post
lol

Sí, ma il 1970 Ford Pinto è stato un tranello mortale
La merda succede al meglio.

LOL
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:39 PM   #15
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

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Originally Posted by MonteCitan View Post
Thanks for the kind words, Osiris And I agree on the kicking it up a notch.. But not just for quality, but for introducing some more affordable and more exciting vehicles.

The goal of Scion, for example, was to get young people into the brand The tC accomplished that by a landslide, but if they wanted to move up and out of the scion brand as they aged... What would they move to in the Toyota world? A corolla XRS? give me a break, you don't go from a 'sporty' coupe to a lame sedan - you go from a 'sporty' entry level coupe to a 'sporty' mid level coupe, at least I wouldn't want to go from a coupe to a sedan if I weren't weird and into buicks...

Upton, upton upton...
Keep in mind, I'm a ford guy at heart, I'm a fan of our squeaks, rattles, creaks, weak transmissions and sub par paint (At least from the generations of mustangs that I have owned haha, I know Ford has improved a ton.)


I still respect Toyota's appliances.
Say what you want about quality, but I don't buy the unintended acceleration deal...

If there were going to be electronic interference, the way everything is integrated it'd affect radio/power windows/combination meter, things that aren't shielded as well, way before the accelerator circuits.. Solar flares wouldn't reach out and screw with JUST the accelerator circuit and completely kill all control to (mechanically linked) brakes and transmission control at the same time (most of which are still mechanically linked).

As unfortunate as the deaths in San Diego were.. The gas pedal was still stuck under the incorrect floor mat AFTER the wreck, and that's what set the majority of this in motion.

I've seen one case where the lady claimed UA, two floor mats were in place, neither factory and neither secured in any way.. And there was a coconut on the drivers side floor. Yes, an actual coconut

A lot of the complaints, after being investigated were people not realizing that their cars were acting exactly the same way they had been (transmissions downshifting as they slow down, RPMs go up.. Car is not accelerating but people are suddenly paying attention to the tach.. they see the RPMs go up while coming to a stop and they think 'oh my god, my car is one of the affected, I'd better let people know' and they realized their cars were fine after the fact, or after it was explained and/or demonstrated on another similar car.

Not to mention the sheer statistics out there that crashes caused by 'UA' (NOT related to floor mat and not reproduced nor verified) seem to affect only the senior and elderly above 60, and usually in parking lots and other low speed instances. Who knew that UA would be targeting basically only our elders? Hell my grandma wrote me a letter disagreeing with all the Toyota media attention - She told me she often had to consciously think about where she put her feet because she couldn't go by pedal feel from the time she was 70. She drove until she was 90 She said 'the acceleration may have been unintentional, but it might not be the car's fault' Just as a computer program can receive a faulty input, the driver's foot can be that faulty input. It's entirely possible

And guess which car company is comprised of mostly older customers?

... Not going to rant anymore, just had to respond to your line that you disagreed with the article - I chose to share that one because I'd had the link today, but there have been several that linked a lot of this to media doom and gloom, and have said someone needs to start looking at the drivers, as well as the vehicles.


Was chatting with a 50something guy at Toyota dragway at Irwindale tonight.. Who was driving a 492 CI stroked mopar, he was telling me how they have a prius and love the thing, he feels the 48-50mpg they get regularly easily counters the 6MPG his car gets.

The best line he said is "anyone who says their Prius accelerated wildly out of control is an idiot and I'm scared to be on the road with them, our prius is one of the slowest cars I've ever driven."

And Upton, your GFs matrix is fine and should provide years of safe. trouble free service for her. However I bet she'd look great in a new TC or FT86

Of course she'd look great in a mustang, too

*edit - How's that for input, Upton?


Great input hope i didn't get you upset or anything i just didn't agree with a comment that guy made in the link you made.

And the matrix has to go its a piece. We both hate it lol.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:46 PM   #16
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

You should put her in nice little escape or something...my sister just bought an 09 fusion, it's pretty bomb.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:48 PM   #17
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Ya it will probably been gone here in a year or so hope it'll last till then.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:36 PM   #18
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Get her the new Taurus, probably one of the coolest Fords out now! Safe too.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:46 AM   #19
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

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Get her the new Taurus, probably one of the coolest Fords out now! Safe too.
Slight cost gap between the ford 500 and a matrix.. not quite the same class of car, either
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:40 PM   #20
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Slight cost gap between the ford 500 and a matrix.. not quite the same class of car, either
It was just a suggestion. Then again there is always the new fiesta.

But my uncle sent me this in a email and I thought I should share.

Hell I had a laugh.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:34 PM   #21
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Toyota to me is using GM's strategy lets buy our customers. I will admit I like the new 4Runner and some Toyota's. Ford is always 1st though.

I'd look at the Fiesta great gas mileage, sporty looks, good cargo space. OR how about a 2011 Mustang GT ? The Fusion and the Fusion hybrid are nice. The escape is good. Think Ford first they wont disappoint, nor will they randomly accelerate on you.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:38 PM   #22
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

prolly goin 99-04 v6
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:42 PM   #23
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

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prolly goin 99-04 v6
can't let her one up you with a GT?
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:14 PM   #24
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can't let her one up you with a GT?
lol not until the 5.4 dohc is in
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:17 PM   #25
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Oh come on, let her get the GT, it'd be great to hear how she made little boys cry after a stoplight run.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:26 PM   #26
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

ha might have to do that I'm teachin her how to drive my car tomorrow If that goes well (most likely won't) she's prolly gonna want a 99-04 gt 5 speed black. She's actually been impressing me lately with her auto knowledge she must have finally started listening to what i'm talking about lol. Cracks me up when she tells off those dumbass guys at her high school when they think this one kids POS camaro is the fastest thing in town.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:27 PM   #27
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Toyota has recalled another 600,000 vehicles. This time 1998 - 2010 Siennas for the spare tire cable rusting.

Toyota Sienna Recall: Minivan Tire Cables Can Rust, 600,000 Recalled
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:43 PM   #28
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

This is three recalls?
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:59 PM   #29
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

:
Quote:
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ha might have to do that I'm teachin her how to drive my car tomorrow If that goes well (most likely won't) she's prolly gonna want a 99-04 gt 5 speed black. She's actually been impressing me lately with her auto knowledge she must have finally started listening to what i'm talking about lol. Cracks me up when she tells off those dumbass guys at her high school when they think this one kids POS camaro is the fastest thing in town.
That means she is a keeper. None of the girls I hang out with have a clue what my car or my buddies cars are. She and her friends think its a Firebird. I almost had a heart attack. But if a girl knows anything about cars then she must be a keeper.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:37 PM   #30
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

well before me she didn't and she is just know starting to learn after listening after a while.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:07 AM   #31
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Re: More Problems for Toyota?

Quote:
Originally Posted by upton7 View Post
This is three recalls?
More than 3.. by quite a few
At least we're getting them all out at once
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