I'll admit I didn't see this one coming. On Tuesday Consumer Reports announced that they won't automatically recommend Toyota vehicles without reliability data on the specific design, after 2 Toyota models (the Camry V6 and the Tundra 4 wheel drive V8 pickup) were rated "below average" in predicted reliability. (The Camry??)
In the same report, 3 Ford models (the Ford Fusion, the Mercury Milan and the F-150 V6 pickup) made the "most reliable" list.
Ford is more reliable than Toyota? The world is coming to an end.
Well, Toyota's world may be, and in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday, we may have an explanation. A former quality control inspector at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA, a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors, is suing both firms on the grounds that they retaliated against her when she reported multiple defects on "thousands of vehicles" coming off the line. According to the suit, eight years ago managers began altering her defect reports to lower the Daily Defect Per Vehicle numbers.
The interesting point here is that the NUMMI plant doesn't make the vehicles Consumer Reports just downgraded. It makes Toyota Tacomas and Corollas, and Pontiac Vibes. Might be interesting to check the Consumer Reports reliability ratings on the last 5 years or so of those models.
Toyota's market position has been based for years on draconian quality control. Looks like Draco has been laterally arabesqued....