New Safety Issues With Toyota Tundra and Sienna

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Yesterday Toyota scored some impressive safety scores with its new Camry and RAV4. Today, there is news that recent Tundra pickups and Sienna minivans could be recalled for a second time.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded a current investigation. We’re not sure what “upgrade” means, but it doesn’t sound good. More than 200,000 Tundras from 2003 and 2004 are being investigated for suspension issues along with 2004 and 2005 Siennas, which have rear liftgates that can inadvertently close on owners.

This latest flub — in a series of quality flubs — is making the world’s No. 2, and in July America’s No. 2, automaker look pretty bad. In Japan the company had to apologize to the goverment and promise more stringent quality control for the shame an investigation there brought to the company.

Some industry insiders point to Toyota’s rapid expansion as one reason quality may be suffering. But the competition is certainly not fault-free. Ford is still dealing with the largest recall in history, announced last week.

[Safety Officials Step Up Toyota Tundra Probe, Detroit Free Press]

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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