I am a senior citizen whose first car cost $150 purchased from a school teacher in New York City who hand painted the Ford Custom to get it ready for sale. It had a rusted hole in the floorboard and on my way to California, I lost a baseball through it that was caught at the Yankee Stadium. I drove that baby for 75,000 miles, with only about $250 in repairs and sold it to a used car lot in Los Angeles, for $15. The cost was .00513 cents per mile. I have not had seen this kind of experience for 3 decades.
Moving forward about 30 years or so, I helped a friend buy a Toyota Corolla used from a dealer. It was a 1987 bought in 1987, a daily rental return for $10,000 with 10,000 miles on it. There was 26,000 miles left on the warranty. He still has that car. He changes the oil every 3,000 miles, there were only $500 in repairs and he has 200,000 on the car. The good condition Kelly's Blue Book is $875. The cost per mile is .00048 cents which is less then the old Ford. (I do not factor gas in these calculations, nor the value of the dollar)
I'm not going to cry over my in-between experiences with a Ford Falcon, a Ford Fairlane 500, a Dodge Dart, a Pontiac LeMans, a Mercedes 450SL, two Mercedes 300D, and a BMW 500 series.
The cost per mile of these, not including gas, is sickening. The repair bills worse. I normally bought one car for me, one for the mechanic.
In the 40 years, almost all of the advertising for the American cars had to do with power, looks, sex, some safety, but almost zero for reliability. I know reliability is not everything, but to most of us , it is important and so is the cost of daily operation.
Toyota and Honda, amongst other imports, led the way and gave us the reliability and cost of operation while the American car companies blamed unions, and retirement benefits. They still advertised based on looks, sex, power. They are now learning the "reliability" word and learning how to make fuel efficient cars. They never cared about renewable resources in the past.
I love "made in America". I wish we brought back all industries that went to foreign countries and then we'd have tons of jobs available here. I hate the global economy for this suffering we are having with so many out of work. I think we have to first take care of our own people.
But let's give Toyota a chance to recall, to fix, and to flourish. Toyota built plants in the U.S. and they gave us the Prius, Corolla, Camry, Highlander and so many other great reliable cars. They now are keeping our own manufacturers honest, competitive and bringing reliability to the market.
I own a Toyoata 2003 Avalon and it is, arguably, the best car I ever owned. Not as "hot", just the best. Decent mileage, not even a total of $100 in repairs and it is 7 years old. Everyone who rides with me comments on the ride.
Toyota: Fess up, come clean, fix the problems, and regain the love!