Our Point of View: 2010 IIHS Top Safety Pick Awards Tells Just Part of the Story

November 18, 2009

by Irv Miller

On November 18, 2009, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) issued a news release headlined: “27 Winners of 2010 Top Safety Pick Award.” Within the release, IIHS states: “Missing the mark: Not a single model from the world’s biggest automaker by sales is represented among this year’s winners. Toyota and its Lexus and Scion subsidiaries had a strong showing in 2009 with 11 winners but were shut out for 2010.”
Toyota is confident its vehicles are among the safest on the road today and is committed to the highest levels of vehicle safety and quality.
In 2009, Toyota won more IIHS Top Safety Pick (TSP) awards than any other manufacturer. Toyota continues to improve vehicle passive and active safety, including improvement of past winners of IIHS TSP.
IIHS’ statement that Toyota was shut out for 2010 is extreme and misleading, considering there are 38 Toyota, Lexus and Scion models, and only three were tested for roof strength by IIHS: Camry, RAV4 and Yaris. 
This is the first year IIHS has included its own roof strength tests, which exceed federal standards, for TSP consideration. All Toyota vehicles meet or exceed Federal Safety Standards for frontal and side impact, roof crush resistance and rollover protection. 
While passive collision protection is very important, Toyota also provides an array of active, passive, pre-collision and collision avoidance features. The “Star Safety System” is standard equipment on all Toyota and Lexus models.
The Insurance Institute’s ratings are one of many vehicle safety and quality metrics.
Irv Miller
Group Vice President, Environmental and Public Affairs
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Displaying comments 1 - 5 of 56:

ALT said...
Do not EVER respond to an email asking for your account information. Looks like someone took advantage of Toyota's current situation to steal your account information...it's a hoax. Do not do it.
5/4/10 at 12:00 AM

rad said...
I recieved an e-mail from toyota that I have won 1.000.000. $ then has been wanted from me my account number for cash. I want to know this is true? please direct.
4/23/10 at 12:00 AM

30yrsRunning said...
There is not just one part giving all the trouble -- The US-made gas-pedal assembly sticking at early wear out is one of two acknowledged causes of un-commanded acceleration. My opinion is that the floor mat/long pedal and the gas-pedal assembly issues are two of the three largest physical causes, but there are at least five physical causes involved. So the larger question is what changes have made an organization that earned such an outstanding reputation for quality accumulate these kinds of flaws in one sub-system of the major product family? <<My 30 years of experiance include a steam system with 40 years of continuous operation in support of safety. >>
3/5/10 at 12:00 AM

larry said...
Toyata's just an auto manufacterer like the others. They are going to have their ups and downs. The difference is in the impact on USA I'm an American I support America I drive American ( just as it makes sense that other citizens abroad support their industry )
3/3/10 at 12:00 AM

S. Hawkins said...
I too am very skeptical about the intense negative coverage of Toyota at a time when American car makers are so desperate. How convenient. It makes complete sense to me that Toyata has been set up.
3/2/10 at 12:00 AM

Greta said...
My hysband has an 07 avalon and i have a 2010 corolla S, he loves his avalon and i love my corolla, we switched our hondas for toyota, but still have a honda. We stand behind Toyota because they are stepping up to the plate and not hiding and making excuses like American car makers do for their mistakes, America makes good looking cars but they can't hold up to the way Toyota or Honda builds what is important, safety and longevity of a car, the way America use to make them way back in the day! Everyone knows what this is all about, it so obvious, but Toyota takes care of its customers, and no matter what they will be around for years to come, because we stand behind their product. Thanks Toyota and keep up the good work and continue to be honest with your customers.
2/18/10 at 12:00 AM

Diane said...
I am now a proud owner of a 2010 Prius! Bought it yesterday, the day after Valentine's Day. I know that Toyota stands by its product, has jumped through all the hoops to provide open answers and quick remedies to its current challenges. This is the first Toyota i've owned in a long time, and i've been too long coming home. Thanks Toyota!
2/16/10 at 12:00 AM

Toyota Fan said...
Six Sigma was introduced by MOTOROLA in 1980's not by TOYOTA!
2/9/10 at 12:00 AM

my gmc is on its 2nd steering shaft and said...
My 2004 GMC sierria 52000 miles.Tires worn out @20000 miles.Needs its 3rd steering shaft and the speedometer sometimes is not correct.That is why I also own a 2009 Tacoma.
2/7/10 at 12:00 AM

Toyota Fan said...
Keep em building Toyota; i will buy it as long as you are in business. I think there is a lot of xenophobic feeling because you have become number one! Wonder if CTS supplies pedals to any other manufacturer? I must say that the quality of vehicle assembled here locally is not as good as what it used to be when things were done in Japan. Case in point, compare any Camry built in US to a 4 runner built in Japan and you will see what i am talking about; the fit, feel and finish is different. Also, please revert back to your DENSO supplier in Japan. Don't trust CTS to do your job any more. BTW, i currently drive a 2007 Avalon and a 2003 Camry. The other vehicle was 4 Runner (so i know what i am talking about) Even though the AValon i drive is on recall list "I AM CONFIDENT MY COMPANY WILL FIX IT" not that i am facing any problems now! "MOVE FORWARD TOYOTA" don't let these issues slow you down or keep you from doing what you do best "Build safe, reliable and qaulity" vehicles
2/4/10 at 12:00 AM

Mallorie Sample said...
I am a firm believer that Toyota has been set-up. I would like to test drive one of the vehicles that has been reported as a recall. Toyota was named one of the best cars to own. I am standing with the Toyota dealers in hope they overcome this temporary downfall.
2/4/10 at 12:00 AM

wee willie Walker said...
I have had no problems with my Toyota in the 2 years I have driven it. I had many problems with previous GM products and also with Chrysler products. I can remember a recall on ford products that was very similar and the story that circulated about a lady that started her car and it jumped out of park and ran over the preacher's daughter at a church function. Even with the negative things about tires, brakes, catalytic converters over heating etc. that we have seen in the past I have never seen such a stir in the news media over a recall. Does it seem strange to anyone other than me that this comes on the heels of a statement made by our president that if wall street wanted to fight he was ready to fight? I will keep my Toyota recall and all and still drive a vehicle that was made right here in my neck of the woods. Check your Chevy motors for the "made in Mexico" stamp
2/3/10 at 12:00 AM

D.R. Have always loved our Toyota's. Sorry you are being dragged through the media. Funny this Toyota is not listed all of the sudden and all models too. Glad you took a stand to correct this recent problem. You know the Democrats have a stake with GM. People make remarks without knowing the facts. If you look at the NHTSA site other manufacturers have much more deaths/injuries reported on the site. I have had American manufactured vehicles almost kill us. Those Explorer vehicles are still killing people and let's not talk about the Jeep. People will always bashed Toyota because they are not so happy with the repairs, expenses, and resale related to their American manufacturer vehicles. Sure hope you get through this with flying colors! I think the NHTSA needs to wake up and also the federal government. Without the foreign care manufacturers who knows what kind of vehicles we would have. Our Ford had parts falling off left and right. Interesting seeing this play out in the media.
2/2/10 at 12:00 AM

Carl said...
Someone has stooped a little low to pull a Nancy Kerrigan on Toyota. I wonder who that could be?
1/30/10 at 12:00 AM

C. Zuluaga said...
Hello, I'm very interested in Toyota's position on selling a car during the night of January 25th, 2010 and then no longer selling the same car (with one of the recalled VINs) first thing the very next morning (January 26th, 2010). Thank you.
1/30/10 at 12:00 AM

Alan said...
In 2004 I walked away from a head on collision between my wife's two year old Toyota Camry and a pickup truck that veered into my lane. I had a few bruises from the air bags and seat belt, but was generally in good condition. I went to a Toyota dealer and purchased a new Camry to replace the totaled car, and have been driving it ever since (that is when I'm not in my 1997 T100 pickup). Toyota makes very solid and safe cars, and I will continue to be a loyal Toyota owner if my present vehicles ever wear out. Combined mileage on the two - 327,000 miles.
1/29/10 at 12:00 AM

Rory B. Saillant said...
I own a 2005 Avalon.....love it. Have purchased nothing other than Toyota since I sold my '68 GTO to a neighbor who was a new Toyota dealer. He introduced me tohis product and I bought my wife a newly introduced Corona MArk II. The build quality and long time performance (6 years) sold me on the marque. Toyota, like most import products, has faced verbal abuse over the years regarding their country of origins, this by "Buy America" fanatics. Toyotas are made in America, and interestingly enough, it has been reported that the origin of this latest, 2010, recall has its' roots in a part manufactured by an outside supplier...here in the USA. The irony is special, no?
1/29/10 at 12:00 AM

AIRSHIP1 said...
1/28/10 at 12:00 AM

keith s said...
i find it very peculiar. the uaw and obama motors are somehow behind this. be very scared america...very scared. this is just the begtinning. toyota is and has always been tops in vehicle safety and reliability. all of a sudden its all changed. please wake the hell up america!!!!!!!!
1/27/10 at 12:00 AM

Denise said...
I own a 2007 Camry - first Toyota product I have owned - bought it because of it's safety record --- I am not feeling safe driving it now and I am sure the value has been affected by this latest news. I will go back to a Ford for my next vehicle.
1/27/10 at 12:00 AM

Steve said...
Toyota has a quality program called "SIX SIGMA". They have sold this program to many othe American companies & brag that it will cure all manufacturing problems ! I suspect this "SIX SIGMA" isn't selling so well now.
1/27/10 at 12:00 AM

Jerry Taylor from Moultrie GA said...
When your gas pedal get's stuck shift to netrual use your (emermergcy brake) this will help you maintain control of car avoid a (skid) and push your brake pedal just enough for the brake lights to come on.
1/27/10 at 12:00 AM

Melissa W. said...
Thank you for pointing that out. Why can't people open their eyes to this? A company as large as Toyota is not going to change how they are making their vehicles when for many years in a row they have won top honors for safety and reliability. It's like everything changed overnight and moved them from the top to the bottom. Obviously, IIHS is trying to save "Government Motors" because the government made a horribly bad investment. As for the accelerator issue, Toyota is going above and beyond to fix the problem. I don't know of any other car manufacturer that has ever suspended sales until the problem can be fixed. Have you ever seen Ford or GM do that? Didn't think so. Wait 2 weeks and you will most likely see that a remedy has been found and that Toyota will be getting everyone in to fix the issue.
1/27/10 at 12:00 AM

serbulent yilmaz said...
Hi, I took an e-mail today from mail user Meister, Jeanine A. (KSC-IHA-2100)[IHA] (jeanine.a.meister@nasa.gov). The e-mail is down. I want to learn that it was legal or not for THE TOYOTA CAMRY CAR AUTOMOBILE COMPANY. If it is not legal what must I do? If you answer me that I will be pleased. Thank you already now. The e-mail is exactly like this; THE TOYOTA CAMRY CAR AUTOMOBILE COMPANY. 22 Garden Close, Stamford, Lincs, PE9 2YP, London United Kingdom. Congratulation Dear Lottery Winner, Finally, Your email has brought you luck in the on-going TOYOTA CAR PROMOTION LOTTERY, You are therefore been approved by Toyota Int. UK the sum of £600,000.00(Six Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds)and a brand new Toyota car (2010 Toyota Camry) International programs held January 2010 in the London Uk as our car sales promotion. You can view our website to view your car (www.toyota.com/camry/index.html) The selection process was carried out through random selection in ourcomputerized email selection system from a database of over 250,000 emailaddresses drawn from all the continents of the world.This Toyota car Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulator (IAGR).This promotional car lottery is the tenth of its kind and we intend to sensitize the public. Note: You are to keep your winnings and the following below strictly confidential so as to avoid double claims and complications arising from double claims: Reference Number: TY-799BV90 Ticket Number: TY-78909359 Pin Code: TY-7448500 Please contact us with the claim requirements. 1.Name in Full 2.Address 3.Nationality 4.Age 5.Sex 6.Occupation 7.Phone/Fax 8.Present Country To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact our accredited Prize fiduciary Agent as stated below: Mr. Gordon Gary (VERIFICATION DEPARTMENT MANAGER) Email:gordongary_tyc-adept.co.cc7@qatar.io Tel:+447024045864 If you do not contact the claims agent within {10} working days of this notification,your winnings would be revoked. Winners are advised to keep their winning details/information from the public to avoid fraudulent claim(IMPORTANT) pending the transfer/claim by Winner. Once again Congratulations Regards Mrs. Meister Jeanine A Lottery Manager.
1/26/10 at 12:00 AM

Diane said...
I, too have been a faithful Toyota customer for over 20 years. I have owned nothing but Corollas for most of that time with the exception being the Scion I currently own. I agree that paint and low clearance are the only 2 complaints I have had as well. The paint seems to scratch very easily and all my Corollas had problems with being too low to the ground which caused scraping as you mentioned. I live on the east coast so snow is an issue with the low clearance. But I will say that these are small prices to pay for the quality, safety, and reliability of a Toyota. The Scion I have is an "XD" model so it is higher off the road. I just don't care for the body type - I prefer the sedan body type so when this car is 2 years old I will trade it in for another Corolla. I love the Corollas and wouldn't buy anything else.
1/24/10 at 12:00 AM

Carla Massoni said...
Just gave up my 2002 Honda for the new RAV 4 - 2010 Toyota. My husband wanted me in a safer car!! Ha!!! Now I find out there is a problem with the accelerator sticking in a depressed fashion - oh, just use the brakes- oh, but don't pump them, - oh, and pull off the road in a safe fashion - (on the Beltway - flying along at 65 mph - in the far lane!!!!) and call your Toyota rep. Oh, about calling the rep - can't get through because of high volume - so call back - duh! And for this I gave up my Honda!!!!
1/22/10 at 12:00 AM

Kathy said...
My last 10 cars/trucks have been toyota. None of them had a good paint job in my opinion---this is my biggest complaint. Now I have another major problem: many of the cars and vans are too low to the ground for gullies, speed bumps, and some driveways: the undercarriage motor cover scrapes all the time---after 4 years the thing came loose and was hanging down. My insurance company says that any damage not caused by flood, fire, or vandalism is considered a collision according to Calif law--so my near perfect driving record is now tarnished with a point against me---all because the cars and vans are too low for the southwest roads. I am considering another brand of car now if Toyota does change the height from the bumper to the road. Safety is very important to me also so I am not happy that Toyotas do not pass or are low on safety tests
1/9/10 at 12:00 AM

alex goodson said...
when is tundra diesel come up?
1/9/10 at 12:00 AM

Paul said...
I am very agree with your commend. It seems Toyota is trying find excuse to avoid the quality dilema they face and is trying to move customers' attention from their decreasing safety problems. Hopefully, Toyota can get back to be an honest company to face its problems, not just find excuse. Same things happen in China, when thousand of new Toyota cars leaking engine oils only after several hundred miles driving, Toyota refused to recall the cars. Their excuse was that it was not a safety problem, is that acceptable? Be honest, Toyota, we like your cars, but we more like you if you are honest!
1/6/10 at 12:00 AM

Bob said...
It sounds like a bunch of UAW thugs post to this site. I bought two GM trucks but when PBO gave GM to the UAW and screwed the bond holders with our tax dollars, it was time to switch. I didn't like the idea of driving trucks that were imported from Cananda either. I bought an 08 Tundra (built in Indiana) and cannot figure out how anyone could get the accelerator stuck under the floor mat. The mat has two hooks (if correctly placed) will not allow the mat to move, no design is 100% idiot proof. Now the unions want the taxpayer to pickup their legacy costs. This is just the beginning of 3 more years of harassment of Toyota from our government.
12/15/09 at 12:00 AM

Dan Wagner said...
A 10 year old truck that is ready to rust in half is hardly a safe vehicle. Let's face it Toyota trucks are rust buckets, Toyota needs to fess up as to why and fix the problem. I'll not buy another truck until this happens, but I won't hold my breath.
12/9/09 at 12:00 AM

dirtmomma said...
I have a 19 year old Toyota with nearly 400,000 miles on it. This poor truck has survived 10 years of "wheelin" and daily abuse. C'mon Toyota keep building them like you used to. Don't take your customers for granted. So far you have done the right thing. I hope that all the people who see this company crashing down are in fact a bunch of dilusional nutjobs!
12/7/09 at 12:00 AM

kevin said...
hey i totally agrea withyou my mom has had 3 Toyota veicles and there all very relieable and safe my moms reseint one is the hybrd highlander and it gets 28 mpg i love it so my opinion is that toyota is one of the best veicles on the road oh and oh the sequeio is wicked power ful with the iforce engine and a v8 its the best suv in the world
12/4/09 at 12:00 AM

neoklis said...
I live in Europe so a few things are different for us. I also own a number of Toyota's but fortunately I was able to get JDM models. I have to say though that the last couple of years Toyota has produced some of the ugliest, average quality, uninteresting and compromised cars ever. It is clear that during the last decade when the bankers ruled the company, although they managed to increased shareholder value (capitalising on Toyota's history and image), have led the company to a dangerous path with the majority of people starting to have second thoughts on the brands quality, reliability and image. Lets all hope the new Board will lead to a different direction.
12/2/09 at 12:00 AM

Craig said...
I find it interesting that the 2009 models that had no redesign whatsoever to 2010 were top safety picks and now the are all the sudden unsafe?? Does anyone else find this peculiar?
12/1/09 at 12:00 AM

Richard said...
11/27/09 at 12:00 AM

TundraV8 said...
I have to say I am with the vast Majority of owner's addressing some concerns with the company I have purchased a lot from in the last decade. Number one problem with Toyota right is would ideally be quality standard's has gone down. Take for example the 2005 Tacoma with it's ever soo cheap plastic Smc bed who failures on holding load's wasn't worth having a full plastic bed in the first place. My friend sold his New truck because Toyota fixed it and he was told this would be his last bed replacement. The Tundra with it's frame recall is a joke consiring the fact remain's it still happening on new 2007 yet you say the recall affect's 2000-03 who makes this as some guideline WTF. I'm sorry but i measure quality on seeing the reports from Tundrasolutions.com and reading owner complaints. Yea I have 3 Toyota's sitting in my garage and surely hope you consire reading into some complaint's listed here.
11/25/09 at 12:00 AM

Gary said...
Instead of taking a defiant stance, may be Toyota should build a vehicle that would pass the test. The criteria was not kept secret before the test and Toyota selected which vehicles it preferred to be tested. I own two Toyotas and have always loved them. I will seriously have to consider a different brand next time if the company stance is that they shouldn't have to meet the testing standards. Toyota appears to have the same mentality that caused GM to fail. Don't be so smug Toyota. If you take your customers for granted, you can fail too.
11/21/09 at 12:00 AM

LEXUS, the best for us said...
anyone think that all their troubles started when they started allowing/trusting americans to do the labor and manufacturing? {which, by the way, contributes greatly to the u.s. economy and jobs.......
11/21/09 at 12:00 AM

J MOLINA said...
11/21/09 at 12:00 AM

Matt said...
I think all of these negative comments are posted by GM (Government Motors) staff posing as Toyota owners. Is my 2004 Toyota quality better than my first Toyota from 1979, I'm not sure. But I can easily tell you that it far exceeds my 2004 GM product. I'm not sure if I'll buy a Toyota for my next car(s), but I know without a doubt it won't be a GM product.
11/21/09 at 12:00 AM

John Burke said...
As a big Toyota fan, I am so sad to see Toyota is going down the old GM path. It looks to me that Toyota is cutting corners too much to an unbearable level during the last several years. Take the side air bags for example, go to YouTube and check the video “Venza side crash”, you will see how crappy the side air bag is. Such small side airbags are really designed for the government crash tests (where the vehicles get hit at a specific angle) rather than for the real world safety. As a comparison, check the video “2010 equinox side crash” and look at the difference of the side air bags used in that vehicle! Also, I still could not figure out how could a “Good” frontal crash rated Camry drops to “Acceptable” when it hits a smaller and lighter Yaris during IIHS’s test. Go to YouTube and check the video “IIHS Crash Test Of Toyota Camry Versus Toyota Yaris”, you will see how scarily soft the Camry is. Again, check the video “2009 Honda Fit vs Honda Accord - Offset Frontal Crash Test” and tell me whether Accord is doing better than Camry in real world crashes like that? Time to wake up and catch up with your competitors in vehicle safety Toyota!
11/19/09 at 12:00 AM

Eugene Cox said...
Hi Irv, I have several Toyota in my garage and was shocked that NONE of the Toyota's tested had passed. (Camry Rav-4 and Yaris) Why did they not test the Tundra and Sequoia. These are wonderful vehicles th(at are fun to drive and I feel very safe inside while driving? curious to see how these vehicles passed. Highlander is another good one that my Neighbor just loves. When my vehicles wear out or I get tired of driving them I will buy ANOTHER TOYOTA. Sounds like Government Motors has it out for Toyota. Thanks,Eugene Eugene Cox
11/19/09 at 12:00 AM

Eddie Ayyoub said...
I belive that Toyota makes some of the best and safest vehicles on the road. It's ironic that they become #1 and all of a sudden every one is attacking them for everly little thing. Keep in mind that some times accidents do happen and it is unfortunate but I own several Toyota's and I will own nothing else but a Toyota becuase of their Saftey, Reliability and Depandibility.
11/18/09 at 12:00 AM

Jonathan Arruda said...
Wow. 27 winners. Not one was a Toyota. And Mr. Miller, I just don't buy your argument that only 3 Toyota models were picked for the roof strength testing. The Camry didn't qualify with good ratings because it did poorly in the rear crash evaluation. And regardless of how the tests were conducted and what standards were used, the fact of the matter is, NO Toyota made it to the winner's list. A shame for a company that has built its reputation on safety and reliability. Also, is it mere coincidence that these results have come at a time when Toyota has received criticism from the automotive press for the poor built quality of its cars, bland styling, unexciting driving feel, major engineering flaws leading to fatal accidents, a multitude of safety recalls, among other problems. I realize Toyota is a top seller worldwide and even I drive one (there are 2 Toyotas in my household). Like most Toyota buyers, I made my purchase decision based on Toyota's reputation for quality (engineering, safety, reliability and durability), a reputation that took Toyota decades to build. And I by the way things are going, it's likely that those in charge of Toyota today will soon let that reputation slip away. I'll soon be in the market for a new car and I can definitely tell you my next car purchase won't be Toyota product. Mr. Akio Toyoda has admitted that complacency has been hurting Toyota. So instead of giving us owners and prospective consumers lame excuses, perhaps you, Mr. Irv Miller, should admit that Toyota's latest offerings have been disappointing, to say the least, and work to re-build the company from ground zero and hope to regain customers' trust.
11/18/09 at 12:00 AM

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