Toyota Recall

Back in October of this year there were large recalls on numerous models of cars across six automakers. Takata Corp. was the large company who manufactured defective airbags for millions of cars across the nation. These airbags explode for several reasons but the primary one being that when exposed to high humidity for extended periods of time, not only do they deploy unannounced, but they also send fragments of shrapnel through the air. These defective airbags have caused injuries and even death in some cases, forcing these auto makers to take greater action.

Of the six auto makers, Toyota decided to deal with the situation in a way that caused many to question their ethics. There were approximately six different Toyota models, across many years that were eligible for recall. However, not everyone was going to attain this recall. Mike Ramsey, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, illustrates this situation by saying, “The recall is limited to vehicles that were originally purchased in a high-humidity region alone, which includes South Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa” (Ramsey).

Although the places listed above are all ones of high humidity, I feel it is unfair to provide them with the recall based strictly off of geographic location. It is unethical for Toyota to restrict recall privileges based off of geographic location when humidity occurs all over the country. Additionally, there are other factors than humidity that cause the airbags to deploy unannounced, so is it ethical to allow customers to continue driving these defective cars just because they live in the wrong state?

Better plans need to be implemented in order to find a solution that satisfies all affected customers. Takata has taken responsibility, notified all affected auto makers of the issue, and is taking steps to fix the problem. Of all the auto makers affected, Toyota is the one who has developed to most unethical solution. Rather than limiting the recall to certain customers, Toyota needs to give all customers the same treatment. Toyota is only reasoning its ethics from the inside and disregarding reasoning from the outside. If they were asked the five questions to determine whether or not what they are doing is ethical, they would be unable to justify their decision. Additionally, if the “sniff test” were put into effect to determine any ethical problems, Toyota would fail because the decision they are making continues to put people at risk, among other things.

Therefore, Toyota needs to reevaluate how it is handling this recall, and they need to do it quickly. I feel that they should provide all customers affected by this issue with the proper recall protocol. Maybe Takata and Toyota can work something out that makes solving this problem more affordable for both Toyota and the customer.

Julia McKay


Ramsey, Mike. “Toyota Recalls 247,000 Vehicles Because Air Bags May Rupture.” The Wall Street Journal (2014). The Wall Street Journal. Web. 13 Nov. 2014. <;.

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