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Love My Credit Union Rewards is an exclusive discount program that was created (as Invest in America) in 2008 to help credit union members save on the products and services they use every day.

We began with the Credit Union Member Discount from GM and soon grew to include the Sprint Credit Union Member Discount as well as savings programs from TurboTax, DIRECTV, Allied Van Lines and ADT. Plus, we offer our own discount partners Love to Shop and the Credit Union Auto Club.

Our blog is to give you insider info on the latest discounts and share other ways to help you save. We hope you enjoy our blog and saving at LoveMyCreditUnion.org!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Toyota and Honda, Is the Dependability Still There?

The Toyota recalls began with 4.3 million vehicles due to floor mats jamming the accelerator pedal.  Toyota's accelerator pedal issues have to date resulted in nearly 9 million recalls worldwide and the suspension of sales on 8 of their vehicles.  Then, news broke that  Toyota's recall wasn't completely voluntary:

"The reason Toyota decided to do the recall and to stop manufacturing is that we asked them to," Transportation Secretary Raymond LaHood said.  In an interview with WGN radio in Chicago, Mr. Hood went on, "We were the ones that really met with Toyota, our department, our safety folks and told them, 'you've got to do the recall.'  They decided to stop the manufacturing.

Last week, Congress decided to hold a hearing on February 25th to find out what Toyota knew about the error and how long they knew about it before they acted on it.

In addition to their recall is their decision to close a plant in California which will lay off 5,000 workers and potentially affect the livelihood of 45,000 people employed in support industries.  The plant Toyota is closing manufactures the Corolla, which was the number one selling car in this past summer's Cash for Clunkers program.  In a letter to the Prime Minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama, the UAW stated:

"It's outrageous that the number one-selling car in Cash for Clunkers was the Corolla, the car that is manufactured in the NUMMI plant.  After receiving more money in this bailout program than any other company, Toyota is turning its back on American workers and American taxpayers by closing the plant in the state where they sell the most cars in the U.S., shipping these jobs to Japan and then importing the cars back to the United States for sale," said King.

"Toyota management is seeking to move work from auto transport companies that have delivered their new cars and trucks for decades," Hoffa said.  "The loss of this work could lead to the destruction of the largest auto transport companies in the country and the loss of thousands of good, middle class jobs.  Toyota promised to support American communities; they're instead threatening the very types of good jobs that our communities need in this time of economic crisis."

Not a great week for them.

Then, to add even more woes to Japan's auto industry, late last week the news broke of Honda's recall of over 600,000 vehicles worldwide due to a window problem.

So, based on these developments, I thought now would be a good time to revisit the question of why you should purchase an American made vehicle.

Toyota and Honda's reputations for safety and dependability helped increase their sales worldwide and gave the impression that their dependability was better than that of the Big Three.  With the recent news, I think we can agree that is not necessarily the case.  Even months before the recalls, American made vehicles were being recognized for their dependability.  In the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study, Buick tied Jaguar as the most dependable brand while GM ranked in the top 3 of 8 categories.  U.S. News and World Reports ranked the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2010 Chevrolet Malibu and 2010 Ford Fusion as the top 3 affordable midsized cards.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety listed the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Malibu, Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Journey and Jeep Patriot as Top Safety Picks for 2010 - only two Hondas and not one Toyota were chosen.

As for foreign companies supporting the U.S. economy as much as the Big Three?   The UAW letter highlights that discrepancy; additionally, a research study by the Center for Automotive Research showed that at the end of 2007, international producers employed roughly 113,000 people in the United States, compared to the Big Three who employed 239,941.  And, even though the foreign vehicles are made in America, the profits don't stay here, they go back to that auto company's country and support their economy.

For many of us, safety and dependability are deciding factors when purchasing a vehicle.  Toyota and Honda can no longer tout that they are more dependable than the Big Three.  Our communities are also directly affected by the auto industry.  Toyota cannot say that it is standing by its promise to support our communities, and the Big Three can.

Over 229,000 GM and Chrysler vehicles have been sold through the Invest in America program.  This has helped reinvest $5 billion back into the U.S. economy.  This is money that is returned to our communities and directly impacts our schools, roads, community services and economy as a whole.  What you spend your money on really does make a difference.  Do some research before you buy - seek out a high quality, dependable American made vehicle, and you won't regret it.


  1. I don't think that the 113,000 Americans who make non-Detroit-Big-3 cars are insignificant. You quickly dismiss their impact on our economy and tell us to "purchase an American made vehicle," yet you fail to point out how much of the Detroit-Big-3 models are really made in Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere.

    Yes, let's buy American made vehicles, but let's not do so blindly. Just because a brand is American doesn't mean the vehicle is American made, and just because the brand is Japanese doesn't mean the vehicle is NOT American made. Take a look at this list http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&subject=ami&story=amMade0808&referer=advice&aff=national

    Would you rather purchase a Honda Odyssey made in Alabama or a Dodge Grand Caravan made in Canada?

  2. I agree with you, Evhen. "Just because a brand is American doesn't mean the vehicle is American made, and just because the brand is Japanese doesn't mean the vehicle is NOT American made." I'm gonna buy one of the Santa Ana used cars as soon as I get my paycheck in March this year. My buddy was the one who recommended some models from an Orange County used cars dealer he talked to. I'm decided to buy a 2009 Toyota Camry 4dr Sdn I4 Auto LE for less than $18,000. It still depends on every buyer and owner. I'm not against any other brands. Each of us have our own preferences, anyways.

  3. That is truly sad...the big names and stable companies must think about it's workers and work out a suitable plan to maintain themas much as possible.

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