It's official, Toyota has lost it's way
In a previous post I noted the troubles Toyota has had with having to recall cars. That was one car from every model it made for year 2006. Also in 2005 they recalled more trucks than Ford, if you can believe that.
I got my Car & Driver for Feb 2007 and there is an article on six family four doors. They tested the Chrysler Sebring, Toyota Camry, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, Saturn Aura, and the Honda Accord. They used 4cyl automatics for this test, since that is the way most are sold, the Saturn had a 6 since that is the only way it comes.
Chrysler Sebring was 6th. This was mostly due to it being designed for the AARP crowd.
Toyota Camry took 5th. Car & Driver put it this way, "Toyota sedans have never throbbed with passion, but at least they could boast of unimpeachable quality. This Camry was impeachable. A few trim pieces hung loose. Some dash panels didn't match up. The rear seat cup holder fell out with only the slightest persuasion, leaving behind a ragged hole in the fabric. If fit and finish ceases to be Toyota's obsession, what will define the company's products? We shudder to imagine. "
The Saturn 4th, Kia 3rd, Nissan 2nd and the Accord won.
Toyota is in the same place GM was going into the 80's. They are the marque to beat, and they are starting to beat themselves.