Consumer advocate Ralph Nader has a theory on how Toyota Motor Corp. became embroiled in the recall of millions of vehicles: The chase for profits was larger than the focus on consistency.
"They expanded too fast and lost control of their quality control," Nader said last week in an interview. "Toyota's great reputation was quality control. ... Now, no one knows how deep this goes."
Nader, a longtime proponent of automotive consumer safety and the founder of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, said large recalls don't usually impact a company's bottom line. "But recalls tend to be contagious inside a company," he said. "There's a lot that could eventually bubble up to the surface after this" inside Toyota.
Nader predicted the recent recall will lead to a disciplined crackdown inside the Japanese automaker.
"This will have a bigger effect inside Toyota," Nader said. "More than a U.S. auto company, the Japanese style of self-mortification and shame will ensure this never happens again."