Good point, GTOLover. If the emission equipment is malfunctioning, it's probably worse than none. It's a shame Toyota didn't take responsibility for this. A couple online searches reveals that many, many owners got stuck with this problem.
I did remove the 'Essential Element' from my cat converter, and ran it like that for several years. The car also PASSED idle/sniff emissions testing! - Until they started the dynomometer testing, then it failed and I wound up putting another cat converter on.
Really appreciate folks expressing their interest in this matter - especially the environmental considerations - and offering technical information. GTOlover cut to the chase by pointing out that Toyota's refusal to address the situation leaves everyone guessing about the cause(s). I've spoken with attorneys, and as Toyota knows, the costs of a lawsuit make that venue highly unlikely. I'll continue to focus on EPA's responsibilities.
Seems to me that initially it was 100K miles, but I guess successful lobbying has reduced it to 80K miles. Still, this failure occurred, according to the report, at less than 1/2, AND it would seem that a case COULD be made that the failure of the "Pre-Cat" was the underlying cause of the engine failure. Too bad someone hasn't challenged this in a court of law. I'll bet then there'd be a different response from TOYOTA!!!
I've owned 4 TOYOTA vehicles in my driving career, and all but one have been superb vehicles. I'd wholeheartedly recommend a TOYOTA product to anyone who asks me, but this seems to be a major coverup on their part.
Is it not true that the auto manufacturers MUST guarantee the reliability of those components directly utilized for the purposes of "clean-air" for a period of 100K miles regardless of age of vehicle?
IF that is true, then how is it that this SPYDER vehicle with only 30K miles is NOT convered under this warranty since the engine failure can be directly traced to a failure of a component of the emissions-control systems?
As we work closer to the limits (of any kind), we will have failures. In this case, ICE and pollution controls working to higher and higher standards.
It is in Toyota's best interest (any manufacturer) to keep their relationship with their customers intact and healthy. To bad they haven't done a very good job with this example. Sorry to hear it was such a expensive experience.
So.. we become accustomed to "recalls". That is the way of the world.
That is the way of "progress".
Risk, some success, failures , recovery, repeat...
Overtures to NHTSA (by Spyderchat, et. al.) have been rebuffed based on the "safety" issue (frankly, I think an engine suddenly disintegrating DOES have safety implications), so it seems the EPA should get involved given the environmental considerations, appropriately highlighted in several other comments. I've focused on that angle in at least one blog post: http://uc2.blogspot.com/2013/10/toyota-told-to-conduct-awareness.html
Not that I condone tampering with emissions devices on newer vehicles, but on a 1987 I would take off the cat and empty it. Put the shell of it back on the car for appearances.
I look at it this way, there are very few old cars running around and that number is dwindling. A few here and there with some of the emissions surpressed is not as big a deal as new cars not working correctly. In the case of this Spyder, they were crapping out with very few miles on them! Unacceptable. As a previous commentor pointed out, the engine failure was an even worse enviromental hazard!
Catalytic converters ARE a caution, in my 1987 Volvo wagon, the 'orange' of catalytic material came loose inside the converter shell. It wasn't too much of a problem on level ground, but it would roll back and plug the catalytic converter outlet when going uphill....Talk about loss of power! Pulling over, and reduced exhaust from the engine would allow the 'orange' to roll away from the outlet, engine would run just fine- It took a while to figure out what was going on!
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