Agreed, Rob. And the relatively small number of owners also doesn't help when it comes to class-action lawsuits. If a problem of this magnitude had surfaced in Camrys, etc., there would have been a recall years ago, heralded by mainstream media all over the world.
The fact is that it was possible to pass the Michigan emissions test in a properly running vehicle without the catalytic converter being in the ehaust stream at all. In two different vehicles I discovered this. So it is not like an individual would be doing such horrible pollution to remove those "Pre-cat" devices, which were primarily intended to provide emissions reduction until the main converter warmed up. And iif a person took mostly longer trips the additional emissions would not be a big deal. Now for those who go into hysteria at the thought of such tampering, neither of those vehicles isin existance any more.
Million thanks to Rob Spiegel for his posts confirming that the pre-cat problem is widespread and all over the Internet. Inexcusable for an automaker to get away with such a well-publicized defect. The MR2 Spyder is a limited production vehicle, appealing to a relatively small number of people, and Toyota has exploited that situation to the nth degree.
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?
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