Every car company has had its share of good and bad vehicles. There is always a flop for every run of good cars that a company offers on its production line. While Toyota may be known for having some of the most reliable, affordable and safe vehicles on the road, they are not immune to the fact that they have made a few blunders too!
The 1999 Toyota Echo / Yaris
Who could forget the interesting failure that came out just before the new millennium? Originally introduced as a sedan model, it was designed to bring a younger generation into the car buying experience. It offered a surround sound speaker system and several other incentives, but the design failed, even after several redesigns of the body. To add to its failure, it was rated as one of the worst cars for overall safety in the event of an accident.
The 2007 Rav 4
No one wants to ever see their check engine light come on. If you owned one of the 2007 models of the RAV 4, then you probably saw it several times. The highest complaints for engine problems came in the 2007 model, with most problems being leaks, overheating and steering problems.
More than 4,500 reports of total engine failure hit the consumer reporting market for Toyota, with many other problems slipping into place under that number. While it may have offered a roomy driving experience, the money dished out to fix that light became extensive, and pushed this model into the list.
The 2007 Camry
It looks like the RAV 4 was not the only model to be considered one of the worst made cars in 2007. The Camry, the most sold Toyota vehicle in 2007, shared in the mass number of complaints for engine and transmission complaints. Excessive oil usage, oil leaks, brake problems and transmission malfunctions all caused the 2007 model to be nearly a flop. The body style changed, a roomier cabin was offered, and several other upgraded options were included, but while all of that was a bonus, the complaints just made the sales nearly nose dive in 2008.
The Toyota Master Ace
No idea what this vehicle is? Most people don’t have any recollection of it! Resembling a horrible version of the Volkswagon Bus, the Master Ace was initially designed to help those with larger families travel easier. With a seating capacity of nine, it touted the most available seating in a vehicle at the time of its release in the early 70’s.
Why didn’t it catch on? For one thing, it lacked any sense of style and looked like it was pieced together from other vehicle designs. To make it worse, many people complained about the emissions that the van put off. Adding in several other constant complaints, it was soon redesigned into the Master Lite Ace, which also didn’t do as well as hoped.
The Toyota Prius
Surprisingly, a very popular model is on the flop list, even though the sales are steady throughout the last few years. Why would they consider this a flop when it seems to still be selling well? Faulty equipment was the top culprit. Headlights that went out within a few weeks of purchase, over heated fuses, the heads up display failing, brake failure, and overheating were among the top complaints.
Why does it still sell so well? The number one reason is that based on the price you pay for the mileage you get, it is well worth the money you save in the long run. Of course, all the minor repairs can add up though. But with ever changing ideas based around the Prius, every year can have its share of feast and famine with this model.
The Toyota Yaris
What most consumers consider to be the child of the Toyota Echo and Toyota Prius is the Yaris. Incredibly similar to the design of the Prius, it has many of the same problems that the Echo did. Headlight failure and excessive oil usage were the two top complaints of the last several years for this model.
Add to it that it was designed with a younger generation in mind with a price tag they couldn’t afford (as it cost more than the Prius) and sales fell drastically over the last few years. Most people were not impressed with the almost replica design of the Prius, citing that they were basically the same, and they are being charge more for barely any difference.
The Toyota Venza
Most people would think that a sleek and sporty design with good horsepower would stay in the forefront of the selling market for Toyota. Sadly, that is not the case with the Venza.Designed to look like a van and SUV crossover, the four door vehicle was actually classified as a sedan model. It offered high safety ratings (one of the highest that Toyota ever received), automatic lighting with HID lights, back up camera, and many other great features. In 2013, Toyota gave the design a facelift from an SUV looking model to something a little more like a sporty sedan.
So why did tank at the end of 2015? Competitive market analysis decided that for what it cost to produce versus what they were selling for, along with other comparable vehicles selling better for the same price, it was decided to go in a new direction with a new line of Toyotas and the production line came to a halt at the end of 2015.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser
While this is one of the most sought after SUV’s for those who live an adventurous life, such as rock crawling, camping, and overland excursions, it was not one of the best vehicles for every driving. It looked like less boxy version of the Hummer, but was just as large.
What most consumers did not find appealing about the FJ was the vast amount of blind spots, the lack of cargo space in the back, and the cramped space in the rear seating. For most, the three windshield wipers was also an annoying turn off. In less than seven years, sales dropped a whopping 72%, making it one of the biggest flops that Toyota had (but for those off road enthusiasts, it is still highly sought after!)
The Toyota Sera
While only made for the Japanese market, the Sera did have a small following in the United States. Designed with the Lamborghini in mind, the butterfly doors were the most well-known detail of this interesting design. Touted for its excellent visibility and low blind spot areas, it was thought to be one of the safer cars for visual purposes.
For a car that was quite unique looking and also rather sporty, why did it fail so quickly? There were many complaints about the performance handling as well as being too flashy and impractical, and it pushed itself out of the market.
The Toyota Mega Cruiser
What do you do when Hummer has the bestselling SUV model in a certain year? You compete with a similar design like the Mega Cruiser. While it had many of the same features as the Hummer, including its sleek design and flashy detailing, it was short lived in Japan.
The reason that it didn’t hit the streets as well as expected is that they were too large for many of the narrow roads in Japan, as well as being horrible on gas, and the inability to park on streets and parking spaces. While it may have been a good try, it failed horribly.