Toyota says the Use of “Safe” and “Sure” are Over Promising for the Marketing of Their Brakes, But “Smart” is OK

The civil lawsuit against Toyota is getting more interesting day by day. In the latest twist, Toyota says the use of “safe” and “sure” in the marketing of their vehicle’s brake systems engine over ride would over promise the performance brakes to the consumer. But, the word “smart” was OK.

james-lentz-toyota-hearing2jpg-f197ed30b5a03d01_mediumToyota’s chief executive officer for North America, James Lentz, testified this week and dropped these golden nuggets in court: (Source Japan Times)

Lentz was asked by a lawyer for the plaintiffs why the company chose “Smart Stop” instead of “Safe Stop” as a marketing phrase to describe an override system that automatically reduces engine power when the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are applied simultaneously under certain driving conditions. Internal documents show “Safe Stop” was a contender for the name, lawyer Garo Mardirossian said.

“I made clear to the marketing department that it had to be something that didn’t overpromise,” Lentz said. “Safe Stop or Sure Stop was overpromising because it wouldn’t necessarily stop the acceleration in all cases.”

Most drivers care more about the work of the engineering department and not the marketing department. Putting the throttle over-ride problem aside, it really puts how the automotive industry uses safety to sell cars and service.

Is it safe to use “safe” or “sure” to describe a brake service or brake pad? Should we call a brake job a “smart brake job”? Are some brake pad manufacturers over promising when they use the words safe and sure in their marketing? Do you buy a brake pad because it could be safer?

Please leave your comments below.