If you’re not a musician, this probably won’t make any sense to you. If you are a musician, I hope you find it amusing, in light of recent Toyota recalls…
Yamaha has recalled 20,000 pianos due to a problem with the pedal sticking, causing pianists to play faster than they normally would. This has resulted in a number of accidentals. Several near misses have been reported in the carpal tunnel. The sticky pedal also makes it harder to come to a full stop at the end of a piece, making it risky for audiences and professional reputations alike. Although there have been many accidentals, so far there have been no reported deafs. Currently, sales are flat and analysts are waiting to see if sales volumes will be sustained or dampened.
Responses from alarmed customers:
“The notice didn’t mention whether Yamaha electronic keyboards were included in the recall. I’m concerned because I have the Yamaha CP-300 Stage Piano. My son frequently drives this unit. There have been several incidents, usually in Dvorak, where without warning, he has lurched into polka mode in an andante. This really scares the hemiola out of me.”
“There is certainly no way to soft-pedal the problem, and it’s causing terrible stretto in the piano playing community. Fortunately I do not own Yamahas myself. I’m hoping this problem is not also found in Steinway pianos with the Accelerated Action.”
Company spokesman Roland Bösendorfer made this statement on his way back to D.C. for hearings:
“It appears that a swing-shift worker at our struggling Key Largo plant, facing the possibility of working in cut-time, went out for a good time on a Thursday night, hoping for a pick-up at the first bar. If that had been the final bar, then that would have been the end of it, finé! Unfortunately he went for a double-bar that night. After one too many repeats he passed out, and the next morning on the assembly line he could barely hold himself upright and his fingering was messed up, which diminished the dynamic of the entire line. To coin a phrase, let’s just say that piano-making was not his forté that morning.”
Experts suggest that a sharp response from Yamaha will be key to composing a satisfactory resolution of the problem. Criticism of the company has been sharp.
Barbara Boxer is planning hearings to find out when Yamaha first learned about the treble.