Everyone remembers the Toyota brake recall. The incident first started when a family of four was traveling on the highway in California and their when their breaks stopped working. The crash was fatal to all four occupants. A month later it was concluded that the wrong floor mats were put in the cars, causing the gas pedal to stick. After that, Toyota had two separate recalls that included 3.8 million cars, including eight models. The company that became the world’s largest and most profitable automakers in the world, now holds the biggest recall since 2000.
For the most part, I think that Toyota responded correctly. At the time of the crisis, they had just recently gotten a new president. He publicly apologized to the family, and all that were affected by the accident. Toyota then sent out letters to all customers with the affected vehicles notifying them of the recall. The media was still all over Toyota saying that their letter wasn’t detailed enough, and also that the company has been hiding problems from their customers. After any bad situation it is expected that the media is going to speculate and pull some publicity out of any situation they can. Soon after this, Toyota announces that it is shutting down the assembly lines for those models, and they are immediately stopping production of them. Toyota totally changed the way that the accelerator pedal was made before making any more cars. While it was a pricy decision, I don’t think there was any other way they would have been able to remake their name.
I think that Toyota Handled the crisis the best they could. It wasn’t an easy situation to handle because of the way lives were affected. I think, in general, the brand has become okay in people’s eyes again. With their new slogan of “Moving Forward”, I think they are directing people in the right direction.
Photo credit: Fast Company