Toyota's Reaction to Safety Concerns - Another 'Tiger Woods' level disaster?
Deny, deny, deny, and hope it all blows over – quickly. This is a public relations approach most recently used by golf great Tiger Woods to save his reputation from free-fall. Like Woods, Toyota is a big, big ‘name’. And like Woods, Toyota is facing a public relations meltdown with the recent accusations that some of their Toyota vehicles appear to have a problem leading to unintended acceleration. Think ‘stuck accelerator pedal’. Think serious potential for bodily harm. Think major lawsuit feeding frenzy. The question is whether or not there really is a fire where this metaphorical smoke is billowing. The furor seems to have started with Toyota’s recall in September, 2009 of 3.8 million vehicles. The issue was accelerator pedals catching on floor mats. In November, 2009, media reports hinted at a far more serious problem in the electronic engine management system. Toyota quickly responded with a denial.
In January of this year, however, Toyota issued yet another recall of 2.3 million vehicles for a possible sticking accelerator pedal, further darkening the company's credibility.
Toyota is working very hard to retain consumer confidence in their product despite the persistent cry of ‘witch’! Or should that be ‘recall’?