Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Toyota's Latest Recall

It just seems like poor old Toyota just can't get a break these days. Now 600,000 of their Sienna minivans are being recalled due to rust problems with a spare tire cable that may cause the tire to fall off on the road causing a serious road hazard to cars following a Toyota down the road. The problem it seems is caused by road salts in some states.

So, now it seems like the only moral thing for some Toyota owners to do is put "Danger: Falling Parts!" signs on their cars.

And Toyota's reputation is beginning to suffer as well. About a third of adults polled by the Gallup organization had safety doubts about Toyota products. That's one of the worst percentages of safety doubts about any product ever. Yet, Toyota sales are solidly in third place among all automobile brands and aren't experiencing nearly as much slippage as some brands have in the past that have slipped into oblivion.

Toyota's problems seem similar to what happened to Sony some years ago. A high quality brand gets too popular, builds too many products, and gets complacent about quality control issues in the rush to get new products to the market. Now, Toyota needs to do a great effort to rebuild their reputation. New ads are a first step. But, actually improving quality control is the most important step.


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