Good Job Toyota!!

Toyota, one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, had a huge crisis in the end of 2009, beginning of 2010. Many models, including, Corolla, Avalon, Camry, and many more were recalled. The first recall was on Nov 2009 for an incorrect or out of place front drivers side floor mats. The second recall was on January 2010, which began after some crashes were announced that showed to be caused by the sticking of the accelerator pedal.  According to ABC news, a total of 5.2 million vehicles were recalled for pedal and floor mat problems: 2.3 million vehicles had acceleration pedal problems, and 1.7 million vehicles had both problems.

Toyota had a very quick and smart response to this crisis. According to W.T. Coombs’ “9 Crisis Reputation Repair Strategies”, I think that Toyota used a combination of the 8th and 9th strategies. The 8th strategy, called “compensation”, involves the “crisis manager offer[ing] money or other gifts to victims.” The 9th strategy is “apology”, which states, “[a] crisis manger indicates the organization takes full responsibility for the crisis and asks stakeholders for forgiveness.”

In the press release from Toyota, they posted all the common questions that customers might ask. They explain how they will handle the situation. One of the things mentioned was that Toyota will cover all repair costs associated with all work related to the recall. This is a prime example of a mixture of the compensation strategy and the apology strategy; they took full responsibly and also offer to fix it themselves without letting the victims pay anything out-of-pocket.  Toyota also offered to replace all drivers and passengers side floor mats. They also provided significant information on how they would fix the issue so that it would not happen again in the future.

Toyota understands that this unfortunate crisis is their responsibly and tried their very best to fix the problem, promptly and maturely. In my opinion Toyota handled this unfortunate crisis very well. I think that they used the correct strategies. They are a big and successful company and were aware that they had to take full responsibly for the errors that occurred to their vehicles.  The correct thing to do was to satisfy their consumers, and in doing so they fixed their cars with no charge, thereby making it as stress-free as possible—for the owners and the family members involved. In this case, Toyota, through crisis management sifting through the various methods of the 9 crisis reputation repair strategies, and discovered that in this particular instance both the compensation and apologetic methods were the most appropriate and effective.


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