Toyota Issues the Single Largest Recall in 16 Years
Toyota Motor Corp. recently announced the global recall of 7.43 million vehicles over a defective power-window switch that could potentially cause a fire – the single largest recall announced since Ford Motor Co.’s recall of 7.9 million vehicles in 1996.
Unfortunately, recalls are nothing new for Toyota.
Since the unintended acceleration debacle that occurred in recent years, the Japanese automaker has worked hard to rebuild its tarnished image and brand. It has paid off with double-digit sale gains that were reported in the U.S. earlier this month.
But will this recent recall announcement set back Toyota’s momentum in the long-term?
Only time will tell. The vehicles affected by the recall include select Yaris, Corolla, Highlander and Sequoia models produced between 2005 and 2010. This is interesting because several of these affected models were manufactured before news of the unintended acceleration issue ever broke. In fact, the first time the problem was reported was in September 2008.
But Toyota says it was unable to determine the cause of the issue until now.
While Toyota initially said the window switch problem had not caused any accidents or injuries, documents filed by U.S. safety regulators show otherwise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says they have received 161 reports of fires and nine injuries.
This conflicting information led NHTSA to open an investigation into the matter in February. The probe is still open pending a review of recall documents by the agency.
In order to close NHTSA’s investigation and maintain brand integrity, Toyota must effectively notify and manage this massive recall. By doing so, the automaker will ensure consumers that it has learned from the mistakes of its past and is continuing efforts to provide safe and quality vehicles worldwide.
Do you think Toyota has what it takes to salvage its brand after this recent development? Let us know your thoughts below.
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