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Would you buy a Toyota?
Surprisingly, 34 percent of respondents to an online poll say the recall of 8.5 million vehicles will not affect their decision when next buying a car.
February 28, 2010 3:20 by Ben Flanagan
Toyota once ranked as one of the world’s most trusted brands: According to a survey by Brand Finance, the automaker recently placed as the 10th most valuable brand in America. But given the PR disaster following the company’s recall of 8.5 million vehicles on safety grounds, it will be a long time until it regains this position – if it ever does.
And what a PR disaster it is. Faults in Toyota vehicles, which involve acceleration and braking problems, have been linked to 19 deaths over the last decade. The car maker has lost $30 billion of its market value in the last month alone.
According to BrandIndex, YouGov’s daily brand perception tracker, Toyota’s brand perception scores have dropped dramatically in the UK and Germany – but the US market is by far the worst affected.
“Following safety violations at Southwest Airlines in March 2008 resulting in nearly a thousand cancelled flights and a $10.2 million fine from the FAA, it took them over six months to recover… The Toyota crisis is similar in magnitude and we wait to see whether there will be a similar recovery period, providing no additional issues or missteps occur over the next several weeks and months,” said Ted Marzilli, global BrandIndex managing director.
While the company has recalled vehicles from the Middle East region, the automaker’s problems are less severe in this part of the world.
At the beginning of February, Toyota said that it was recalling the 2005-2010 model year Avalons and the 2009-2010 Sequoia cars from the Middle East to fix faulty accelerator pedals. This prompted a recall of 3,120 cars from the UAE as a precaution, although an additional recall of the Corolla will probably not affect the UAE, according to a spokesperson for Al Futtaim Motors, the local distributor of Toyota.
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