Quote Of The Day: Or Else… Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

There is widespread public concern regarding reports of sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota motor vehicles. There appears to be growing public confusion regarding which vehicles may be affected and how people should respond. In short, the public is unsure as to what exactly the problem is, whether it is safe to drive their cars, or what they should do about it. To help clarify this situation, I am inviting you to testify…

House Oversight Committee Chair Edolphus Towns invites Akio Toyoda down to DC for an evening of under-oath testimony and light refreshments. According to the NY Times, Toyoda has said he “would consider” dancing the Potomac two-step “if he receives a formal invitation, which none of the committees have issued.” Consider yourself officially invited, Mr Toyoda. We’ll start making the popcorn.

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5 of 19 comments
  • Segar925 Segar925 on Feb 18, 2010

    The myth that Toyotas are better than any other jap car is history. I've owned about 8 Hondas, 4 Nissans & my mother & kids own Toyota/Lexus vehicles. I've done most of the maintenance on all these vehicles and the 1999 Maxima has been the most trouble-free of them all. A few years ago we sold a 1993 Sentra with 140K that was still tighter than any of the Accords I've ever sold. The water pump bearing on my mother's 01 Camry failed before the car had 90K. Toyota quality doesn't impress me one bit, recent Honda/Acura styling sucks, so I'm now a loyal Nissan/Infiniti owner.

  • Accs Accs on Feb 19, 2010

    Toyoda has lied and tried to cover up, power steering issues on Camry (probably related to the other vehicles on the same frame) and Corolla, brake control issues on a good majority of what it makes, pedal design itself issues, along with the b.s shim in the brake by wire control issues. On top of Prius regen brake issues (that the Fusion hybrids are also having) This is on top of the frame issues with the Taco, and the other b.s issues with the Tundra. Now and before... I see a Toyota as a moldy vehicle that you buy that you truly don't want to drive. Ya don't get involved in its maintenance or even changing its wipers. However.. I am surprised that Toyoda, a company that DID master how to do PR has somehow completely screwed up basic company reputation.

  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Feb 19, 2010

    Initial PR works best when the image doesn't stray too far from the reality. (Authentic Launch) Mid-term PR works best when the image is enhanced by demonstrated virtues. (Virtuous Cycle) Long-term PR works best when the reality is not allowed to stray from the image. (Remembering Roots and Respecting Built-up Customer Expectations.) PR and crisis-management have elements in common, but are far from the same thing. Crisis-management turns on credibility, which turns on pro-active, authentic, honest, humble and contrite, behaviours. When people generally expect (before cutting the offender some slack, or before the bystanders lose interest, or before the fan-boys begin to question their long-held loyalties) is the right mixture of the above-listed behaviours. Folks easily feel a snow-job in their bones when a PR-type tries to sing and dance his way through a crisis, or the corporate OGC-types force word-parsing actions. Firing-up the PR-bandwagon before the basics are covered, risks backlash, increased scrutiny, retributive and/or punitive actions (which some people mistakenly characterize as "media frenzy".)

  • Accs Accs on Feb 19, 2010

    And just to show HOW TRULY bad it is.. Toyota has hired the same EMERGENCY PR / lawyers that helped Ford with Firestone issues, and the Exxon Valdex... This is a firm that you pull in at the last minute, when its all on the line.. I cant believe.. that crisis mgt is something Toyoda would have to learn.

    • Crash sled Crash sled on Feb 19, 2010

      Unlike the Detroit 3 for example, which has historically faced self-induced crises as a matter of course, I doubt Toyota has ever seen a real crisis, so it's unsurprising they wouldn't be fully prepared if one arose. Further, their political radar was inoperative as regards the NUMMI closure, as the 2 US House committees involved here are chaired/co-chaired by California congresscritters, and Toyota is thus under bipartisan political attack from the Golden State. We'll see how that plays out, and if the retribution angle surfaces openly. From what I gather, Toyota's responses here contain a full and comprehensive financial hit. This would be similar to their response to the Tacoma frame rust issue that somebody mentioned above. The guys over at the Toyota Nation site were quite pleased that Toyota bought effected trucks back at 150% of KBB value, for the original or any owner. Now just ask yourself, for example, what would Ford have done? (Don't spend that $250 coupon in one place, if you manage to wheedle one out of 'em.). Similarly, my Tacoma has an outstanding TSB for suspension. Somebody over in Toyotaville forgot that a 4th leaf might be required for certain heavy haulers, and now they're offering new packs, and new Bilsteins all around to match. A $1,500 upgrade is sitting on the table, for something I haven't even detected in 2 years of (admittedly only a sparingly heavy) use. Hysteria is always transient, as we know, and the only thing any OEM can do is to take actions targeted to operating in the soon-to-come non-hysterical environment. Those who leap and lunge bring on unintended consequences. Forget the spin doctors. Fix it. Pay for it. Move on.