2/8/10

Toyota 'Diggs' Its Vehicle Recall

Last year, I took the government's money and traded in my old minivan for a nice new 2010 Toyota Prius. When all of the Toyota recall issues hit the news, I breathed a sigh of relief when I read that the recall for floormats, and then gas peddles did not include my Prius. But it didn't take long for me to start seeing things pop up on Twitter about the 'Woz' having cruise control issues (and feeling slightly proud that the Woz got clocked doing 105 in his 2010 Prius -- yes, they can go that fast.) Then the big news that a recall of the 2010 Prius was probably coming due to a braking issue. The braking issue is something that I've had first-hand experience with, but found it more of a 'feature' than a recall worthy issue. This morning I get a email from Toyota saying that Jim Lentz, President and COO of Toyota Motor Sales is going to give a live interview on Digg Dialogg:
TOYOTA
For more than 50 years, Toyota has produced safe, reliable, quality vehicles and provided first-rate service. Because your safety and confidence in Toyota is of the utmost importance to us, we want to ensure that we are providing you with the latest recall information. To get further details, please visit toyota.com. Additionally, Jim Lentz, President and COO of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will be interviewed live on Digg Dialogg on Monday, February 8, at 2 p.m. PST to answer the top questions as voted on by the Digg community. Watch the interview here. Your safety is important to us, and we will continue to do everything we can to keep you informed.
It will be interesting to see how this 'Digg Dialogg' interview goes. I don't think they will be taking only softball questions, and I was impressed to see that Jim Lentz had a generic link to other Digg conversations about the Toyota recall issues, that were not cherry-picked by someone in the PR department. Toyota has taken a black eye on all the recall talk, both in the traditional media and in the social media. For a brand that is built on quality, safety and owner loyalty, Toyota should be working hard to make sure that it also understands that today's public not only gets its information from traditional media, but also 'talks' to a wider social media audience. The email I received this morning at least it makes it seems that Toyota 'Diggs' where we're coming from.

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2 comments:

Doug Cornelius said...

I think the problem is completely overblown. A similar thing happened to Audi and nearly destroyed the company. They never found a problem with Audis.

Check out the Car and Driver test:
http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/how_to_deal_with_unintended_acceleration-tech_dept

If you step on the brake, most cars will stop in about the same distance even with the throttle wide open. The exception being extreme high performance cars.

I think Toyota is too afraid to blame the victims for operator error.

Greg Lambert said...

That's a great thought, Doug. Perhaps loyalty is a double-edged sword for Toyota?

 

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