Recalls have Toyota in Crisis Mode
Toyota has had a rough few weeks and it's only getting worse.
The company's problems continued to stack up today, as the auto maker said it was recalling 1.8 million vehicles in Europe. Additionally, there are reports of dealers voicing their concerns and feeling the pinch after Toyota halted U.S. sales of eight of its top-selling vehicles.
In response to public concerns, Toyota is planning an "open letter" in major newspapers Sunday and Monday in the top 25 markets in the U.S., according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the plan.
The impact of the crisis is starting to show in the analyst's world as well.
Edmunds.com, one of the most formidable sources in the automotive industry, is reporting that Toyota's market share in the U.S. is likely to drop to 14.7% in January, its lowest level in four years. Toyota's market share stood at 18.2% in December.
While Toyota is struggling, the WSJ is reporting that rivals Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., have launched new initiatives targeting Toyota customers. Both companies are said to be expecting double-digit increases in their January U.S. sales numbers.
On Friday, Toyota gave details of its European recall of cars affected by the gas-pedal problem and the recall will affect some models made as far back as February 2005.
Including Friday's action in Europe, the Japanese company has now recalled 9.5 million vehicles since late last year over two issues—5.4 million for floor mat entrapment issues and 4.1 million for a sticky gas pedal problem. That is 22% more than the 7.8 million vehicles Toyota sold world-wide last year, according to the Journal.