Toyota Looks to Build Confidence Amidst More Recalls
Embattled auto manufacturer Toyota announced plans to move ahead with its recall of the Prius hybrid. At the same time, the company has launched a national ad campaign in an attempt to restore consumer confidence.
The vehicle's ABS brake defect is the latest issue that has forced the automaker to sideline additional cars.
Soon after, Toyota will organize another recall of 133,000 2010 Priuses along with 14,500 of its high-end 2010 Lexus HS250h models in order to upgrade the ABS software. These models have been targeted for repair of problems involving brake lockup and skipping on slick surfaces.
In the U.S., Toyota will recall 223,068 of its Prius hybrids, the Lexus HS250h, and the Sai. This is all, of course, is in addition to the company wrestling with the previous recall of eight million cars worldwide, which has cost the company an estimated $2 billion.
At a press conference, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said,"The number of reported cases and the possibility that the problem could continue were the key factors behind our recall decision." He added that correcting flaws is part of their “kaizen DNA.”
As the company begins to address issues in the garage, they've also started to do work on repairing their reputation.
A relatively new ad which is meant to restore consumer confidence in the brand is running frequently on major broadcast channels. The messaging in the ad tries to remind consumers about how they came to know the car marker: showing old footage of cars and consumers and mixing in newer footage of Toyota inspectors diligently reviewing models coming off the manufacturing line. The tone of the spot is very soft and apologetic. However, some stations are pulling Toyota's advertising all together.