|Toyota HQ in Toyota City.|
|Akio Toyoda, Totota CEO (2011)|
Toyota, once a stellar example of automotive reliability, has lost considerable grip on the reputation it has enjoyed for decades. The main culprit is sudden unintended acceleration (SUA).The skid actually started in 1986, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority (NHTSA) recalled some Toyotas for “speed control problems.” But the issue then did not attain the major proportions it has now.
|The Toyota brand explained|
Toyota has paid nearly 50 million dollars in recall-related fines, and the bad news does not end there. They still face numerous lawsuits, for charges ranging from lost resale value to injuries and death as a result of the reported defects. These cases could drag on for many years, resulting in steadily increasing losses.
The most damage may be to their reputation. Can they rebound from such a major financial and legal disaster, or will they go down the drain? Only time will tell. This is probably the greatest challenge ever faced by an automaker, or any company, and how they handle it will be their biggest test ever. Will the company that dethroned GM as the world’s number one carmaker fall?
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