With Toyota embroiled in the biggest crisis in company history, you’d figure that there’s no way to go but up for the embattled auto giant. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Toyota’s problems are far from over.
After already recalling an estimated 8 million vehicles over sticky accelerator, a new problem has arisen from a number of Toyota units, forcing the Japanese-based automaker to recall about 437,000 more units of the Toyota Prius, the Lexus HS 250h, and the Toyota Sai.
What makes is worse for Toyota is that the recall of these units is completely different from the over 9 million vehicles that Toyota has previously recalled. While those cars suffered from sticky accelerators pedals, this latest batch consisting mostly of Prius and Lexus HS 250h models involve “inconsistent braking during slow and steady application of brakes on rough or slick road surfaces when the ABS is activated in an effort to maintain traction.”
It may sound a little too complicated at first but the bottom line is that these cars have a very serious braking problem, which could end up leading to fatal accidents down the road. While accidents stemming from this problem have been minimal, Toyota isn’t taking any more chances in making irreparable damage to its already hard-hit reputation.
Toyota president, Akio Toyoda has done nothing over the past few weeks but apologize to many of the brand’s customers, saying that Toyota is fully dedicated to make this on-going crisis as its first priority.
"I apologise for causing trouble and worries for many customers over the quality and safety of Toyota," he said in a news conference. "We sincerely acknowledge safety concerns from our customers. We have decided to recall as we regard safety for our customers as our foremost priority."
All in all, Toyota has recalled more than 10 million vehicles since the complaints started pouring in last January. By any stretch of the imagination, 10 million vehicles is a staggering number, especially for a brand as big as Toyota, which, incidentally, is the largest automaker in the world.
Whether or not the company can regain its credibility and reputation is a far different matter, and one where the company shouldn’t worry about yet. For now, the priority is fixing all the cars that have been recalled and ensuring its customers that Toyota is committed in making things right.
Suffice to say, this crisis is about as bad as it gets for Toyota and the verdict is still out there as to whether or not they can regain their customer’s confidence in buying future Toyota models. For now, though, the emphasis is on fixing all the cars that are affected by this problem.
Everything else is a matter of concern for another time.