The Toyota Recall situation has taken a turn for the worse. This has become a Twitstorm with many stories breaking at the same time. Customer satisfaction issues abound  as consumers  and their families cannot get answers to the question “Is my car safe to drive”? Here’s recap of the recent events including a US Congress investigation.

1, Toyota Recalls have hit European Toyota models and could hit 1.8 Million Vehicles.

2. There are recalls in China as well, Toyota’s fifth recall since the beginning of 2009 in China. See this  video by CNN.  CBS  also has an interesting video on the latest reports. in Europe and China.

3. The current resale value of affected Toyota vehicles has effectively gone to zero. Wholesale resale of  affected Toyota cars and trucks has been stopped by the big players.  Manheim and ADESA  auction groups have stopped reselling affected Toyotas. Manheim and ADESA represent about 50% of the US wholesale auction market.  Used Car retailer CarMax has stopped selling affected Toyotas. They own over 100 Used Car Dealerships. So Toyota owners cannot even trade in or sell their cars unless they find smaller players or sell privately.

4.  More car rental companies have pulled affected Toyotas off the road. The list now includes Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Dollar and Thrifty.

5.  Some Ford models, for the Chinese market, have been recalled. They used the same ‘pedals’.

6. US Congress is now launching an investigation into Toyota.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to hold hearings on Feb. 25, 2010 on the sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman who is leading the investigation,  is requesting’ timelines  from Toyota going back to Jan. 1, 2000, on all complaints, warranty reports, field reports and reports of death, injury or property damage related to unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles.’  See this article from The Hill.  Waxman said the hearing would address “how quickly and effectively” Toyota and regulators responded to consumer complaints about the safety of recalled vehicles.

I think the US Congress investigation will be very telling in terms of the future of Toyota. How long ago did they know of this sticky accelerator? Did they respond responsibly or try to hide the problem? This  information will, in my opinion, be key to the future of Toyota’s  Reputation and Brand.

What is your opinion?


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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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