Toyota faces a $7bn (£4.4bn) brand crisis, following a week in which it was forced to recall more than 5m faulty vehicles. Brand Finance recently rated Toyota as the ninth-most-valuable brand in the world, at $27bn (£17bn). The consultancy said the recall could wipe out up to 25% of the Japanese car marque¹s value if it does not handle the crisis effectively.
So far Toyota has failed to run any marketing activity specifically addressing the recall for its UK customers. Conversely, in the US, Toyota is running full-page print ads to publicise its actions. The marque said that in the UK, it will be dealing with customers in other ways. The problem lies with the accelerator pedal mechanisms in some Toyota models; the carmaker says these can stick when they become worn.
In the UK, Toyota is recalling many of its most popular models, including the Aygo, Yaris, Auris, and Avensis. Consumers will be asked to bring any cars fitted with the faulty pedal to their nearest Toyota centre. However, Toyota shows no sign of adopting the strategy it used in the US when it was forced to recall thousands of Lexus LS 400s in 1989. On that occasion, it picked up the cars from customers, repaired them and returned them with a full tank of petrol.