For two different issues related to the jamming open of throttles, the Toyota recall programme has gone global reaching close to the nine million mark. There are two important questions to be answered – How large is the danger to people, and how great is the danger to Toyota’s reputation.
The report of deaths attributed to the two problems is around 15 in the US and zero in Europe. Any deaths are bad but the actual risk is very low with over 10 million cars driven on average three years. Not paying attention causes more dangerous in the long run.
If the cost of modifying the throttles was not enough losses in sales, in the short will be large partly due to having to modify the throttles on cars already assembled. Competitors, such as GM, in the US have special offers for those that have Toyotas and want to trade them in.
The real problem can be the long term possibility of loss of reputation. For many, the safe and reliable part to Toyota was the reason to purchase, now with that gone, why buy a Toyota?
There is a chance Toyota will escape not so bad off, for example when Mercedes had the problems with rollovers with their A-class, with quick action – pulling the car, remodeling the car – they were able to keep loyal customers.