Product-Harm Crisis Paper

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Introduction: Product-Harm Crisis
In 2009 the Toyota Corporation encountered a major public crisis. Recalls concerning faulty accelerator peddles which resulted in accidents and fatalities challenged Toyota’s reputation and dependability. The event with the fatal crash in 2009 that led to public outcry was the release of the 911 call that was made from the vehicle. Product-harm crisis occurs when an organization’s products are found to be flawed, unhealthy, or perilous. “The different types of crisis can also be broken down into three clusters of crisis responsibility which are: (1) the victim cluster, where the threat to the company’s reputation is mild as seen in terrorism crisis, (2) the accidental cluster, which represents a moderate reputation
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Establishing an organization such as Toyota requires years of planning and marketing. Toyota invested forty years in establishing reputation within the U.S. as one of the top automobile contenders. “Toyota is well established in the U.S. market and has a loyal customer base in the millions” (Rajasekera, 2013). With the recalls that occurred in 2009-2011, Toyota faced scrutiny from both the Media and Shareholders. “Unstoppable stream of recalls tat accompanied a streak of emotionally charged accidents, including 52 deaths attributed to a sudden acceleration problem (CBS News, 2010)” (Rajasekera, 2013). Both the U.S. Government and the Japanese Government began questioning Toyota’s liabiltiy and dependability. Toyota employs stated that due to the high demand of manufacturing the automobiles, only “60 percent out of 100 percent of the vehicles were tested following completion. This could have resulted from the tetimony from President Toyoda when he said, “The company was growing too fast and that it may have focused on selling cars rather than paying suffcient attention to quality” (Rajasekera, 2013). Coorespondingly, with the growth in the Toyota manufacturing the organizaion’s personal was “stretched thin” and Toyota was required to …show more content…
With the faulty accelerator pedals which originally was blamed on floor mats, Toyota eventually recalled over 9 million vehciles. The major problems Toyota faced was the retaliation from the public when they felt that Toyota was: a. taking to long to address the issue, b. neglecting an apology for the lives that were affected by the defaults, and c. overall lacking in communication.
Toyota has since taken corrective measures to reestablish their reputation in the automobile production and with regaining both consumers and shareholders trust. Although, time is going to dictate if Toyota can reestablish their ability to provide safe and reliable vehicles. First, Toyota needs to consider quantity over quality. The company was attempting to release a large number of vehicles in order to stay ahead of their competitors. In doing this they were neglecting the quality of their vehicles. Second, communication is the key for success in any organization. Social Media encorpoates a large percentage of communication in today’s world. Toyota took its first bit step in reestablishing loyal customers by communicating through both Twitter and Facebook. This strategy rebuilds a feeling of trust from both Consumers and Shareholders. Finally, Toyota should strategize a plan for Crisis Management and Crisis Risk Awareness. The company should anticipate recalls before they become a crisis.

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