The Anatomy of a Toyota Open Letter

(Through Rose-Coloured Glasses)

This appeared in todays newspaper. The wordings of the original letter are in bold, our comments are in italics.


Important update from Toyota Canada. (Good, we do need an update urgently from the horse’s mouth)

There has been a lot of talk about Toyota. (This comes across really cold, it is not the time to be objective, should take the first chance available to apologize, to gain people’s sympathy and respect.)

Here are the facts for our customers. (Yes, the truth, nothing but the truth.)

Your safety remains our number one priority: (point taken, but doesn’t reflect in recent developments.)

          • In the interest of our customers, Toyota has and will continue to thoroughly investigate concerns related to our products and address issues that are identified. (The problem is, how long will that take, e.g. the Prius brake, we know there is a problem, even recall taking place in Japan, but how come this still needed thorough investigations here in North America, and recalls only announced today? Aren’t they the same problem? It gives us the impression that it has to be pushed or cornered before Toyota will act on it, hiding behind the screen of ‘thorugh investigations’.)

          • We will continue to take appropriate measures to remedy any problems, should they arise, and will notify our customers as quickly as possible. (Too little, too late? We are still waiting patiently for the recall of the sticky gas pedal ! So what are we to do in the mean time, just spray it with WD40 ?)

The latest update on the sticking accelerator pedal recall:

          • All Dealers have received repair and Toyota trained technicians have begun to modify affected vehicles. (Yes, we saw that little gadget on TV, is that all we need, then why take so long to come up with that solution? There are expert opinions in the States and England that the gadget may not solve the problem, the sudden acceleration may have something to do with the electronic throttle controls, what are you going to do about that, more thorough investigations?)

          • Our Dealers are here to service your vehicle, many will be working extended hours. (This has nothing to do with the Dealers ! We know they all are doing a fine job, it is their livelihood too that you have affected.)

Toyota vehicles are designed and manufactured with your safety in mind. Our worldwide organization has been mobilized and we are redoubling our efforts to improve and continue to provide our customers with quality products. (We beg to be different with all these problems swirling about. Show us by action, not empty words.)

Since we began selling cars in Canada more than 45 yeas ago, we have been committed to providing you with dependable, quality products. You, in turn, have rewarded us with your loyality and confidence. Our goal is to continue to earn that trust each and every day. (Or continue to earn our car payments 🙂 Again we like to see some concrete remedial examples done to provide quality products.)

For the latest information, please visit our updated website at, contact your Dealer, or our Customer Interaction Centre at 1-888-TOYOTA-8[1-888-869-6828]. (Toyota has the responsibility to provide updates of the situation constantly and regularly, instead of us to call or contact the dealers to find out ourselves. Again providing contact info is not enough with such important issues. Sorry to say, Toyota is not doing a good job in the crisis management.)



In another news: “I don’t see Toyota as an infallible company that never makes mistakes,” President Akio Toyoda said at a press conference Tuesday in Tokyo. “We will face up to the facts and correct the problem, putting customers’ safety and convenience first.”     (Is this an apology or a condescending response? Is he really taking responsibility here? What do you think? )

All car companies have recalls once in a while, it is understable. But how you weather the storm depends on how you manage the crisis properly.

This may be the beginning of the end of the Toyota Family* !?

*Toyota Family referred to those households where every family member drives a Toyota.

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