Essays on The Toyota Recall Incident Case Study

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The paper 'The Toyota Recall Incident " is a good example of a management case study. The manner in which a firm reacts and responds to a crisis or incident is very important as far as the management and success of the business are concerned. As the Agenda-setting theory holds, prominent news headlines often lead the public to prioritize these topics as top public agendas (McCombs and Maxwell, 2004). This is because the mass media often the only conduit for authoritative as well as persuasive information. This information is considered effective as it is rapid and extensive enough to persuade considerable proportions of the population within a short period of time.

Thus, firms often suffer great damage with regard to their overall reputation and performance in case of a crisis as the firm in dilemma is often portrayed on the headlines often from a negative perspective. Therefore, communication management is very important in addressing any incident that is associated with the company. The management needs to develop proper communication strategies that can control the damage as well as salvage the company’ s reputation thereafter.

Importantly, when companies behave negligently or products fail, patrons’ perceptions, as well as their purchasing decisions, can be negatively affected. Although the management or the executive is often aware of such harms, they are usually caught off guard as a result of the degree of the aftershocks related to the scandalous situations. As such, this paper aims at discussing the Toyota Recall Crisis that happened in 2009; the response and management of the crisis will be analyzed. Various theories related to management communication will be used to explain the occurrences. Background of Toyota Motor Corporation Headquartered in Aichi, Toyota Motor Corporation is a renowned Japanese multi-billion firm engaged in the automotive industry.

The company is built on a world-class corporate brand status that rides on the ideology of ‘ customer focus’ , ‘ excellence in design’ and ‘ manufacturing, quality’ , ‘ reliability’ and ‘ continuous improvement. ’ Founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyota, the Toyota cooperation started off as a spinoff from the Toyota Industries to manufacture automobiles. In 1934 the company while still under Toyota industries created the first engine called Type A engine and thereafter manufacturing the first passenger car called Toyota AA in 1936.

Currently, Toyota manufactures vehicles along with five main brands: Lexus, Hino, Ranz and Voltz. The company commands a fifty-one percent stake in Daihatsu, 0.28% of Telsa shares, 16.65% of Fuji Heavy Industries ‘ s and 5.5% stake in Isuzu (Nishiguchi & Beaudet, 2008). The Toyota Corporation is also part of the Toyota Group, which is considered as one of the largest conglomerates globally. The Toyota Motor Corporation’ s great reputation has come along with many benefits including customers loyalty, market share, as well as financial strength.

As Quelch and Steinmetz (2010) posits, Toyota’ s long success and rapid growth have been due to its investment in innovation quality on both design and engineering of its automotive. The Crisis In September 2009, Toyota was hit by a major crisis associated with the vehicles that were manufactured and released that year. The company was forced to recall millions of cars that had already been sold as there was a major outcry concerning default on the acceleration pedals, brakes as well as the floor mats. The recall affected the company adversely as the production of its most popular models and sales were halted.

The company faced considerable negative publicity during this incident as several accidents resulting from the defected acceleration pedals and brakes (Nishiguchi & Beaudet, 2011). For instance, in September 2009 an officer attached to the California highway patrol officer was unable to apply the brakes of his Toyota car thus crashing into a bump. The fatal accident resulted in the death of the officer as well as his family. According to official reports from the experts, the investigations conducted after the accident indicated that the crash was due to uncontrollable acceleration.

According to a report filed by Quelch, Knoop and Johnson (2011), a total of 3.9 million vehicles were recalled in the U. S.


Jones, Jeffrey M. (2010). Americans, Toyota Owners Still Confident in Toyota Vehicles. USA Today/Gallup poll. Retrieved from owners-confident-toyota-vehicles.aspx. Accessed July 23, 2015.

McCombs, Maxwell. (2004). Setting the Agenda — The Mass Media and Public Opinion. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

MSNBC.COM. (2010). Toyota recall timeline. Retrieved from Accessed May 23, 2015.

Nishiguchi, T., & Beaudet, A. (2011). The Toyota group and the Aisin fire. MIT Sloan Management Review, 40(1), 49.

Quelch, J., Knoop, C.-I., & Johnson, R. (2011). Toyota Recalls (A): Hitting the Skids. HBS Case 9-511 016. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Steinmetz, Katy. (2010). Toyota's Safety Problems: A Checkered History. Time, February 10, 2010. Retrieved from,8599,1962218,00.html?xid=rss-topstories. Accessed April 23, 2015.

Stewart, Thomas A. & Raman, Anand. (2010). Lessons from Toyota's long drive. Harvard Business Review 85 (7), 74-76.

Weaver, D.A. & Bimber, Bruce. (2008). Finding news stories: a comparison of searches using Lexis Nexis and Google News. Journalism and Mass Communications Quarterly 85(3), 517-532.

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