Toyota Brake Recall – Japanese Reactions to the Current Crisis

It all started on a usual family outing in California. It was there that a highway patrolman and his family were driving on the highway, when they realized the accelerator petal was stuck to the floor. After careening through the highway and eventually crashing though a guard rail, the car rolled over a few times and burst into flames.

Toyota has gotten lots of press lately for their recall of cars across America and the so called stuck accelerator problem. Americans have reacted with shock as their  top quality car maker has had to recall some of the highest selling models on the American market. But how have the Japanese reacted to this?

Each Japanese newspaper today had a different take on the current crisis at Toyota, its affects on America and the overall financial health of the company:

Asahi – “Although the Nikkei Average Climbs, Toyota’s Stock Falls” – The Asahi talked about how for the past three business days the Nikkei Average has gone up. Yesterday following the recent rise in American and European exchanges, Tokyo’s stock exchange also went into the black.

Despite this, the Asahi claims that “the environment of multiple complaints” from the Pirus Break problem have lowered Toyota’s stock. Since yesterday it dropped 5.8%, or 205 yen.

Nikkei – “Toyota’s Sales Drop 15% in the U.S.” The car market in the U.S. has recently shown growth of 6% compared with last month, according to the Nikkei. Despite this, Toyota’s new car sales slumped 15%.

The effects can be seen from looking at Toyota’s competition. According to the Nikkei, for the first time in 7 months Ford replaced Toyota as the #2 car seller in America. Sales of both Ford and GM have gone up, where as Toyota when comparing with Jan 2009 has had sales slip almost 14%.

Yomiuri – “The Vice President of Toyota Talks about the Response to the Crisis” – After meeting with various heads of the Japanese government, Toyota’s Vice President announced today that “Toyota will be able to make changes to their brake computer.” Also adding “we will investigate each case one by one.”

The Yomiuri focused on how much Toyota has been collaborating with the Japanese government to work out a countermeasure that will hopefully restore the public’s trust in Toyota’s cars.

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