Friday, March 5, 2010

Toyota’s Classic ‘No Comment’ Conundrum

Blunt piece in AdAge this week hammering Toyota’s handling of its massive case of recallitis.

James Treece’s argument boils down to one we’ve made more than a few times on this blog: “no comment” is a terrible crisis communications strategy.

Akio Toyoda’s congressional testimony last week was a decent attempt at a new era of straight talk and openness from the historically secretive multinational that his grandfather founded.

But it'll take more than one contrite appearance on Capitol Hill to overcome what we now know were decades of denial about major safety issues with the company's products--problems that the company knew of for quite some time, yet chose to remain silent about.

Toyoda left many questions unanswered, and the company still has lots of work to do in terms of transparency and responsiveness if it hopes to regain the reputation for reliability and quality that shot it to the top of the heap.

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