Toyota out to limit brand damage

Toyota is preparing a series of marketing communications activity to salvage its brand reputation, as the carmaker faces recalling millions of defective vehicles.

The Japanese manufacturer could be forced to recall up to two million vehicles across Europe, according to estimates, and is also carrying out recalls in North America and China.

The problem is caused by faulty accelerator pedal mechanisms, which Toyota said may mechanically stick in a partially depressed position when worn. The accelerator system is provided by US-based parts manufacturer CTS.

Toyota’s shares have fallen by more than 16% in just a week, as the markets have responded with dismay to the crisis.

Toyota released a statement on its website explaining the situation. It said the models and exact number of potentially affected vehicles remains “under investigation”.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding which models carry the problem, a Toyota spokeswoman said the marque will not be launching any immediate above-the-line marketing.

However, it will continue to communicate through digital channels until the internal investigation is completed.

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