Monday, February 8, 2010

Toyota plans to recall about 300,000 Prius hybrids worldwide over a brake problem and will notify the U.S. and Japanese governments Tuesday, a news report said, as a top executive will testify before U.S. lawmakers over recall woes that have tarnished its reputation for quality and safety.

Report: Toyota plans to recall 300,000 Priuses

Let me dust off my Crystal Ball:

Toyota is going to:

  1. Successfully recall every car with whatever flaw there is, and fix it at no cost to their customers.

  2. Nip the problem in the bud before one more person gets hurt (what’s the current tally?).

  3. Run a desperate PR campaign to undo the damage to their reputation.

And that still won’t be enough, so let’s get ready for the feeding frenzy from the mass tort sharks/lawyers that are more interested in bleeding Toyota dry than in getting some kind of compensation to the actual victims.

Here’s the bold part of my prediction: the name “Prius” dies with this mess. Expect the “Prius” to be retired as a product line, to be soon replaced by a new name that won’t be tarnished by this mess.

How do I know this? Because this is not the first time it happens. The most recent I recall happened to Audi and the sudden acceleration claims against the 5000 series. The car never survived the stygma, so Audi had to rename their product to something else.

Just watch Toyota go through the motions.