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Apology by Toyota USA President Viewed as Sincere by Majority of Americans


Toyota Apology
Toyota brand favorability unaffected by apology

Flemington, NJ, February 2, 2010 – A new media study among 601 Americans revealed that the majority (77%) reported that the apology by Jim Lentz, President of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., was sincere after viewing it.

The study was conducted during February 2-3 by HCD Research using its MediaCurves.com® website, to obtain viewers’ perceptions of an apology given by Jim Lentz, President of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., regarding the recall of several Toyota automobile models.  To view detailed results go to: www.mediacurves.com.

Toyota brand favorability was unaffected by the apology, with viewers rating the average favorability of the brand as 4.5 before and after viewing the apology. Toyota’s brand favorability was higher than a previous study conducted last week regarding of the recall of certain Toyota vehicles. When compared to a past apology given by Mattel CEO, Bob Eckert on the recall of toys, viewers rated the Mattel apology as more sincere than the Toyota apology.

“Our automated response curves revealed that Toyota owners’ sincerity ratings were higher than non-Toyota owners’ sincerity ratings during the apology,” commented Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research.  

Among the findings:

Do you think the apology was sincere?

 

Toyota Apology

Mattel Apology

Yes

77%

86%

No

23%

14%

Please indicate how favorable you are of the Toyota brand using a scale of 1-7 where 1 represents, “Not at all favorable” and 7 represents, “Extremely favorable.”

 

Study 1 (News Clip)

Study 2 (Apology)

Before Video

4.9

4.5

After Video

3.9

4.5

While viewing the video, participants indicated their perceived levels of sincerity by moving their mouse from left to right on a continuum. The responses were recorded in quarter-second intervals and reported in the form of curves. The participants were also asked to respond to post-viewing questions.

Editors/Reporters: For more information on the study, or to speak with Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research, please contact Vince McGourty, HCD Research, at (908) 483-9121 or (vince.mcgourty@hcdi.net).  You can also receive updates from MediaCurves.com by following us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/mediacurves and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Flemington-NJ/MediaCurves/86691908820

HCD Research is a marketing and communications research company headquartered in Flemington, NJ.  The company's services include traditional and web-based research.  For additional information on HCD Research, access the company’s web site at www.hcdi.net or call HCD Research at 908-788-9393.  MediaCurves.com® (www.mediacurves.com) is a media measurement website that provides the media and general public with a venue to view Americans’ perceptions of popular and controversial media events and advertisements.

COMMENTS
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RE: Toyota Apology
by yamakaze (User #231269) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4872)
I wish I needed a new car right now, it'd be a Toyota for sure. Could probably get a great deal. Toyotas are awesome; they last and keep running until all that's left is the chassis and engine. Most of this recall is media hype; in 10 years, this problem has caused about 275 accidents. The research was done by a firm on behalf of litigation-hungry trial lawyers. It's a shame how much this might hurt Toyota's reputation, but it won't affect mine.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by simona.hunt (User #215637) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4873)
i hope that the company can service all the needs of the owners.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by atampel1 (User #66352) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4874)
I have had Toyota's for over 25 years and they are a great car.
Reply
RE: Toyota Apology
by jklmsee (User #219713) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4875)
The ad seemed sincere, but when I hear the background on how this has grown, I am not convinced they are that sincere
Reply
RE: Toyota Apology
by chasman232323 (User #229895) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4876)
every auto maker has recalls, no big deal to me
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RE: Toyota Apology
by marietperry (User #232012) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4877)
Toyota is a world of hurt over this. But hopefully they will get it all fixed.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by bothwellsk (User #229075) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4878)
I believ that the guy BELIEVED he was sincere...I just think he wants to get rid of the problem...makes me wonder, how can they be sure the problem is fixed? That is why I am not confident in his sincerity.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by SHERRIHOLLAND (User #234235) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4879)
really feel that the apology should have happened day one, and that more could be done for those driving a Toyota right now and scared to death. I have only heard the comment just dont drive it??? Hello, we work, have kids, etc, so come on not driving it isnt an option.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by bhight3 (User #231364) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4880)
Toyota has always had a reputation for a quality will built vehicle. I assume that tradition will continue and this is but a bump in the road.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by OwtTheeBox (User #230236) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4881)
I feel as Mr. Lentz needed a teleprompter and a weird background just o make himself look good and presentable, if he was really sorry, you don't need all of that, he wasn't sincere in my opinion, this was similar to the Chris Brown apology, and look at what he did after all that was over with (took photos with a guy dressed up with make-up that made him look like he was beat up and bloody).
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RE: Toyota Apology
by pdaughety (User #227835) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4882)
he sort of talked like a mortician-he should talk a little less consoling
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RE: Toyota Apology
by sporty1972 (User #205456) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4883)
i think there is more wrong with these cars and dont think this fix will work
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RE: Toyota Apology
by GENYBELLE (User #227023) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4884)
Very noble of Toyota to issue this apology to the public
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RE: Toyota Apology
by CASTLY (User #200281) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4885)
you tell em jim. however, i think another auto company competitor caused the problem with those few cars! if you ever find out what competitor company caused those problems. Wage a all out war on that company and shut it down!!!!
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RE: Toyota Apology
by mitchchark (User #233478) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4886)
Toyota has always been on top of the JD Powers list for quality. Totota has already earned a good reputation. If the mechanical difficulty had happened in Japan, the executive in charge would have committed suicide by now. What needs to be done is to find the origin of the parts problem ...is it in the USA or Japan ..or someplace else. If USA, then quality control needs to be accountable, the parts manufacturer needs to be held accountable as well. The apology was weak ... referring to a "situation" ...weak ....he should say it straight ..it was due to these identified faulty parts. He gives details for current Toyota owners to have repairs but does not identify the methods that Toyota use deploy to solve the problem for the future.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by floridamountain (User #217407) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4887)
I really think if they were so sincere they would have fixed the problem sooner.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by curlylocksann (User #229847) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4888)
Wow, that was a wonderful apology from Toyota. It made me feel that somebody CARES about humanity again. I appreciate it so much, regardless of who made the apology, though I think it coming from the CEO or whatever he was, DID make MORE of an impression on me.
Reply
RE: Toyota Apology
by rofsgirl (User #203882) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4889)
he seems sincere but the quality definitely has been compromised
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RE: Toyota Apology
by becky45 (User #68144) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4890)
He should have apologized to the families that lost their loved ones to be really sincere!
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RE: Toyota Apology
by sandi1955 (User #221182) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4891)
My family owns two Toyotas--a Prius and an older Camry, which aren't included in the recalls. If we had one of the affected vehicles I'd probably be freaking out , but this video would answer my questions and assure me things would be taken care of.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by ASTOR2 (User #216770) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4892)
I have been a Toyota owner for many years and have only had good experiences from sales to service to product. The fact that Toyota is proactive just gives me more confidence in them. Any company can have a defect. It's how they handle to situation that matters most. Sincerely, Kathleen Soine
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RE: Toyota Apology
by jayogu (User #204727) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4893)
This bold action is a favorable step in reminding consumers that Toyota is more than just a car or brand in that the corporation is taking ownership and stepping out to solve for this problem. I take pride in being the owner of a vehicle built by a responsible company.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by jdavery3 (User #234602) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4894)
It didn't ask if I was in the market to buy a new vehicle or if i have had experience with a toyota vehicle. I have owned two toyotas and was involved in a severe accident in one of them. I love toyotas because they are reliable and I walked away from my accident unharmed.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by bobbytth (User #227036) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4895)
If he was sincere he would of recalled them when he thought the floor mats were the main cause,I believe that it was never the floor mats and they got laxed putting cars together,because you become #1 in car sells don't mean you can slip and put people in danger.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by Glorydays002 (User #215716) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4896)
Maybe he normally has a blah personality but all I noticed was him reading off of cue cards. I am impressed that Toyota actually acknowledged this and do a public apology. Ford or Chevy wouldn't. My opinion hasn't changed, I would still consider a vehicle from Toyota.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by elainmir (User #203393) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4897)
I believe TOYOTA did the right thing and started a recall that was voluntary as well as stop the sales of affected models. They've earned my trust and respect
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RE: Toyota Apology
by frustrated (User #201876) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4898)
I don't think that Toyota did this on purpose. But I do know that companies in general purposely cut corners to save lots of money, knowing that down the road it could cause problems.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by NilaCh (User #231803) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4899)
Though this is not your doing, there was no mention is the recall work would be done for free or at a certain cost to the customer. I would have felt more comfortable if this was conveyed to me especially since I own a Toyota.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by emichelle1113 (User #59936) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4900)
Toyota ought to be ashamed! The very first accident involving a sticking gas pedal should have sent up a red flag to Toyota. the second accident caused by this same problem should have bolted them into action, but it did not. Shame on you Toyota! No more people should have died due to a fault in your cars.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by mmeg29 (User #234251) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4901)
I have always trusted toyota although I am concerned that they knew about this problem much longer than they are saying and that the fix they are proposing will not fix the problem. Unfortunately I bought a 2009 Prius just days before the current recalls.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by kevinryan (User #228685) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4902)
nice to see him apologize, it is rare that you see CEOs do that.
Reply
RE: Toyota Apology
by KevinSell (User #234533) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4903)
Mistakes are made in every company from time to time. Mistakes in a high exposure industry such as automobile manufacturing are understandably difficult to own up to because of liability/cost issues. Toyota has clearly stumbled here; and for quite some time. They are overdue for this mea culpa. In no way do I believe they acted properly when they first recognized this problem. Was this due to the leadership at Toyota? No, I doubt it. This was probably covered up at a lower-level for fear of the 'kill the messenger' syndrome prevelant in certain corporations. With proper action now, Toyota can, and I suspect will, improve in many ways. Now that this issue has been exposed to every eschelon of this corporation, let's watch and see how it plays out.
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RE: Toyota Apology
by JosephAkuffo (User #232703) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4904)
The commercial was very sincere. Not many people can go on tv and appologize, and the president of toyota is doing it. It's great, but just one 'sorry' would be fine. I like toyota a little more because this shows a little sincerity but I already liked toyota before so not that much change.
Reply
RE: Toyota Apology
by bargainbetty (User #207031) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4905)
he was forthright with what he wanted to say in a scripted text but when interviewed by a reporter, he was evasive in his answers.
Reply
RE: Toyota Apology
by sldonaldson (User #234172) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4906)
I think Toyota tried to cut corners by putting substandard parts in the cars. It worked for a while. Then when people came to them with a car trouble they turned their back on them until the Federal Government told them they had to fix them problem.
Reply
RE: Toyota Apology
by snootzses (User #225429) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4907)
mistakes happen. I do not believe toyota should be penalized for it. It is and will always be a good car as far as I am concerned.
Reply
RE: Toyota Apology
by chana618 (User #226777) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 3:53:47 PM (#4908)
I feel he was very sincere because this recall affected so many Toyota owners.
Reply
RE: Toyota Apology
by Windy (Anonymous User) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 @ 4:45:02 PM (#4909)
For good PR, he had to. If he didn't do anything, it would have confirmed that Toyota could have cared less and will do what they have to because they got bagged. I'd really like to see how much Toyota really cares. Putting that guy with the Blah personality really didn't cut it.
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