Bad news for Toyota. After the Japanese factory was the most affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, it now faces a severe drop in sales and the need to recall the first generation Prius hybrid due to a failure in their steering system.
A Toyota report released June 1 states its car and truck sales fell 33 percent during the month of May compared to the the same period of 2010.
In addition, also today, June 1, Toyota Motor Corp. announced the recall for review of 160,000 units of its Toyota Prius hybrid car, technology pioneer that combines an electric motor with a traditional combustion motor.
The cars that have shown issues are those of the first generation of Prius, manufactured in 2004, they have reported issues with the steering system, but so far only minor incidents were reported which could be related to this failure, without any serious accidents recorded.
Among the strategies undertaken by Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder and current CEO of the Japanese firm, is the alliance with credit card companies in the U.S. automotive and marketing chains, in an attempt to avoid the consequences of the economic crisis that has affected its customers.
In May, Toyota launched its plan “Toyota Fried” for America, which works as a network to track buyers of the brand and provide closer support after sales.
In 2010, Toyota had been forced to withdraw 24 million automotive units due to mechanical and technical issues, so this new recall in a car with the most engineering investment, represents another severe blow to its reputation.