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Toyota Safety Recall: Consumer Concern and Consumer Reaction


Google Trends and Google Insights Study
February 2010



  • Objectives: estimate consumer and competitor reactions to Toyota safety recall, using information circulated on the Web and in the news

  • Questions:

- Which of the Toyota safety problems was the cause for greatest concern among consumers?
- Which Toyota model leads to the greatest safety concern?
 How loyal are Toyota consumers? Do they switch to competitor models? Which competitor has the highest probability of acquiring dissatisfied Toyota customers?

  • Assumption:

- We assume that the search is made by a consumer (or potential consumer). Therefore, if a search share for the term "Camry recall" is greater than the search share for the term "Prius recall", we interpret this as Camry consumers having greater concern than Prius consumer

 


Introduction: Toyota Safety Problems


  • Toyota has stopped selling most of its popular models
  • Toyota is the world's No. 1 automaker
- The US government has received new complaints alleging 34 deaths in Toyota vehicles due to sudden acceleration since 2000
- When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened its investigation of Prius on February 3, the government had received 124 consumer complaints. By February 11, it had received 1120 complaints alleging 34 crashes with six injuries but no deaths. Therefore, the number of complaints about Toyota Prius grew by nearly 1000 in little more than a week 
- Three congressional hearings are planned on the Toyota recalls
- Toyota has recalled 8.5 million vehicles globally during the past four months because of problems with accelerator pedals, floor mats and brakes
- Number of people intending to buy a new Toyota declined by 12% in January, 2010: http://www.businessweek.com/autos/autobeat/archives/2010/02/with_toyota_ree.html

However, a vehicle recall is not a rare event in automotive industry.
Over the last three years we've seen 23 million recalls, and the vast  majority were not Toyota:
http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/02/24/gm-ford-luring-toyota-drivers/?test=latestnews


Introduction: Toyota Safety Problems


  • Models involved Sticking accelerator pedal recall:
- Certain 2009-2010 RAV4*, Certain 2009-2010 Corolla*, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, Certain 2007-2010 Camry*, Certain 2010 Highlander*, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2008-2010 Sequoia

*Highlander hybrids and Camry hybrids are not involved. Further, Camry, RAV 4, Corolla and Highlander with VINs that begin with "J" are not involved either.

  • Floor mat pedal entrapment recall:
2007 - 2010 Camry, 2005 - 2010 Avalon, 2004 - 2009 Prius, 2005 - 2010 Tacoma, 2007 - 2010 Tundra, 2008 - 2010 Highlander, 2009 - 2010 Corolla, 2009 - 2010 Venza, 2009 - 2010 Matrix

  • Lexus:
2006 - 2010 IS 250 2006 - 2010 IS 350 2007 - 2010 ES 350


Worldwide Consumer Concern for the Last 12 Months


Google Trends for the search: Toyota recall, Day of search: February 20, 2010, Filters: Worldwide, Last 12 months:
Google Trends for the search: Toyota recall, Day of search: February 20, 2010, Filters: Worldwide, Last 12 months

 

Google Insights for the search: Toyota recall, Day of search: February 20, 2010, Filters: Worldwide, Last 30 days, Automotive Category
Above: Google Insights for the search: Toyota recall, Day of search: February 20, 2010, Filters: Worldwide, Last 30 days, Automotive Category

Toyota Recall vs. Honda Recall: Reflection in Search and News Reference Volumes


Google Trends: Toyota recall, Honda recall. Day of search: February 20, 2010, Filters: All regions/USA, Last 30 days
Y-axis: Search Volume Index. It reflects the search volume on a relative scale: one unit corresponds to the total average search traffic of the first search phrase, Toyota recall, in the "last 30 days" time frame. The second search phrase, Honda recall, has approximately 14% of the number of searches compared to the first term.
Toyota Recall vs. Honda Recall

Search Interest Exhibits Only Short-Term Consumer Concern

Toyota Recall Google Insights



Consumer Reaction to Toyota Safety Recall by Type of Problem


JPG


Competitor Action and Consumer Reaction: GM, Ford, and Hyundai Offer Incentives on Toyota Trade-Ins

Toyota Safety Recall

The Success of the Ford Campaign


Search Interest Exhibits Only Short-Term Consumer Concern in 2010 and Interest Peaks Coincide with Dates of Recall/Problem Announcement