While not owning a car is often frustrating, at times it has its advantages in Boston: no digging snow out from around tires, no fighting crowds for parking, and I don’t have to worry about the sticky accelerator pedal in my Toyota sending me to a fiery death. The recent Toyota recall has caused quite the international stir and, while no one in the office owns one, we couldn’t help but wonder what people on Twitter thought. Here’s what we found:
Some 22% of the conversation speculated on how the recall would benefit Toyota’s competitors, especially those backed by the American government. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood’s comment that owners should ‘stop driving it and take it to a Toyota dealer’ fueled theories that the government was looking to boost its investments in GM.
Twitterers dissatisfied with the Toyota response to the crisis thought the company moved too slowly and was wrong to send potential replacement accelerators to assembly plants to build new cars rather than dealerships to repair cars already on the road. The knowledge that Toyotas sometimes cannot be stopped by their drivers left others scared to drive in or around them.
Twitter is usually good for funny one-liners and Toyota’s tag line ‘Moving Forward’Ã‚Â ensured that it failed to disappoint. These snarky tweets, joined by The Daily Show’s coverage of the ‘Toyotathon of Death‘Ã‚Â continue to add to Toyota’s collective embarrassment.
Tweets about the recall weren’t all bad for Toyota, as 12% were by Toyota drivers who pledged to remain loyal to the company. ItÃƒÂs great that they love their cars, but for now, IÃƒÂm happy to keep riding the subway and avoid them on the road.