1. To restore trust and confidence, Toyota needs to fire the key executives who are responsible for production and safety standards. As Albert Einstein stated: "You cannot expect the people who caused the problem to fix it."
2. To hold no one responsible for the major production flaws makes consumers wary of trusting Toyota in the future.
3. Stop running the current TV commercials which are mindless and say nothing about how Toyota will make sure this doesn't happen again. The fact that Toyota has been in business 50+ years and recently did not meet normal standards tells consumers nothing about how Toyota will make sure this does not happen again.
4. Speed up fixing the problem. Open dealership tune-up and inspection centers seven days a week from 6:00AM till 10:00 PM. The sooner people feel reassured that the problem has been fixed the sooner they can regain their lost brand confidence.
5. Make retribution to Toyota owners. Toyota owners have been put through unnecessary angst and potential life-threatening situations. Toyota needs to do something in an Oprah-like fashion to make some positive brand impact and show they really do care.
6. Extend all current Toyota leases by 3 extra free months. For those consumers who purchased a Toyota, send them a rebate check or offer them some free rewards such as free inspection services, five hundred dollars of free gas, etc.
7. Establish a new ombudsman position i.e. EVP of Consumer Safety Standards. This person would be an independent outsider paid by Toyota and unable to be fired by Toyota.
8. Produce new TV commercials that highlight the above, perhaps using a new ad agency better versed in dealing with this type of problem.
9. Hire a new PR agency i.e. Nancy Haberman at Howard Rubenstein Associates. Toyota's current efforts are totally ineffective.
10. Move quickly. The clock is ticking and the brand is sinking.
Steve's new book You Can't Fall Off The Floor - The Insiders' Guide to Re-Inventing Yourself and Your Career chronicles his 50 year career working for over 25 different companies with 189 lessons learned and insider tips from Gayle King, Cathie Black, Chuck Townsend and 28 others; Blacker is still going strong today as a partner in Frankfurt & Blacker Solutions, LLC. His web site is blacker-reinventions.com and e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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