According to a Business Week article today, it is estimated that the cost of the recalls are expected to exceed $2 billion. How high the costs will go is really anyone’s guess. What goes into the estimate?
1) The cost of fixing the recalled cars
2) The cost of the actual recall–the sending of letters to millions of customers, the PR costs for damage control, and other incidentals
3) The costs associated with deaths, totaled vehicles, medical bills, and other expenses for cars that have already been wrecked due to a malfunctioning vehicle
4) The cost of defending and perhaps paying out on class action lawsuits filed by Toyota customers who are likely to face a loss in the resale value of their vehicles–assuming anyone will ever want to buy a Toyota again
5) Lost future retail sales for Toyota
It adds up quickly when what was once considered one of the most reliable car companies on earth forgets how it earned its stellar reputation–with quality products that ran well, retained their value, and kept their drivers safe.