Earlier today, this tweet appeared:
God, it sounds horrible, doesn't it? It's not just that it's a terrible idea, it doesn't even seem like an especially original idea, being more or less a rehash of 2009's Josh's Band campaign.
So I made a snurkling noise:
I don't mind Toyota, to be honest. Their hybrids are alright, as cars go. But I just wished they'd stick to making cars rather than crowd-sourcing bands.
And I thought that would be it. Except... Toyota weren't having that.
Really, Toyota? You recall voluntarily, out of concern for safety, do you?
Just last year, you were pulling back six and a half million cars around the world after some of them caught fire. Presumably in Toyota's world, selling cars to people to see if they catch fire must constitute rigorous testing.
More to the point, a year ago to the very day, Toyota was making a massive USD1.2bn payment to avoid legal action following its decision to not recall cars where the accelerator could stick, even after ABC News had told it there was a serious problem:
ABC News published dozens of reports in the following months as Toyota said it investigated and announced massive recalls to address the accelerators being stuck under floor mats – repeatedly assuring drivers that the problem had been taken care of. But today Toyota admitted that the recalls did not cover all the cars they knew were in danger and said that they also concealed another cause of sudden acceleration they had found during their investigations – “sticky” pedals, which refers to the accelerator getting stuck partially depressed.In fact, Toyota's "rigorous testing" somehow hadn't caught a situation where people could be killed - in fact, one man even spent three years in prison after a Toyota Camry he was driving spun out of control and killed three people.
In December 2009, the court records showed the company responded to “media accusations that it was continuing to hide defects in its vehicles” by publishing a statement on Toyota’s website saying the company “has absolutely not minimized public awareness of any defect or issue with respect to its vehicles [and] [a]ny suggestion to the contrary is wrong and borders on irresponsibility.”
Toyota only announced the issue with the “sticky” pedals, along with another massive recall, just minutes before an ABC News report on “World News” in January 2010 told the story of one driver whose Toyota Avalon took off suddenly on the highway.
In short, Toyota, if you want to burnish your image by crowd sourcing a band, feel free. But let's not assume that everyone has forgotten that time you knew your cars were dangerous and you lied about it, eh?