‘Today’ Show Lands Toyota Exclusive

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Toyota is getting more aggressive this week, in terms of a media and PR campaign aimed at both customers and dealers to reassure them the company’s cars are safe, after a massive recall which is currently under way.

The “Today” show landed an exclusive today with Jim Lentz President and COO, Toyota Motor Sales USA.

“This will be under control,” said Lentz in regards to the recall and product malfunctions.

“Did Toyota drag its feet, knowing it had a serious problem, potentially life threatening problem, did your company drag its feet?” asked Today’s Matt Lauer.

“No, I don’t believe we did,” responded Lentz.

One of the things crisis communications experts evaluate in a situation like this is certainly any economic impact a crisis may have on a company. With Toyota, there are tangible numbers.

The recall will “likely cost the company a half billion dollars per month,” and Toyota’s stock has already fallen 18% since January 21st, said Lauer. Lentz did not dispute either of these figures.

What do you think of Lentz’s performance? If you are a Toyota customer or prospective customer, did he make you feel more comfortable that the brand is taking the right steps to remedy the situation?