The effects of Toyota's recall and suspension of sales to remedy a problem with unintended acceleration are starting to be felt. While the recall itself was national news last week, it wasn't until the suspension of sales on Tuesday night that the story mushroomed into something along the lines of a major crisis for the company.
"Easily the amount of inquiry after we froze the vehicles has far exceeded the actual recall announcement itself," said Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons.
In the short term, the economic impact of the errors the company made in the design of their pedal system (which, by the way, wasn't built by Toyota directly, but by a supplier named CTS Corporation) will be significant.
"It's going to cost them about $410 million dollars in revenue just for the simple fact that they won't be able to sell these cars for the last 6 days of January," said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends at TrueCar.com, an auto-pricing and industry-tracking site.
Should reports ring true that Toyota already has a fix in place and is currently ramping up to implement a remedy soon, that could be the extent of the financial loss for the month. But every day into February they're not selling cars, they're losing $68 million. Yes, that's each day.
"There are direct financial consequences as well as the more indirect but probably more dramatic on their brand image," said Toprak.
Listen to the call we had with Toyota's Brian Lyons over the company's actions over the last week.