Rhetorical Situation: Toyota Apology

Abstract:
A long awaited apology was finally released from the president of Toyota on February

… still in the process of revising

A substantial amount of rhetorical technique goes into digital writing. Referring back to my second microtheme, I am able to see how online writing can work in various ways. My second microtheme came from a digital text I found quit compelling and controversial. Last year the car manufacturer, Toyota, had numerous Prii owners angry with problems of sticking breaks. The Toyota Prii issue and microtheme highlight how digital writing has the ability to evoke different feelings from readers and writers. The particular text of Toyota’s sticking break fiasco illustrates how the use of text can subjectively and objectively induce emotion from readers.
February 10, 2010 President of Toyota automobiles, Akio Toyota televised apologizes to owners of Toyota, especially those who hold Prii, for sticking gas pedals. While the apology was long awaited, Toyota finally approached his unhappy customers. After the televised apology, Brent Jones wrote an online article discussing the matters behind the Prii complications. While the issue is addressed, costumers continue to be unsatisfied with Toyota products. In the article the issue as well as solution is captured; however, Toyota owners believe it could have been in a timelier manner.

I’m beyond confused for this paper… not really sure about the set up or what I’m supposed to be doing …

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's president apologized Friday for the massive global recalls over sticking gas pedals as the automaker scrambles to repair a damaged reputation and sliding sales.
But Akio Toyoda, appointed to the top job at Toyota Motor Corp. (TM)last June, said the company is still deciding what steps to take to fix brake problems in the popular Prius gas-electric hybrid.
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Speaking at a hastily announced news conference that lasted an hour, a stern-looking Toyoda promised to beef up quality control.
"We are facing a crisis," he said, publicly confronting the automaker's safety problems for the first time since a global recall affecting 4.5 million vehicles was announced Jan. 21.
He bowed in customary Japanese-style greeting at the start of the televised news conference at Toyota'sNagoyaheadquarters but did not bow deeply when offering an apology as some executives, including his predecessor Katsuaki Watanabe, have done when under fire.
Toyoda, 53, said the company is setting up a special committee he will head himself.
It will review internal checks, go over consumer complaints and listen to outside experts to come up with a solution to the widening quality problems.
"I offer my apologies for the worries," he said. "Many customers are wondering whether their cars are OK."2
Toyoda, grandson of the automaker's founder, has been criticized for not coming out sooner to answer questions about the quality problems that have hit Toyota.
Masaaki Sato, an auto industry expert who has written books on Toyota and its Japanese rival Honda, said Friday's appearance was the company's last chance to keep the situation from worsening.
"He should have come out a week ago," Sato said of Toyoda during an appearance on a popular late night news program following the press conference. "After all the foot dragging, he was pushed into a corner."
Sato also criticized Toyoda for having to be prodded into action in the U.S. by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who called the Toyota president for talks.
"The issue is a huge problem in the U.S., far more serious than you might think," Sato said. "Those who are driving Toyota cars must be worried, and as Toyota CEO he has a responsibility to address their concerns and provide an explanation to the U.S. government. "
There is also top level government concern in Japan about Toyota's quality fiasco.
Transport Minister Seiji Maeharahas urged Toyota to consider a recall for the Prius brake problem. The transport ministry oversees recalls and other auto regulation.
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okadaexpressed concern about the impact of the gas pedal recalls on Japan-U.S. economic ties.
"Diplomatically, it's not an issue of a single company," Okada said, Kyodo Newsagency reported. "The issue is about trust in Japan's entire auto industry and Japanese products overall."
Toyoda said the company is moving quickly on the global recalls covering 4.5 million vehicles for sticking gas pedals, about half of them in the U.S.
Dealers are scrambling to make repairs on the gas pedals, which need a new steel part to solve the sticking problem.
Toyota will fully cooperate with the investigation by U.S. federal authorities into Prius problems, Toyoda said.
There have been nearly 200 complaints in Japan and the U.S. of drivers experiencing a short delay before the brakes kick in on uneven road surfaces — a problem that can be fixed with a software programming change.
The automaker has fixed the programming glitch in Prius models that went on sale since last month, but has done nothing yet on 270,000 Prius cars sold last year in Japan and the U.S. The remodeled third-generation Prius went on sale in May last year.
A less-than-perfect Prius, the vehicle of choice for Hollywood movie stars like Leonardo Dicaprio, threatens to be an even more serious blow for Toyota's image than the gas pedal recalls. The hybrid is a symbol of Toyota's technological prowess and ambitions to lead the auto industry in green, low-pollution cars.
Toyota is also investigating possible brake problems with its luxury Lexushybrid and the Sai compact sedan, both of which use the same brake system as the Prius. Toyota has not received any complaints about the Lexus HS250h and the probe is to ensure safety, it has said. The Sai is not sold outside Japan.
Shinichi Sasaki, executive vice president overseeing quality control, told the news conference he was grateful that LaHood had pressed Toyota to go ahead quickly with the gas pedal recalls in the U.S.
Toyota did not have a fix for the problem at the time, and it is relatively unusual to announce a recall without a plan for a remedy. Toyota did not come out with a fix for more than a week, frustrating customers. It also suspended sales and production on eight models in the U.S.
"It would have become even harder to win back the trust of customers, and the damage to the Toyota brand would have been greater," Sasaki said solemnly. "It was hard but in hindsight I am grateful to Mr. LaHood."
U.S. officials have agreed to Toyota's solution to the gas pedal problem, a small piece of steel designed to eliminate excess friction in the pedal mechanism, but have criticized Toyota for being too slow in responding to customer complaints.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.