After unintended acceleration problems caused Toyota to issue massive recalls and settle some large product liability cases, the company faced another huge challenge when the 2011 tsunami decimated the company's supply chain. No surprise, the last four years caused the car company their largest losses ever.
Now Toyota is ready to bounce back, according to the New York Times.
At the very end of 2012, the company agreed to a $1.1 billion settlement of the class-action suit regarding unintended acceleration. There are still a number of personal injury and wrongful death suits pending, but with this part of the legal process over, Toyota believes it's on the road to recovery. There's strong evidence they're right:
- In 2012 Toyota reclaimed its position as largest automaker in the world
- The Japanese yen has started to weaken, which helps the company because it lowers manufacturing costs
- Sales of the Prius hybrid model rose over 81% in 2012, helping Toyota dominate in hybrids
- US Toyota sales increased nearly 30% last year
- The company has been expanding manufacturing globally, including in the US, which helps them withstand localized economic problems
Still, the company has a number of lawsuits still to contend with. They also have been found guilty of delaying a safety recall on 150,000 2010 Lexus and RX sport utility vehicles, which should have been recalled in 2009 and weren't.
They've since been recalled, which makes roughly 20 million cars Toyota has had to recall for safety issues since their long saga began in 2009.