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Here come the recalls

Look out: The Toyota recall means a big change for how the rest of the industry looks at quality problems.

Dealer and industry folks I talk to here at NADA are chattering about what the outcome will be.

AutoNation chief Mike Jackson says Toyota didn't get ahead of the quality problems the way it should have. The entire industry will take this as a lesson, he said.

“If in doubt, we're going to recall,” Jackson said. “And I think recalls are going to go up.”

The trick will be getting your customers to think of recalls differently, too. The typical first reaction of a car owner is NOT: “Oh, good, my manufacturer is being proactive and preventative.”

Manufacturers must do the right thing and take care of safety problems at the earliest possible moment. But if customers are alarmed by a rise in recalls, brand reputation could suffer.

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