After a slow initial response, Toyota may have set a new standard for taking care of customers and dealers affected by its multiple recalls.
Free loaner cars. No-strings checks to dealerships. Reimbursing floorplan expense. Will that change the rules for other automakers?
Perhaps - to a point.
Automakers now may be quicker to pull the recall trigger on safety-related concerns. No doubt, their dealers and showroom customers will want the same perks that Toyota's got. From a reputation perspective, competitors would be smart to take the generous approach.
Still, Toyota's pockets remain deep. It will be a lot tougher for a perpetual money-loser - or a manufacturer that still owes billions to debt holders - to justify the same payments.