It is ironic that Toyota Motor Europe is launching a new repair kit for minor scrapes this month. The aftermarket do-it-yourself product arrives near the one-year anniversary of Toyota announcing the first of seven recalls in Europe last year to fix sticky accelerators, balky brakes and malfunctioning stability control in its Toyota brand and Lexus models.
Toyota says that its so-called "stickerfix" has the potential to quickly and inexpensively (about 29 euros without tax, roughly or $38) make annoying little problems disappear.
Toyota probably wishes that repairing its damaged image could be done as quickly and cheaply.
Starting in early February 2010, nearly 2 million Toyotas were recalled in Europe during a year in which the company recalled a total of about 8 million cars globally.
The safety issues forced Toyota Europe to make a public apology to customers during the Geneva auto show last March. The recalls also battered the automaker's European sales, which slipped 17 percent in 2010 in an overall market that was down by 5 percent, according to industry association ACEA.
On a positive note, Toyota, like all its rivals, starts fresh in 2011.
And while it is unlikely that stickerfix will have a major effect on Toyota's bid to comeback from its terrible 2010, you can bet that Toyota's dealers appreciate having a new clever and affordable product available exclusively in their stores.