Effect of Chrysler Dispute with NHTSA Prompts Report


GenSent Insights

The bat­tle over whether to recall mil­lions of older Jeep SUVs, rec­om­mended by the NHTSA prompts GenSent Insights report on con­sumer influence.

Find out what GenSent Insights reports on the gen­eral con­sumer effect.

The bat­tle over whether to recall mil­lions of older Jeep SUVs, as rec­om­mended by the National High­way Traf­fic and Safety Admin­is­tra­tion (“NHTSA”), had a lim­ited effect on Chrysler’s online image accord­ing to GenSent Insights. Despite the sever­ity of the claims by the NHTSA inves­ti­ga­tion that the fuel tanks could rup­ture, leak and cause fires in rear end crashes, online con­ver­sa­tions regard­ing the issue were short lived.

Chrysler’s Sen­ti­ment Score, a mea­sure of the tone sur­round­ing a brand on a scale rang­ing from –100 to +100, dropped from an aver­age of +51 prior to the NHTSA request for the recall to –37 by June 5, the day after the announce­ment. How­ever, within three days of the ini­tial media storm, the Sen­ti­ment Score had risen to a +41 and online men­tions returned to nor­mal lev­els. For the next ten days, sen­ti­ment remained pos­i­tive at a fairly con­sis­tent level.

The announce­ment of a com­pro­mise between the gov­ern­ment and Chrysler on June 18, 2013 to limit the recall to approx­i­mately 1.5 mil­lion vehi­cles, caused the Sen­ti­ment Score to plum­met once again from +42 to –36 in just one day. After a week with no fur­ther news, the Sen­ti­ment Score reached +48, just a few points shy of the pre-recall levels.

“The crit­i­cism by Jeep own­ers and safety experts over the ini­tial refusal by Chrysler to com­ply with the NHTSA rec­om­men­da­tion and the sub­se­quent com­pro­mise to limit the recall had a tem­po­rary effect on Chrysler and Jeep’s brand image” accord­ing to Don Damore, Pres­i­dent of GenSent Insights. “Chrysler’s deci­sion not to com­ment on the recall helped to con­fine the neg­a­tive con­ver­sa­tions to a lim­ited time frame and mit­i­gated the dam­age to its brand image.”

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Don Damore at don.damore@generalsentiment.com.