Chrysler seems to be paying the price in consumer perception for refusing the government’s order to recall 2.7 million Grand Cherokee and Liberty Jeeps, according to YouGov BrandIndex.
Even though Chrysler went ahead with Jeep Patriot and Compass recalls totaling 630,000 vehicles after it refused the government’s request, Jeep plummeted to its worst consumer perception levels since June 2009. Chrysler has until June 18 to respond to the government’s request.
Chrysler has been up and down this year in consumer perception, but its Jeep brand had consistently outscored Chrysler during 2013 until the recent recall crisis emerged.
Chrysler and Jeep were both measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents: “If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” Results are for adult US respondents. YouGov BrandIndex scores can range from 100 to -100 and is compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
On May 30, just before Chrysler refused the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s request to recall 2.7 million older Grand Cherokee and Liberty Jeeps because of fuel tank risks, Jeep’s Buzz score was 10 compared with Chrysler’s 7.
After Chrysler issued its statement on June 4 that “it does not intend to recall the vehicles,” Jeep began a sharp decline in Buzz score, dropping 16 points in a week down to -6. Chrysler, on the other hand, took a lesser hit to bring it down from a 7 to a 1 score.