So the thing I wrote the other day made me think about another thing. Toyota is doing what they should. Taking responsibility for the failure, learning from it. Toyota is not unique in this way. I think most companies today have realized that you get a better reputation when you treat customers with respect and take responsibility for failures. But it also made me remember this story I heard somewhere. It was told by some swede living in Japan. The story goes that this person was traveling using the subway and there was a twenty minute delay. Annoying but nothing special if you're used to the subway in Stockholm, Sweden. To this person's surprise, when they exited the destination train station there were subway employees at the exits personally apologizing to each traveler and handing out delay certificates. That's what I call taking responsibility for a failure. You can read more about it here.
Now imagine walking out of a bank or an AIG office and getting a "Thank You for Bailing us out" certificate.
The difference is that Toyota are unlikely to make the same mistake ever again.