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We analyze the effect of Toyota’s faulty accelerator pedal on stockholder wealth. Using the event study methodology, we show that a major recall in January of 2010 caused the company’s cumulative abnormal returns to fall by 19%. Continued concerns that Toyota was unable to identify and adequately fix the problem induced the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct its own investigation in March, 2010. The results of this government investigation exonerated the company and caused Toyota’s cumulative abnormal returns to rise by almost 9%. The Toyota case provides an opportunity to study a product recall with both company error and a government action that addressed concerns about the safety of the product.

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The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance


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This is the submitted author’s version that was accepted for publication in The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, and formatting are not reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. The published version is available at