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Toyota's Road Gets A Lot Slipperier And Slopier Overnight

When the snow begins falling, a minor fender-bender can quickly become a multi-car pileup. Toyota seems to have found itself on a very slick road, judging by Tom Walsh's column today. Yesterday, Walsh warned Detroit automakers about gloating about Toyota's PR woes, but they're not exactly paying attention, if Nick Bunkley's story in the New York Times headlined "Carmakers Pounce On Toyota Owners" is any indication.

Walsh reports that, to avoid the appearance of gloating, however, General Motors didn't issue a news release about its offer of zero-percent financing or other incentives to people who trade in Toyotas to buy or lease a GM vehicle.

But as Jason Vines, who headed Ford's media relations during the Ford-Firestone crisis, tells Walsh: "You can stop production, but you can't stop public hysteria."



Walsh himself seems a lot dourer this morning about Toyota's ability to ride the years of goodwill it has build up through its current crisis over balky accelerator pedals. He now says its "predicament could hardly be worse," what with the problems all over the media, old, new and to come (we're thinking iPad here, about which, some fun numbers from Fast Company's Zachary Wilson).

Read the whole story at Detroit Free Press, New York Times »

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