For Toyota, How Bad Will It Get?
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With sales of Toyota vehicles already on the decline, new safety questions are being raised today. We look at the latest claims, how Toyota has responded over the years and what it will take to restore a tarnished corporate image. Also, Senate Democrats and Obama do a televised Q&A, and Iran launches animals into space and prepares for an anniversary as the US pushes for international sanctions.
Banner image: Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Shinichi Sasaki explains about its accelerator pedal during a press conference at the headquarters in Nagoya, central Japan, on February 2, 2010. Photo: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images
Senate Democrats and Obama Do Q&A ()
For more than an hour today, live on cable TV, President Obama took tough questions from Democratic Senators with electoral problems at home. Asked about the deficit, Obama responded to Indiana's Evan Bayh that we enjoyed our last balanced budget "under a Democratic president who made some hard decisions." He blamed the deficit on two wars, tax cuts and a prescription drug program that were not paid for by the Bush Administration. Michael Scherer is White House correspondent for Time magazine.
Toyota's Total Recall ()
After reported links to 19 deaths and many injuries, Toyota recalled almost 8 million cars for safety problems with floor mats and sticky accelerators. The owners of models that are subject to recall are waiting for notices to take their cars in for repair. Today, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told drivers of those models to park their cars; hours later he retracted the warning. Meantime, electronics are now under investigation, and concerns are being raised about the braking system on the hybrid Prius. How long did Toyota know about the problems before announcing the recalls? Will the repairs work? How serious are the latest concerns? What about Toyota's reputation for the best on the road? What kind of crisis management will it take to protect its brand?
- Justin Hyde: Washington Bureau Reporter, Detroit Free Press
- Paul Lunsford: Co-owner and General Manager, South Coast Toyota
- Clarence Ditlow: Executive Director, Center for Auto Safety
- Jeffrey Liker: Professor of Engineering, University of Michigan
- Peter De Lorenzo: Founder and Publisher, AutoExtremist.com, @Autoextremist
- Eric Dezenhall: Founder and CEO, Dezenhall Resources
Iran Launches a Satellite Rocket ()
On week before the 30th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution, Iran has fired a rocket loaded with animals into space, and President Ahmadinejad says, "Iranian scientists are capable of capturing the skies." We update that story as opposition escalates inside the country and the US pushes for international sanctions. Borzou Daragahi reports on Iran for the Los Angeles Times.
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