OLD Media Moves

Toyota and the auto press

February 23, 2010

Jonathan Berr of DailyFinance.com is critical of the auto industry media for heaping praise on Toyota Motor Co. in recent years when they could have been investigating the first signs of problems with its vehicles.

Berr writes, “Car and Driver was hardly alone in heaping praise on Toyota. A Motor Trend video of the 2009 Camry said there was little new to say about the best-selling Toyota because it already had garnered so many accolades. It added that the car provided a ‘real and a wonderfully familiar experience every time you buckle up and start the engine.’ A spokesman for the magazine could not immediately be reached for comment.

“Consumer Reports recommended all of Toyotas it reviewed for its Best Cars, Suvs & Trucks – 2010 buyers guide, which I recently purchased. In its piece on the Camry, the guide praises it for being ‘roomy and quiet’ with a ‘comfortable ride.’ In January, the publication suspended recommendations of recalled Toyota models. A spokesman told me that up-to-date information is on the organization’s website as well as in the upcoming auto issue. Still, the 2010 Prius hybrid topped the magazine’s list of picks for green cars, released today. The Prius, the best-selling hybrid, was recalled earlier this month, though the problem has been fixed.

“‘It would have been great if we could have caught it [early],’ says Jack Fisher, a senior engineer in the automotive testing department at Consumer Reports, adding making such a finding would have been difficult to determine anyway because the scope of the Toyota problem is relatively small.”

Read more here.

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