I'm increasingly glad that I quit when I did. Toyota was already loosing money, and this can do nothing but hurt their sales.
When I visited the Audi plant in Germany, they talked very specifically about how Audi was still recovering their reputation in the US market as a result of a very similar issue with sudden acceleration in the 1980's. Apparently its taken them twenty years to get over the bad publicity. The concerns turned out to be unsubstantiated in Audi's case, and they told us that they suspected foul play. That is to say: there was never any good evidence that there was actually such a problem with Audi's, and the news hype that it received may have been a deliberate campaign to malign them.
Toyota's already acknowledged that their was a quality problem with the parts, so the conspiracy theory doesn't fly here. But it is beginning to have a witch-hunt sound to it; what with the US Transportation Secretary saying he wants to meet face to face with Toyota's CEO to talk about it. I can't help but wonder if there's any real-politicking going on; the old guard car makers trying to hurt Toyota by maligning them. I imagine they're not shedding any tears, at any rate.
"U.S. Transportation Secretary Seeks Meeting With Toyota CEO"
- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Seeks Meeting With Toyota CEO - WSJ.com (view on Google Sidewiki)