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Quotes from Peter De Lorenzo

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Toyota. From the "What Did You Know And When Did You Know It" File, Jim Lentz, the president of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. kinda-sorta admitted to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif. that the electronic systems in Toyotas couldn't be totally ruled out as the cause of unintended acceleration. This after Toyota has insisted for months that it's a mechanical or floor mat issue. Oops.

Akio Toyoda. Welcome to The Jungle, Akio, and here you thought those prick managers that lorded over you while growing up through the company were tough. After saying how sorry you are in about 20 different ways from Sunday get ready for a full-on, rompin' stompin' beat-down from our so-called "esteemed" grandstanding, TV-time-hawking, ball-busting, insufferable representatives, aka The Hacks on the Potomac. Oh, what a feeling? Not. So. Much.

Jim Lentz. Our AE Quote of the Week goes to poor Jim Lentz of Toyota when he said, "We stubbed our toe. We lost sight of the customers." Do ya' think?

Toyota Dealers. David Shepardson, reporting for The Detroit News, said that about 200 dealers and others held a press conference and rallied on Capitol Hill before yesterday's hearing, warning Congress against conducting a "witch hunt." Some dealers insisted their sales are down 30 percent to 50 percent because of the cascade of bad publicity from multiple recalls. "How did we suddenly overnight become the villain? I don't get it," said Houston-area dealer Paul Atkinson, which is our AE Quote of the Week, Part II. This image-wrangling stuff is tough business, Atkinson. Toyota dined for years on their reputation for good quality and reliability. But that all got blowed-up real good by this media firestorm and the fact that Toyota has some major issues.

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. From the "Just Sit Down And Shut Up" File, Rush referred to Toyotas as "literal killing machines." Nice.

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