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TheDetroitBureau.com on Autoblog with Paul Eisenstein

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Filed under: Government/Legal, Recalls

Toyota Crisis Likely to Trigger Change Across the Auto Industry

paul-1-08opt-1269281257.jpgDon't be surprised to see yet another recall or two from Toyota in the coming weeks. Among other things, the embattled automaker may reveal a fix for unexpected stalling involving hundreds of thousands of recent Corolla and Matrix models.

That will be another setback for a company that is desperately struggling to push past its recent safety problems and get back to focusing on the business of selling cars and trucks. The maker has taken a more aggressive stance in recent weeks, underscored by efforts to discredit skeptics who insist there are unknown electronic gremlins with Toyota products, as well as an assault on a motorist who now looks likely to have staged a well-publicized incident involving a "runaway Prius." But each step forward seems accompanied by two in reverse.

A number of key competitors have been hoping to take advantage of Toyota's uncharacteristic stumbles, including General Motors and Hyundai, targeting Toyota owners with incentives and less than veiled marketing pitches that raise the specter of unsafe Toyota products. But the competitive efforts have, on the whole, been surprisingly subdued - and for good reason. Every automaker knows it could be next under the microscope. And, worse, Toyota's near-term problems are likely to become a matter of concern for the auto industry as a whole, going forward.

Paul A. Eisenstein is Publisher of TheDetroitBureau.com, and a 30-year veteran of the automotive beat. His editorials will bring his unique perspective and deep understanding of the auto world to Autoblog readers on a regular basis.

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TheDetroitBureau.com on Autoblog with Paul Eisenstein originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Mar 2010 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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