Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Can Toyota Win the PR War Over Electronics?

Sam Yeh | AFP | Getty Images

In the ongoing war over whether Toyota vehicles have an electronics problem, the company and its critics have reached a point where both have made their arguments and little has been determined.

Toyota says it has tested the electronics in its vehicles and they are safe.

Critics aren't buying it and stand by their claim electronics are the real reason for Toyotas suddenly speeding up.

Each has been effective at winning over a segment of the public. Toyota holds a core group of buyers who think the company has solved its problems by modifying gas pedals. Critics have succeeded in planting the seeds of doubt in many people who are unsure they want to drive a Toyota.

But the real fight is for the bulk of the people in the middle who are still weighing all the facts, arguments, and possibilities. It will some time before we see which way these people end up going.

It's the reason Toyota is hosting a webcast today where engineers will demonstrate there is no way the electronics in Toyota vehicles have the flaws some have claimed. It will be wonky, technical, may be make the case Toyota wants, but will it convince skeptics?

The fact is we won't know for many weeks or months if the public buys that Toyotas has solved all of its problems. We'll need to see what investigators from the federal government come up as they look at Toyota documents and tests. Will independent engineers weigh in with conclusions that favor Toyota or its critics?

All questions that need to be answered. In the meantime, the pr war rages on.


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