Toyota: Oh, What A Rotten Feeling

Toyota Motor is making the wrong kind of headlines. First, Consumer Reports recommended that owners of 1987 to 1991 Toyota Camrys keep tools in the car to break a window if the power door locks jam. The company's dealers now will temporarily convert the power locks to manuals for free while the carmaker figures out what the problem is.

Then, on Aug. 26, Toyota announced that for the second year running, profits declined from the previous year. Its consolidated pretax profit fell 40%, to $34 million, on revenues of $8.1 billion, a 3.1% gain. The modest increase in sales came strictly from higher prices: Unit sales actually dropped slightly, to 4.5 million vehicles worldwide. The company also said it didn't expect an earnings improvement next year.

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