Toyota's current ad campaign makes a statement that has gone largely unnoticed - but not by Ralph Nader.
Nader almost single-handedly launched the auto safety movement decades back in 1965 when he challenged General Motors with his book "Unsafe at Any Speed" and now he is taking on Toyota. He wants them to prove their latest ad claim, that they are spending $1,000,000 AN HOUR "to improve our technology and your safety."
By his calculations, Nader says, "That is an astonishing amount" that works out to $8.7 billion annually. Toyota's head of US sales, Jim Lentz, reportedly has agreed to answer Nader but it turns out that Nader isn't the only one scratching their head over Toyota's numbers. The New York Times asked earlier and got the vague answer from Toyota that the million dollar an hour comes from "all Toyota R&D spending globally, much of that allocated to new quality and safety technologies."
The whole problem, of course, comes from Toyota's attempts to come back from the disaster-public relations mess that arose from the October 2009 recall of over 9 million Toyotas for sudden acceleration and other safety problems.
So will Nader get a better explanation than the New York Times? Not likely, we bet.
Toyota's ad seems like something learned from the many highly misleading campaign ads that are running on tv more often the Toyota ads - if you believe any one side then you might as well believe the other side because all the politicians seem to be slinging the same misleading mud at each other. Personally, we don't believe any tv ads by any politician any more.
It all kind of makes you wonder if Toyota is using the same ad agency as the politicians, huh?