Toyota dealers pull ABC TV ads


ABC News reports Toyota dealers in five southeast states have pulled their commercials off ABC TV local affiliates, complaining about the coverage of Toyota safety problems by ABC News and its chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross.

The agency representing the 173 dealers told ABC affiliates last week that the shift was due to “excessive stories on the Toyota issues.” The dealers shifted their commercial time buys to non-ABC stations in the same markets, “as punishment for the reporting,” according to an ABC station manager.

ABC News and Ross began reporting on the problem of “runaway Toyotas” last November in a series of stories that preceded the large recalls ordered by the company, and apologies for quality shortcomings as well as misstatements about the extent of the defects. Toyota is now expected to add the 2010 Prius to its list of recalled vehicles.