Worried Toyota dealers adding own voice to PR push

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Associated Press

Posted on February 21, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 21 at 12:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some Toyota dealers are rattled by the company's recall problems.

Some dealerships nearly hired the crisis public relations firm that represented socialite Paris Hilton, singer Chris Brown — and a company that California has called the state's worst inland polluter.

Toyota is running a lobbying and advertising battle to protect its name. Meanwhile, many dealers are taking matters into their own hands.

A group in Southern California almost retained that crisis PR firm. Insiders say the idea was nixed after Toyota officials said the company should speak with one voice — theirs.

Dozens of dealers will lobby members of Congress this week as two House oversight committees hold hearings on the recall.

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