Investors seem to have taken the advice of commentators like James B. Stewart. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, he said: "Do you want to sleep peacefully at night without worrying about a stock? Then avoid - or sell - Toyota Motor shares. Toyota has a full-blown crisis on its hands."
True, but the company is dealing with the crisis in a way that is more open and straightforward than was typical of the auto industry in the past. After some initial obfuscation, Toyota acknowledged the problem and set about making things right.
By addressing its problem forthrightly, dispensing information openly and ordering a mass-recall, Toyota is working energetically toward a solution and setting the PR agenda as it does so. That approach, plus the over-all quality of its cars and the reputation it has built over the years, should win over the public, enabling sales and the stock price to make a comeback sooner than seems possible now.