It’s a part of the game. When a company is publicly traded they are targeted with a great deal of public scrutiny. Many times, companies try to avoid this or discredit those who are criticizing them. This is only natural to defend the company’s image. However, I believe sometimes these efforts can make a company look worse.
A financial analysts I work with wrote up his/her analysis on a health care company. The company didn’t like what our analyst had to say and tried to discredit our analyst. However, our analyst proved that she built her opinion based off of financial reports that the company released themselves. Not to mention, because our analyst is part of an independent firm, (s)he may say what (s)he wishes about the company if it’s based in research and her professional opinion. Someone with stakes in a stock cannot dictate what an independent person says about that stock.
I think the same is true for Toyota. With all the public scrutiny, Toyota tried to say that they were being unfairly scrutinized by the press. It is the press’ job to identify issues that the public should know about. Knowing about Toyota’s “vehicle issues” is the public’s right . This isn’t great for a company’s image; however, trying to place blame on those who are criticizing the company actually makes the company look defensive and ultimately guilty. Pointing fingers is never good press. Here is a great article that analysis Toyota’s PR crisis.