On video: SNL's 'runaway' Prius

Nic Cackett

There's no doubt that things have been tough for Toyota over the past couple of months. The mainstream media, particularly in the US, has seized upon the story of safety concerns and global recalls with such conspicuous glee that the company has had to endure an almost hysterical level of press attention.

Toyota's US PR department responded to the crisis by kicking into high gear – issuing a torrent of press releases in an attempt to preserve the manufacturer's stellar reputation, and then defaulting to damage control as the story snowballed.