The saving grace for a brand in Toyota's situation: Many people pay little attention to the news.
A mid-February poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press asked respondents to say how closely they'd been following the news about the automaker's problems. Just 15 percent said they'd been following it "very closely," with another 29 percent saying they'd done so "fairly closely." A majority said they'd been following the Toyota news either "not too closely" (28 percent) or "not at all closely" (28 percent).
And even as the news has worsened, people seem to have tired of the topic. The number of respondents who said they're following Toyota news "very closely" fell from 21 percent earlier last month.