BLOG: If it's not quite the truth, Toyota, what is it?

There's only one level of telling the truth. If you almost tell the truth, it's not the truth.

Toyota Motor Sales USA sent a notice to its dealers, suggesting a script of answers if customers call with questions about the accelerator-pedal problem. Here's one of the Q&As from that script.

Q. Have there been any accidents reported?

A. The number of accidents are still under investigation.

That's the truth, but it's not the whole truth. The accurate answer would be, "Yes."

Or, if Toyota wants to spin the news -- and most automakers in Toyota's position would be desperate to put some spin on the situation -- the answer could be, "Yes, sadly there have been accidents. But we're determined to prevent any future ones, so please come in and let us check out your vehicle."

But that's not what Toyota suggests its dealers say.

I hope Toyota's dealers are more honest with customers than Toyota wants them to be.