1. Chrysler rejects 789 dealerships while in Chapter 11, and General Motors, on the threshold of bankruptcy, decides to ditch 1,350 more. The seemingly random mass firing spawns a dealer uprising and creates a distribution omelet that Congress tries to unscramble.
2. GM's attempted sale of its Opel unit in Europe to Magna International and the Russian state bank Sberbank.
3. Toyota unintended acceleration. Toyota Motor Corp. execs fall into the old corporate pattern -- deny the problem, debase the victim, delay in responding -- rather than come clean. Toyota gets rebuked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and earns a heap of bad publicity.
4. Ed Whitacre tells Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel that GM doesn't need state aid for Opel. He brags to the Muenchner Merkur newspaper: "If Mrs. Merkel doesn't want to give us anything, then we will pay for it ourselves." Now GM Europe's Nick Reilly has to kiss a lot of hands and feet to get the badly needed cash to help Opel.
5. The Honda Insight. Supposed to be the "hybrid for everyone," it sells to virtually no one.