You might well be seeing the crumbling and potential death of a major automaker ... and it's NOT an American firm.
It would NOT shock me to hear of the suicide of the Toyota chairman in Japan. Apparently, the company didn't want to cooperate, knowing what it would mean in the end.
And now the vaunted Prius is under investigation... and yet ... Toyota doesn't KNOW how the fix the problem (it's guessing) but swears it's not the electrical system. When you toss that ball SO high, you are actually pointing to the problem. Toyota seems to be TOO eager to point out what it ISN'T.
Apparently Ford sees the opening and is seizing the time (as we used to say back in the day).