Consumer Confidential: Toyota troubles, expanding donuts, cheap ice cream
Here's your wake-me-up-before-you-go-go Wednesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:
-- I wrote on Tuesday about how Toyota's safety troubles may have benefited Ford, which reported a hefty quarterly profit. Well, looks like Ford has more reason for cheer: Toyota now says it will recall about 50,000 Sequoia SUVs to upgrade the software in the stability control system. There have been no reported injuries or accidents as a result of the problem, but the carmaker has clearly learned to get in front of things like this, rather than let it bite them in the rear bumper.
-- Let them eat donuts: Dunkin' Donuts says it'll be returning to Russia after an 11-year absence. The company says it will open 20 outlets in Moscow this year to satisfy Russians' cravings for coffee and crullers. The number of DD outlets in the former Soviet Union could rise to 50 within five years. In January, Moscow welcomed its first-ever Burger King. And people wonder if the Cold War was worth it ...
-- Speaking of sweets, our friends at Baskin-Robbins say they'll be serving up scoops of ice cream Wednesday evening for just 31 cents. B-R locations nationwide are offering the cut-rate treats from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. About 4 million scoops were dished out when the company did this last year. B-R will also donate $100,000 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and some outlets will host local firefighters Wednesday night. Very cool behavior for a company that offers a very cool product.
-- David Lazarus