'Taliban Toyota' Slur Wins Dealer $7.5M From Rival

Competitor told customers he was a terrorist sympathizer
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2011 2:39 PM CDT
'Taliban Toyota' Slur Wins Dealer $7.5M From Rival
A feud between Toyota dealers ended up in court.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

It may be a tough time to be selling cars, but here's one way not to boost sales: Accuse your big rival of being a Taliban-loving terrorist sympathizer. A Toyota dealership in Pensacola, Florida, has to shell out $7.5 million for doing just that, reports Reuters. A jury awarded the money to Shawn Esfahani, a naturalized US citizen who was born in Iran and now runs a dealership in nearby Daphne, Alabama.

The salesmen in Pensacola weren't exactly subtle about it, according to the lawsuit. "(Esfahani) is funneling money back to his family and other terrorists," one told a couple browsing for cars. "I have a brother over there and what you're doing is helping kill my brother." (More car dealers stories.)

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