Automakers are stepping up to the plate to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Surprisingly, leading the efforts is not an American automaker, but rather  Japanese manufacturer Toyota, who pledged $5 million to the relief effort. DCX committed $1.1 million in donations and will be working with customers who might have problems with making payments. GM announced a $400,000 donation to Red Cross and will be matching employee donations. Ford will also match employee donations as well as defer customer payments. Nissan North America donated $500,000 in cash and a fleet of 50 Titans to be used for relief efforts. The weakest effort came from BMW, the builder of the ultimate driving machine, who announced flexible payment options for those affected by Katrina – sure, that helps 5,000 or so BMW customers, but what about the people that could really use some help? You know, those people who couldn't afford to evacuate themselves, much less a BMW?

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