The saying "never let the truth interfere with a good story" is practically the state motto of Texas, the land of the tall tale. For instance, there's a tale of a woman going to the original Neiman Marcus store in Dallas and requesting the recipe for the delicious cookies. When she was told she would have to buy it the woman said it would be "two-fifty." The woman said fine and told them to add it to her bill. When she received her bill she was shocked to see the recipe was actually $250. This, of course, isn't true at all. Not only does the store not sell its recipes individually, they even put the cookie recipe online for free to quell the rumor. The story of the monkey-assed red Toyota is partially true, though Scaramanga points out this is only because of a very literal translation.
I think Autoweek mistranslated or merely literally translated...
Etiologically speaking, the name of the color is derived from Chinese mystical beast shoujou, a monkey-like creature that enjoys drinking and playing. For that reason, during the Sengoku-period the formal scarlet vessels that Japanese use have that red coloring in reference to those festive beasts.
Being that just vessels were highly-prized and expensive they became used primarily by the upper Samurai class. And the color became a status symbol with Samurai's adopting that red for their armor and garb. And since then the color has been associated with the Samurai.
However, using literal Chinese characters, the color is "monkey-red", However the reference is not to monkeys but rather to the mythical festive beasts that they were originally associated with.
And no, we don't know why we're on a Neiman Marcus COTD binge.