Monday, March 15, 2010

Toyota: Accellerating Out of Control

  Today Toyota held a press conference in response to the Prius that accelerated out of control last week in California.  Without getting into lengthily details, they essentially called the owner of the car a liar.  They tested the car and were "unable to duplicate the same scenario".  I've heard the 911 tape as well as many of you have and if the guy is putting on a show he deserves an Oscar.  The media has since started slamming the guy with things like:  "he had financial trouble in 2008", "he couldn't make the payments", "he's looking for a new car for free", "he's looking for money".  Those are all great ideas from conspiracy theorists.

  I'll address the quotes in sequence:

  • Nobody has been able to duplicate this since the research and reporting began on this issue.  Cars don't have black boxes and only very few will record information after a collision.  Duplicating a software flaw (which I believe it is) takes thousands if not millions of tests.  ECU's (Engine Control Units) which are the brains that drive modern day cars are for the most part using the same technology as early 90's computing.  The coding is flawed, easily manipulated and sometimes downright sloppy.  The problem here is that nobody regulates what makes the car go, they only regulate crash standards and emissions.   
  •  I'm going to address the next three quotes with one response.  If the guy had financial trouble in 2008 and was not credit worthy or bankrupt, then the imbecile that approved a loan to him is at fault.  I hardly find that is the case though.  If he was unable to make the payments, I'm quite sure the vehicle would have been repossessed by now.  I'm also rather sure that if there was evidence of default on the loan that it would have been mentioned during today's press conference.  Lastly, if he wanted a free car then why would he openly state he'd never drive that car or any Toyota product again?
  I worked in the body business during high school and shortly thereafter.  I've always told people that Toyota's were dangerous vehicles.  They may be reliable mechanically as many Japanese cars are but they are made with inferior materials.  I'm not going to get into technical details for fear of boring my readers but I'll make the following suggestion:

  If you plan on buying a car go with something German (they last forever and are available used fairly inexpensive), if you insist on a Japanese car go with Honda or Acura.  I love America, but currently the cars are all overpriced and junk.

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