Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Driving Up Fear

My wife and I have owned five Toyota vehicles; our two current cars are Toyotas. If I listen to the news media I would be convinced that I should be taking out life insurance policies if I am to continue driving a Toyota. “If it bleeds, it leads” is an old news adage that rings particularly salient in today’s “you’re gonna die any minute” news environment.

The Media is salivating over the incidents of Toyota stuck accelerator pedals; the public cannot get enough and the news media knows it. But like so many things that garner the public’s attention, they do so because of their rarity. We are horrified at the stranger abduction of a child, yet the vast majority of abducted children are taken by a non-custodial parent. That isn’t news. Likewise, 40,000 people die each year in motor vehicle accidents. But what makes it into the news; the 19 people who died in stuck Toyota accelerator accidents.

So in the news yesterday is this guy who claims his Prius, (a model year that is NOT part of the heretofore acceleration recall class), accelerated out of his control necessitating a California Highway Patrol cruiser intercede to stop his car. You can read the article here.

Ok, I am going to go out on a limb here and document my skepticism on this guy’s particular claim. I am going on record that an investigation will reveal that this guy faked this incident for the purpose of gaining personal wealth through litigation. Here it is, my wager time stamped and documented on this blog. This incident smells like a stunt – so stay tuned.

In the mean time people are now wanting to trade in their Toyotas for a Ford. Good luck with that. Let me know how much you paid in maintenance to keep your Ford running for 200,000 miles.


Charlie said...

Martha bought her first Toyota, a new Corolla in 95 not in the recall, and she wouldn't give it up for anything.

Mechanical problems for 50,000 miles, zilch. They guy who changes her oil says the car isn't even broken in yet.

She has a name for it--Fluffy, I think, or maybe that was the name of one of her old barn cats.

Mary Witzl said...

I think what's happening with Toyotas is both a fluke and a huge shame and I can't help but think that the fellow with the Prius claim is just jumping on the bandwagon. Eventually, consumers will end up paying for the greed of others and that is what really irritates me.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Charlie In the interest in true disclosure, my first car was a Fiat. I knew my mechanic on a first-name basis (NOT joking!)

Mary The most recent news indicates that Toyota's problems are now turning into a full-employment program for lawyers.

Charlie said...

Fiat stands for "Fix It Again, Tony."

Robert the Skeptic said...

On all the news releases today are stories of how the investigators have uncovered several significant "inconsistencies" in the story of this runaway Prias. As I predicted, this is a hoax.

I'll hold off a bit until this guy is indicted under criminal charges before I gloat in my blog.