Sunday, March 14, 2010

Don't Believe the TV!

There's something fishy going on - the San Diego dude who says his Prius had a stuck accelerator must not have realized that his 2008 Prius has only a VOLUNTARY recall by Toyota (November 2009) for a floor mat problem that MAY trap the gas pedal. The Prius braking issue was only a software fix that caused a slightly odd FEEL in the brakes (not failure) and that was for Prius models NEWER than James Sikes' 2008 Toyota Prius.

Bad News
Also, at least one local news station reported that Sikes' Prius had to be stopped by a CHP officer using his patrol car "as a brake" in front of the Toyota. That is not true, the CHP officer told the Prius driver what to do over his patrol car's loudspeaker system. When Sikes applied the parking brake and the regular brakes the Prius stopped. Despite this, many So Cal TV news outlets worded their stories in such a way that it IMPLIED the Prius had to be stopped with the cop car and they showed video of the patrol stopped IN FRONT of the Prius furthering the mis-information. So the dude could spend 23 min on a 911 call but couldn't figure out to shift the car into neutral or apply the parking brake? C'mon.

And another thing - why haven't we heard about any Corollas or RAV4s or Highlanders taking off by themselves? Those cars ARE included in the unintended accleration recall. So far over 37 Million Corollas have been sold worldwide so where are all the news stories about those cars taking off by themselves. Matrix, Avalon and Sequoia are under a recall too. Hear that? It's crickets.

You Too WSJ?
The Wall Street Journal mistakenly claimed that a new Toyota recall had bee issued and every other lazy news organization with $9 an hour producers/interns ran with it prompting Toyota to issue this: "Media reports, citing a Wall Street Journal article, have incorrectly reported that Toyota plans to announce a new recall for the 2004-2009 Prius to address the potential risk for floor mat entrapment of accelerator pedals." You can see the whole thing on Toyota's Media Site
Oh, and ABC News most likely "Manipulated faults" in an unrealistic manner just to get a specific result during a televised "Unintended Acceleration" segment with Brian Ross on Feb 22. Check out this page for the whole science-y breakdown according to Toyota engineers.

This isn't really new though - In 1992, NBC's Dateline rigged GM trucks to explode on impact in the segment titled "Waiting to Explode" Wow! Good one NBC news dudes, great title. Sadly, they did not tell viewers about the little 'splodin devices they installed. And in the late 80, CBS New program 60 Minutes had someone rig an Audi 5000 to move on its own and distorted interview responses from customers making it seem like the cars just took off by themseleves. has the whole run down. News programs are designed to get ratings and sell advertising just like Survivor and Big Brother. It's just a TV show, don't believe what you see.

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