Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Suddenly all Toyotas Go Crazy?

Here are a few fun facts to consider with regard to the Toyota acceleration "problem." I don't know, maybe they all started going crazy, like in the movie Killdozer..., or maybe it's something else.

1) There have always been reports of unintended acceleration - all models, all years for about the past 100 years. 2) The problem almost never happens with cars that have a manual transmission. 3) When most automakers began installing a shift lock feature that won't allow you to shift out of park until the brake pedal is pushed, the reported number of runaway cars dropped significantly. 4) The Audi story of the 80s and supposed problems occured before most cars used electronic or "Drive by Wire" components.

Also, here's a little excerpt from Car and Driver, Feb 2010:

"We're no Toyota apologists, but if you look past the media circus, the numbers don't reveal a meaningful problem. Every man, woman, and child in the U.S. has approximately a one-in-8000 chance of perishing in a car accident every year. Over a decade, that's about one in 800. Given the millions of cars included in the Toyota recalls and the fewer than 20 alleged deaths over the past decade, the alleged fatality rate is about one death per 200,000 recalled Toyotas. Even if all the alleged deaths really are resultant from vehicle defects—highly unlikely—and even if all the worst things people are speculating about Toyotas are true, and you're driving one, and you aren't smart or calm enough to shift to neutral if the thing surges, you're still approximately 250 times likelier to die in one of these cars for reasons having nothing to do with unintended acceleration. So if you can muster the courage to get into a car and drive, the additional alleged risk of driving a Toyota is virtually negligible."

Also remember - NBC News rigged Chevy trucks to explode for Dateline, CBS News left out known facts in a 60 Minutes report about Audi vehicles to make the story more dramatic or scary or whatever. Who would you believe, money starved, taking obvious sides, zero objectivity network news or an automaker that makes most of it's money selling reliable, safe cars to Americans? Toyota is a for profit company - so is ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News. The trouble is, most Americans don't know that news programs are just another TV show designed to make money, everyone knows Toyota's goal is to make money, they're not trying to fool anyone into believing they're watchdogs for the public good.

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