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The Grapefruit! The Grapefruit!

July 13, 2010

First, I should admit that the title above is an incredibly obsure reference unless you’re older than you should be to use a computer OR you just grew up in the ’70’s watching TV in the daytime when they had nothing other than ’60’s reruns.  But I’ll give a special shout-out to anyone who can actually ID the show and the situation.

Okay, that out of the way, about half the blog world said so when it was happening, so it’s fine that the government has figured it out six months later.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has analyzed dozens of data recorders from Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles involved in accidents blamed on sudden acceleration and found that at the time of the crashes, throttles were wide open and the brakes were not engaged, people familiar with the findings said.

Toyota remains one of the most reliable car companies in the world with a solid array of products and one of the best safety records… despite all the weirdo claims in recent times.  Compare that to say, GM or Chrysler, and you’ve got a company that really does a good job.  I say that as a person who doesn’t buy them (We’re a Subaru family).

The findings are consistent with a 1989 government-sponsored study that blamed similar driver mistakes for a rash of sudden-acceleration reports involving Audi 5000 sedans.

Wow, so people make mistakes and blame it on the machine?  I’ve never heard that happen with computers…

NHTSA has been able to verify only one of those fatal crashes was caused by a problem with the vehicle, according to information the agency provided to the National Academy of Sciences. That accident last Aug. 28, which killed a California highway patrolman and three passengers in a Lexus, was traced to a floor mat that trapped the gas pedal in the depressed position.Toyota has recalled more than eight million cars globally to fix floor mats and sticky accelerators.

So, um… j’accuse!  Oh, never mind.  I have to go kick my floor mat out of the way.

Moral of the story: The movie lied. (And since I still liked it when I wrote it:)

… it might only seem odd if you, oh, listened to the news any time in the last few weeks.  If you did that, then you’d assume that Toyota dealers were bathing in gasoline and towling off with a blowtorch as the pitchfork-wielding public carried their lawyers on their shoulders to the revolution.  Well, ha!

First, my point.  Even the responsible news networks (if there’s more than one) seem to be hyping the impending implosion of one of the world’s greatest companies (and a major US employer) just to get ratings.  Or be competitive.  Or whatever. Honestly, I can’t tell why they’re hyping it so much

The first point is the last point.  Go find a media outlet that will be saying how wrong they were about Toyota.  I won’t be holding  my breath.

Cross-posted at Cassy Fiano’s blog.  We did a quick trip by today to open the windows and get out the musty smell.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2010 10:50 am

    M’kay…checked for comments on the cross-post.

    I’ll bite. What’s the grapefruit reference?


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