Sunday, February 13, 2011

How does Toyota get its rep back?

So roughly a year ago, reporters went batshit crazy over possessed Toyotas that accelerate without your consent - smashing into other sedans, running into and over people, or worse: ruining floral mailboxes that look like miniature versions of stately homes.

Well, if you're like me, you knew this might be B.S.

And while I felt bad for the victims - I also felt for the car company - which would lose billions trying to remedy a mechanical problem that may not exist.

But reporters never met a hyped-up story they didn't love, and in this case, they grabbed it by the neck and dry humped it to the ground.

Well, now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with NASA, have found that there were no electronic flaws in the cars that would "create dangerous high-speed unintended acceleration incidents."

Their conclusions? The most likely cause of the acceleration was... pedal misapplication."

That's a nice way of saying it's the asshat at the wheel's fault.

I'm sure some people will disagree. But my gut tells me that cars are the safest thing about driving. Elderly drivers, pedestrians and girls frantically searching for breath mints frighten me more.

Which leads me to one thought: why isn't there some kind of punishment for reporters who fall for false, hyped up crap like this?

As far as I can tell, you can write about the dangers of DDT, and be wrong; you can scream about the dangers of nuclear power - and be wrong; you can babble about the coming ice age - and be wrong; and you can then clamor over climate change -and really be wrong.

But everyone forgets.

Which is why, as punishment, they should all be driving Pintos.

And if you disagree with me, you probably drive a Pacer.

A yellow one.