Friday, January 29, 2010

Toyota Jockeys for Quality Assurance; Honda Blinks

Ford posted a revenue for the year of 2009, the first ever in the past 4 years. Toyota's reputation for quality is being tarnished by - of all things - a gas pedal. If you do any searching on the internet you'll find a horrible story about a guy driving a Lexus ES350 right down a ravine at 120 mph (he couldn't stop the car). Nobody told him he had to hold down the power button for 3 seconds before the car would stop it's engine. The better question would be: Why didn't he force the transmission into neutral? Who knows. Toyota's advice for consumers on what to do if an emergency acceleration incident happens is ridiculous: Use both feet to apply the brakes HARD and then hold the start menu down for 10 seconds. Honda recently announced a recall for their Fit vehicles where water can enter the power window controls/switches and cause a fire. Really? Wow.

Start Menus

Ever since these annoying buttons became the fancy of high-end luxury cars, some car makers decided it would be cool to include them in normal, cheap, and econobox cars. Although somewhat convenient, doesn't it make the driver of the car look like a retard if they try to start their car & discover their keyfob's batteries are dead? What then? How do you start it? Look, I've driven Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW, Lexus, and Nissan's and they all use these stupid gadget fobs. The only time I felt comfortable using one was when I was driving a Nissan G35. The car was actually smart enough to unlock the doors when I approached the car. But wait, it gets better. I climbed into the car and hit the start button - sound good? Say I leave the car, and from a diameter of 10 feet around the car, if I leave this area - the car immediately shuts down AND locks the doors. Now how cool is that?

The problem is I can't afford a G35 and honestly, my next car will be an econobox. Insurance is ludicrously expensive for me since my two accidents back in 2007. I'd be using my money more sensibly if I burned it. I'm seriously thinking about sub-leasing my car and ditching it altogether. I don't NEED a car. I like to USE a car but I don't desperately NEED one. 

But back to Toyota. They need to hire a good PR firm and start giving their customers some gifts (bribes) and maybe even start fixing their cars. But don't do what Ford did in the 90's and completely ignore the Firestone Tire incidents. Don't be like GM and ignore the GMC Pickup truck saddle-mounted gas tank deaths. And for God sakes don't be like Ford and ignore the Pinto incident. Lives are at stake here, not reputations or ego's.


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