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Monday, April 05, 2010

Taming the Toyota Tempest

My Prius is the safest, most reliable car I've ever owned. The reports of "sudden acceleration" have been alternately disconcerting, yet not especially believable. Toyota has taken a lot of heat, culminating in the Jim Sikes San Diego runaway Prius scenario. For better or worse, the basic absurdity of that situation seems to have cooled the hysteria surrounding the Toyota recalls a bit.

But when you pause to look at the data surrounding the original reports, you find that most of the incidents are related to starting from a complete stop (e.g. pulling out of a parking spot, at a stop light or stop sign) and involved older drivers. So while there's wailing about, "Toyota should have Done Something sooner!!!" I suspect that like so many things, it's really just not quite that simple. Even if there is something wrong that goes beyond driver error, I don't think Toyota could've done much to jump on it sooner.

And also, if something goes wonky and your car won't slow down via normal means, put it in neutral.

And finally, my last tank of gas cost me $26 and took me over 400 miles. 48 miles to the gallon baby! Safe, reliable, and efficient.


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