Stuff with a Motor

Another Possible Reason for Toyota’s Problems – The Rest of Us

In the June issue of Car and Driver magazine, Aaron Robinson has a different cut on the Toyota unintended acceleration problem (can’t find it online yet). He states that in the great scheme of things, maybe it’s not a problem at all; maybe faster-moving Toyotas will keep them from blocking the left lane so the rest of us non-Toyota driving public can get somewhere at a reasonable speed.

While I would normally be thinking about Subarus in this regard, Robinson certainly has a point. He states of the stereotypical Toyota driver:

“. . . that they’re generally the slowest, most nervous drivers and that they were sent here to act as human restrictor plates on the speed of society’s activity.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is a gross generalization which is unfair, as all generalizations are, blah, blah, blah. Keep in mind, while I might share this perspective, I’m just quotin’ here.

Robinson does have some remorse for his point of view and he worries that bad wishes toward a line of Camrys and Priuses blocking the express lane (aka, the left lane) on major roads in the US might actually be the cause of the problem.

“After all, nobody has yet proven that the amalgamated desire of everybody else on the road to rid the left lane of lumbering Toyotas and Lexuses isn’t having some kind of telekinetic effect on their throttles.”

Although, if this were true, I would have increased the speed of half the car brands on the planet by now . . .

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  1. There needs to be a VW follow-up to this. Something along the lines of “don't be surprised if there's a class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen for causing irritable bowel syndrome.”

  2. In Boulder, at least, the Prius drivers are just former Subaru drivers, so it's the same people. But I would make an important distinction with Subaru drivers. They're not nervous drivers – they're very relaxed. So relaxed, that they're not completely aware that they're driving. They're daydreaming about their commitment to the environment, or talking on the phone to their hypnotherapist, or brushing their dog in the copilot seat. And I understand why they're in the left lane: fewer distractions from these important matters to which they are attending.

  3. “And I understand why they're in the left lane: fewer distractions from these important matters to which they are attending.”


    It's a good thing that Subaru doesn't have a hybrid. It would be driving equivalent of crossing the streams.

  4. Q: Why shouldn't Subaru produce a hybrid?
    A: Because it's *bad*.

  5. As I drove by a really cool tricked out STI today, I was thinking about the
    whole hybrid thing. Ya know, we'll all be driving hybrids in the next 10
    years. Not for the reasons people do today, but the seamless integration of
    electric motors, batteries and petrol-propelled vehicles will turn out to be
    a really good combination to eek out performance with great fuel economy.

    The only downside is that we're going to have to figure out another way to
    compartmentalize bad drivers 🙂

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