Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good News for DIY; Toyota – Not So Much

If results from Home Depot and Lowe’s are any indication, it would seem that the worst of the economy may be over. Hoorah!

Both companies are reporting that consumers are slowly opening their wallets again. While officials from neither company are declaring 2010 a banner year, they are calling it a “transitional” one. Here’s hoping that’s a transition into a very positive 2011.

As for me, I continue to do my part for both companies by getting things for This D*mn House and Another D*mn House. (Stay tuned for a vanity update.)

Meanwhile, each day seems to bring more bad news for Toyota.

I read this article today about the possibility of electromagnetic interference (EMI) being the culprit in the sudden acceleration cases. Interesting theory. I don’t know enough about electronics to either support or dismiss it though.

I can tell you that I know what it’s like for a car to suddenly decide to accelerate on its own. It happened to me a few years ago behind the wheel of Ladybird. (Which is a Ford, not a Toyota.)

I was on the highway heading home from a shopping adventure with the mother when I spotted a few cars up ahead. I noticed I was going a few miles over the speed limit, too, so I removed my foot from the gas pedal to coast to a lower speed. Instead, much to my horror, I watched as the speedometer edged in the wrong direction.

65, 70, 75 … I began applying the brakes which, thankfully, did slow me down, if only temporarily. Even so, you could feel the car continuing to pull against them. We were about 15 miles from home at the time. It was late. It was dark and most of the rest of the journey was relatively desolate highway. So I braved it. And I was lucky.

The only bad parts were the few stoplights and stop signs along the way. Ladybird bucked and lurched like a would be drag-racer. Luckily, I think there was someone in front of me only once.
I thought that maybe the cruise control – something I never use anyway – had gone wacko but it turned out to be something with the throttle gone awry. (I don’t remember exactly what anymore.)

I thought about that experience when I saw snippets of the testimony from a Toyota-made Lexus owner recounting her frightening trip before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. She was lucky she lived to tell the tale!


Vicki said...

I've been listening to some of the testimonies on CSPAN. I've never managed to hear a victim though. I've heard them grilling someone from within the US and then I heard them grilling "Mr. Toyota". I'm guessing that's really his name, so it still must be a family business. Someone called in to CSPAN and wondered where were the congressional hearings when Ford and Firestone were having all of their issues. I didn't look it up to see if she was correct, but it is a good question.

Karen Anne said...

Apparently there were Congressional hearings on both Firestone and Ford, according to google.

NV said...

Vicki -- His name is actually Toyoda, but it's his family that started Toyota. There were definitely hearings on Ford and Firestone. It was one of the biggest and worst consumer cases in history.

Karen Anne -- There sure were!

Anonymous said...