By on March 15, 2010

“I rented a Toyota for the week. I noticed when travelling in the left lane that everyone moved over to the right to let me pass. Not a single foo slowed me down. With its current reputation, the Toyota hardly needs brakes.”

Comment entered by “charenton” on Mar 14, 2010 in response to Reuters story headlined “Investigation questions Prius driver’s story: report”

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23 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: Life In The Fast Lane...”

  • avatar

    Cracked up out loud! Thanks for the laugh.

  • avatar

    With apologies to Mr. Wilder…Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride, nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh no, I’m driving a Toyota…

  • avatar

    The worst part of all this is that although I’m not worried about a Toyota behind me suddenly accelerating, I am much more aware of Toyota and Lexus badges whenever one goes by. Damn there is a lot of them. Seems like every other car is a Toyota, Lexus, or Honda.

    Doesn’t anybody support our own car companies anymore?

  • avatar

    Nice. I once owned a Pinto (Yes, I’m admitting it). For all its faults, no one ever tailgated me. Now if someone were to combine the two…

  • avatar

    A hydrogen powered Toyota would be the perfect vehicle. The hydrogen badge keeping away the tailgaters and the Toyota badge clearing the way up front.

  • avatar

    I have to admit I am aware of them when I cross the street in front of one.
    Probably more indicative: my elderly father got his Honda hit by an elderly lady in her Avalon at Walgreen’s. She got a piece of paper from her car and wrote her insurance info down……..when he got home he noticed a hand drawn diagram on the other side, showing the brake pedal on the left and the gas on the right.

  • avatar

    The reports of other drivers getting out of the way of Toyotas make for a good story. However, I’m not convinced that most drivers are savvy enough to identify the make of an oncoming vehicle, much less make the connection that Toyotas are implicated in sudden unintended acceleration incidents.

    I base this lack of driver observation on my experience with driving vintage cars. It’s amazing how drivers will pull in front of a 4,000+ pound, non-power-assisted, drum braked car…and then look at me indignantly in the mirror when I come close to rear-ending them. But I’ve heard similar stories from big-rig drivers.

    • 0 avatar

      That reminds me of a story a family friend told us once. He drives rigs for a living. He was passing a car with his rig and as soon as he got past he signaled to get back over…as per usual. When he started moving back over he felt a huge bump-bump and the rig rocked a bit. He looked in his mirror to see a flattened convertible being spat out the back of his trailer. Apparently the guy had passed with him and then decided it was a good idea to continue passing the rig on the right. As he braked to a stop he could see the flattened car spin to a halt by the side of the road. When he got out of the truck he was relieved to see two heads pop up. Apparently the tire flattened the car all the way to the passenger compartment, before bouncing and then landing just behind them. The front and rear of the car was flattened but they weren’t even scratched.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    All I have to say is take 5 1/2 minutes and watch this video.

    Then go tell everyone you know, to go read their owners manual; tell them to learn how to place a car into neutral; and explain to them that unless they have a Prius, if the accelerator is truly stuck, their engine may rev very high once the car is placed in neutral, and to expect this. (It won’t happen in a Prius, as may be seen in the video). Test it for yourself; go to any Prius, start the car, ensure the gas engine is running (you can turn on the A/C to help do that), place the car into neutral, and floorboard the accelerator pedal. The engine will NOT rev high – it will add maybe a few hundred RPM’s (by design).

    Furthermore, in any modern car, the primary brake system WILL stop a car even under maximum throttle. If in doubt, go to an empty parking lot with an automatic transmission car, place the car into drive, and floorboard the brake then floorboard the gas. The car won’t move.

    As I’ve said all along, this Toyota thing is an obviously apparent witch hunt. It does the current administration no good at all to even have the appearance of conflict of interest, since the government essentially owns 2 of 3 “American” auto companies in competition against Toyota. Interestingly, Federal government stats prove that Toyotas are among the safest, least recalled cars. Furthermore, for the year 2009 there were 7.5 “unintended vehicle complaints” per 100,000 vehicles for Toyota and Lexus vs. 11.5 for Volkswagen/Audi, 5.8 for BMW, and 1.9 for Subaru (added because I now drive – a Subaru). Where are the calls for the Volkswagen and Audi, BMW and Subaru executives to go in front of Congress? Hysteria is a peculiar thing to watch.

    Just as the 1980’s with the Audi “unintended acceleration” debacle, it’ll be proved that 99% of the time, people’s feet were on the wrong pedal. The other 1% of the time, it is human error. Example: putting aftermarket floor mats in without carving holes in them to ensure they are safely locked into place (with the hooks on the floor for the purpose) just as factory floor mats must be pinned in place, also for safety. It’s called “being responsible”, “being responsible for one’s own and passengers safety” and “taking responsibility for your own actions.” These are apparently (sharp intake of breath) “novel ideas” in post-modern America, but they were pretty standard operating procedure in prior days.

    As for the Sikes man in California, with his Prius’s “runaway episode”, this video very clearly proves what bunkum that was. Interesting that he “couldn’t” slow the car down until after TV helicopters got their footage, isn’t it? He stated on his 9-1-1 call “I can’t put it into neutral, it’ll flip the car”. Nonsense, and I very strongly suspect he knew it. (What he is apparently attempting is what I would call extortion by crooked lawyers/justice system and maleficent media). So how did he make the brakes “smell” as was reported by the police? He was told by the police to put the (completely conventional, metal cable actuated, foot-operated-by-small pedal) parking/emergency brake on and he did so. These tiny brakes are on the rear wheels only, and won’t stop a car by themselves except when no power is applied to the wheels. They are called emergency brakes for a reason… they aren’t primary hydraulic brakes.

    • 0 avatar

      The odd thing about Sikes’ brakes is that all 4 wheels’ brake shoes were completely worn down according to this Congressional memo:

      Since the car automatically cuts the throttle when the brakes are applied, I wonder how he managed to completely wear down his brakes in 23 minutes. Would alternately accelerating to 90 and then hitting the brakes for 23 minutes wear them out completely?

      Here’s a NSFW tutorial on how to make a Prius stop in the event of unintended acceleration. Too bad the 911 operator didn’t have this available to play for Mr. Sikes in his time of need ;) [CAUTION: Strong language in video]

    • 0 avatar

      Are we supposed to assume the brakes were brand-new before this episode?


  • avatar

    I like the part where Swingin’ Sikes told the 911 operator that he couldn’t put the phone down. I thought that was odd because if I actually was in that situation and the car really wouldn’t slow down, I’d throw the phone on the seat and concentrate as much as possible on stopping the car.

  • avatar

    When the state patrol started talking about laying down spike strips, Jimmy suddenly got real smart about ending his joy ride.

  • avatar
    Kristjan Ambroz

    Too bad the message has not spread to the Old Continent – could definitely use something like that to part London traffic in front of me :)

  • avatar

    we need to hold a contest on who can get through rush hour traffic faster: a Toyota or a Crown Vic

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    intermittent, def: 1. stopping or ceasing for a time; alternately ceasing and beginning again: an intermittent pain. 2. alternately functioning and not functioning or alternately functioning properly and improperly.

    Many of us have experienced a device malfunction and were told it was impossible or the technician could not replicate it. It was Toyota’s Standard Operating Procedure until the poop hit the fan. Perhaps it still is.

  • avatar

    I’m runnin’ out and buy me a Camry!

  • avatar
    Rick Korallus

    Am I the only one wondering when was the last time Sikes had his brakes replaced? Is that asking too much from professional investigators? Is it a coincidence that Sikes’ lawyer is also representing the Saylors?

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    Time for Toyota (and more specifically, Toyota stock owners who saw $7 billion removed from the value of their investment overnight on the statements of a US government clown) to start suing the sh*t out of some of these @ssclowns including most of them in Washington D.C.

    Mr Sikes, pleeeease approach the bench and bend over….

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