We love to trade barbs with Matt and the rest of the crew at Jalopnik, but sometimes they’re just plain right about things, and this is one of those times.
Two BMW M3s were crashed at a recent press event, and Patrick George wants to know who’s responsible. He and Matt are catching a lot of heat for investigating the crashes; the phrase “witch hunt” is being tossed around and it’s being suggested that he is doing the industry a disservice.
I’d suggest that the job of an automotive journalist is not to do the industry a service. It’s to do the reader a service. This is forgotten many more times in this business than it is remembered. Should two crashes be swept under the rug? What if these cars are crashing under situations that average buyers might accidentally duplicate? What if these cars are crashing because they are being incompetently driven by people whose opinion is being taken as fact by potential buyers?
Here at TTAC we’ll join in the call for the two journalists to volunteer their identities and explain how the crashes occurred. It’s real-life data that potential buyers could actually use, as opposed to puff-piece garbage about the new carbon-fiber roof or improved MP3 compatibility. Why shouldn’t they come forward? When I crashed my Lincoln in January, we showed pictures and told the story. It didn’t make my crash any worse, or my injuries any more painful — but it might make someone think twice about waiting for their snow tires to be installed. The same is true here. Unless these two cars were crashed under perfect-storm magic unicorn conditions that could never happen again, the buying public should hear about how it happened.
Unless, that is, we want to accept the idea that we only print “approved” news in this business. And that’s not true, is it?