A Big Yellow Taxi, With Fake Brake Pads, Took My Baby Away

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
a big yellow taxi with fake brake pads took my baby away

The thousand injuries of the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission have been borne as the operators and taxi passengers best could, but when someone ventures to insult the august governmental body, there is always some lackey ready to claim that the TLC protects — protects! — New Yorkers against a variety of imaginary offenses from racism to murder. Anything’s possible. The TLC clearly protects New Yorkers from the Cloverfield monster, because it’s never actually been spotted in the city.

On the other hand, when it comes to protecting New Yorkers from counterfeit, defective taxi parts, the FBI has to get involved.

The FBI used a few dozen agents to capture three men in a raid on Tuesday. The men were involved in a scam where they purchased low-quality generic auto repair parts ranging from brake pads to suspension airbags and rebranded them as OEM or name-brand parts. It’s easy to see how this could endanger taxi passengers, although speeds in New York are generally low enough that even a full Chevy Rolls Deep Brake Package probably wouldn’t kill anyone but pedestrians.

Given that the brake pads in my Town Car have lasted 94,100 miles so far and they still have a little bit to go, it’s easy to see why taxi operators might be annoyed at cheap Chinese brake pads and whatnot. Still, if it took the FBI three years to crack the case, perhaps the counterfeit parts weren’t so bad after all. One would also suppose that it shouldn’t take three years and the full force of federal law enforcement to deal with the issue. Shouldn’t the TLC be actively looking out for this sort of thing? Or are they too busy [s]cashing Nissan’s checks for the Taxi of Tomorrow[/s] doing something else?

Hat tip to TTAC reader Curvy McLegalbriefs for this one.

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  • Bunkie Bunkie on Feb 21, 2013

    Of all the places I've been in the US, NYC has the best taxis (which, unfortunately isn't saying much). A few years back I flew into Columbus to rent a truck and retrieve the stuff from my storage locker (known as the Museum Of My Former Life). I took a taxi from Port Columbus to the U-Haul on Hamilton Road (a five-minute ride) and it cost almost $20. US taxis are pitiful compared to those in Japan and Europe. The cars are almost always clapped-out junkers, dirty, rattling and uncomfortable. NYC cabs are better, but there are still worn-out vehicles. The other night I got in to JFK at midnight and took a cab home to my Upper East Side apartment and the odo on the Crown Vic read almost 250K miles. The TLC may be a messed-up organization, but they are all that stands between us and the chaos that would ensue without them. And speaking as a NYC pedestrian, I appreciate that the TLC is concerned about substandard brake pads.

  • MadHungarian MadHungarian on Feb 22, 2013

    OK, it's not just me. I've got a Town Car with 85K on what I believe to be its OEM brake pads (and given 46K of those miles are mine with no new pads, I'm pretty sure). It seems freakish to me, but maybe that's because I have just had too many GM FWD cars (all of which are pretty good at chewing up front brake pads).

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂