Toyotas have minds of their own, apparently. But not to worry. The U.S. government will smite the robotic menace -- and the company's profits along with it.
As one Lexus-driving victim stated at a recent congressional committee hearing, "Shame on you, Toyota, for being so greedy."
Indeed. Greed has reared its ugly head again. Shame on Toyota for consistently selling cars we want to buy. Shame on Toyota for employing thousands of Americans and building those unseemly factories. Shame on the company for perfecting the mass production of environmentally friendly hybrid vehicles.
Toyota has such an insatiable appetite for profit it knowingly allows consumers to perish in Lexus deathtraps. One wonders why Toyota would risk its sterling reputation. Then again, it matters little now that D.C. has started dismantling it.
The Toyota horror is well on its way to transforming the Corolla into the Pinto of the 21st century. Who knows? Perhaps the worst is true about Toyota. Perhaps it is hiding something. Maybe Toyota thought it was infallible. Maybe it is evil. Right now, though you might not know it, it's all just a bunch of maybes.
There have been to this point 2,600 incidents of "sudden unintended acceleration" reported to Toyota -- a company that used to sell 9 million cars yearly, most of them in the United States. This yet-to-be-defined glitch -- maybe floor mats sticking -- reportedly has caused more than 30 deaths.
What we do know is that anyone involved in a Toyota-driven accident now has a scapegoat -- and, if the person's smart, a lawyer.
All of a sudden, Toyotas are dangerous. Edmunds.com, which reviewed more than 200,000 complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past decade, found that Toyota ranked fourth best among the top 20 automakers in the overall number of complaints per vehicle sold.
General Motors came in six spots lower. Then again, GM is special -- or, rather, developmentally disabled. Thus, the U.S. government has the majority stake (with funding extracted from taxpayers) in Toyota's main competitor. It also has the power to drag the CEO of its chief rival to Washington to nearly badger him into cutting off a pinky in one of those ritual atonement ceremonies.
All in good time on the finger thing. Toyota's January sales fell 16 percent, and some analysts are expecting sales will be down as much as 40 percent in the coming year, which doubtlessly will do wonders for the economy.
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