There is no excuse for turning people loose in two-plus ton machines unless they have the knowledge and experience to handle their automobiles in emergencies.
Good points DarronS. It would be better if courses like that
were mandatory. A course in basic automobile mechanics/electrics
would be good too, so that people can get to know the parts well
enough to understand what they can and can’t do.
I took a course that touched on some of the emergency handling,
it was a motorcycle class from an organization called ABATE.
It was great, very educational. In a whirlwind weekend course
they started people from the ground-up, we started by walking the
motorcycles around the training area, then riding them while a
partner pushed them, and lots of lecturing before even starting
the engines. By the end of the course they had us riding in
tight circles just inches from the rider ahead, figure-eights
with five other student riders, and riding over 4x4 inch wood
boards, stopping practice with front and rear brakes separately
and combined. The course was well done.
On Rhonda Smith’s testimony from that “Consumerist”
article… she’s talking about the cruise control accelerating
the car… That is what cruise-control is made to do, when
you engage the cruise-control you choose to give-up control of
the accelerator pedal, her testimony makes it sound like
that is a surprise to her. She’s talking about a Lexus, why
is it that every time I hear about this Toyota problem it is a
different model of car? When they make a different car model,
they typically design all new parts, one problem wouldn’t occur in
two different models, each made with different parts. This story
is getting a good amount of hyperbole, I wish they’d start nailing
down some facts. Ms. Smith sounds less than technically savvy
to me, I have a hard time accepting her overwhelming cascade
of failures. If she needed a god to slow her car down to 35
mph (a perfectly ordinary cruising speed and not an emergency
in cities), then I think she needs to learn more about driving,
she should not need any god to stop her own car. Didn’t she even
disengage the cruise-control?
I am sad that she had a rough time, testimony sound very
frightened, but I’m not confident that she acted to reduce the
danger of that situation.
Now I hear the journalists saying that Toyota’s problems are
electronic, the journalist are raising the spooky specter of
software bugs on my radio as I write this, more vagueness and
rumors IMHO. I sincerely hope that Toyota engineers can get
their hands on the real problem, so that we can hear an end to
this conjecture and hyperbole that keeps being broadcast.
From the vague reports I hear, I can’t make any conclusions…
whatever the real problem is, at least it seems to be rare, for
such a popular brand I think it would be more widespread if it
was truly a design flaw, such as a software bug, or an inadequate
electrical part. I hope that the Toyota owners are comforted to
“In a breathtakingly candid moment, Jim Lentz, Toyota’s chief
operating officer, said that the automaker’s recalls over
unintended acceleration would ‘not totally’ prevent future
The web site of the “Car Talk” radio show has
some reports on Toyota’s issues. I really don’t think that Toyta has
figured out the problem yet, they are taking an educated
Jules, wow! That is so much trouble for one year of driving!
I’m frightened for you. Do stay away from trucks, my car has
been hit by debris from trucks, the small debris is bad enough,