Lately, I’ve been fighting anxiety whenever I make my way across a crosswalk. Even if it’s a four-way stop and I know each oncoming car will come to a halt, I still get this feeling of what if? It’s mostly dark when I leave work, and even more so on nights when it’s raining. Sometimes, it can be hard to spot a pedestrian in those conditions. This forces me to be a defensive walker, often waiting a few seconds to start when I get the walk signal.
This anxiety was in place before Toyota announced three massive recalls for some of its vehicles, each relating to ignition or breaking system issues. It’s one thing to have a defunct windshield wiper or maybe a faulty glovebox. Here, we’re talking about cars that accelerate on their own or don’t brake when you ask them to.
I’m not here to bash Toyota. That’s been done. No need to rub salt in their wounds when they’ll feel it in their checkbook.
Rather, this is to call out all those vain environmentalists who had to get the Toyota Prius of all hybrids when their opportunity came to save Earth.
I hate the Prius. I mean, I like what it stands for and what it’s capable of, but it’s become the the must-have accessory among the in-your-face environmentalist set. It’s the natural choice for those who want recognition for their efforts and awareness because it looks like a hybrid compared to automakers like Ford and Chevrolet, whose hybrid models look the same as their gas-fueled counterparts.
I favor buying domestic, yes, but I’m not opposed to buying a foreign-made product that offers quality and performance. That said, I leased a 2008 Ford Fusion a couple years ago. Its rated one of the safest cars on the road, which is why I walked unscathed last winter when I was side-swiped by a Ford F-150. I’m still driving that car today. My next car will be a Ford, too.
Toyota made some mistakes. The oversights are understandable — given the huge demand for rapid production of their Camry and Prius models — but they are inexcusable nonetheless. This wasn’t one recall or even two, but three recalls, and big ones at that. To buy a new Toyota Camry or Prius at this point shows an utter lack of common sense and disregard for safety.
And that kind of reckless abandonment doesn’t help me, a proud living citizen of this planet you may be trying to save, who’s shaking in his shoes at every crosswalk. (That’s probably from seeing too many close-call videos on YouTube and network news.) I’ll continue to keep my head on a swivel, especially with Toyotas on the road. The roads are dangerous enough as it is. The last thing we need is another malfunctioning Toyota on the road.