Monday, March 15, 2010

I feel like buying a Toyota

Dinged up my Acura yesterday a little bit. I heard Toyotas are trading at bargain prices.

I'm willing to risk the accelerator problems. Only 0.005% of traffic fatalities have been attributed to these problems. I don't have enough margin in life to be worrying about something that might be demagogued in Congress, but is actually not a problem until I get past 99.995%.

I'd rather buy a new Toyota than a new GM car or even a new Mercedes, assuming comparable models at the same price. Mercedes are certainly the best car on paper, but then they have to go and build the thing, and its a sloppy manufacturer. If I had to buy a new German car, it would be a BMW; used, an Audi.

Toyotas are still built the tightest, even if they aren't the best designed and the Japanese are not necessarily know for their software prowess. Of course, Acura's GPS systems have been among the best for a long time, now. (I am suspecting there are probably some California fingerprints in Honda's computer engineering).

UPDATE: Theodore Frank agrees, and writes:
The Los Angeles Times recently did a story detailing all of the NHTSA reports of Toyota “sudden acceleration” fatalities, and, though the Times did not mention it, the ages of the drivers involved were striking. In the 24 cases where driver age was reported or readily inferred, the drivers included those of the ages 60, 61, 63, 66, 68, 71, 72, 72, 77, 79, 83, 85, 89—and I’m leaving out the son whose age wasn’t identified, but whose 94-year-old father died as a passenger. These “electronic defects” apparently discriminate against the elderly, just as the sudden acceleration of Audis and GM autos did before them.

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