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Unneeded spin on Toyota crashesPosted Monday, March 8, 2010, at 9:30 AM
Here's an example of spin control, but is it the right approach?
Toyota today plans to try to recreate an incident in which, according to a critic, its "drive-by-wire" gas pedal system can malfunction and cause uncontrollable acceleration.
Handling the "re-creation" will be an individual from an auto research center funded by manufacturers including Toyota.
According to an Associated Press story, it's "part of a broad campaign...to discredit critics."
That's the last thing Toyota needs to be doing at this point. The people I saw testifying before Congress seemed sincere, and the evidence of crashes is proof something's wrong.
I've had enough of large manufacturers -- all types, not just cars -- who run into safety problems, play nice for awhile then eventually try to discredit those who suffered.
I personally would feel comfortable buying a Toyota. I know several people with late-model Toyotas, including my parents who drive an '09 Camry to Mississippi monthly and another relative who just bought a new Venza, and none have reported any problems.
That comfort level may fall a little if Toyota shows too much of a corporate attitude. I can understand their concern about their reputation, but too much defensiveness can just cause more damage.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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