Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hitting the breaks

A decade ago, Chrysler foolishly let me drive a new Viper around the Sports Car Club of America track in Atlanta.
     I could go as fast as I dared.
     But there were two conditions: I had to wear a helmet and a Viper engineer would be in the passenger seat.
     The helmet I understood; but why would an engineer — who may have a family to support — offer his life
 to ride with me?
      The answer was clear after a few laps.
      I started to feel like a real Indy driver and sure enough, I came out of a turn and spun the Viper
around several times.
     The tires were smoking as I was trying to correct the direction with little success.
     The engineer grabbed the hand brake and probably save us both from going into the wall.
     After the smoke and dirt settled, he said: “We have NO objection to using the brakes.”
      So here is the point (as I veer from my Viper story):  Good for you, Toyota!
      The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has concluded that your cars are safe
and there was no real problem despite all the unintended acceleration reports.
       If your vehicle is running away without you holding down the gas pedal, why not hold the brakes down?

      The brakes on vehicles are far more powerful than the engine. In the end, the car will stop.
      Yes, even a Toyota, or Audi, and the few who tried to swindle Chrysler on the same fake runaway fable.
      If you don’t think the brakes are working fast enough, why not turn the damn key off?
Or, try putting the beast into neutral?
     Heck, do all three!
     Calling 911 while your family is racing toward a tree is beyond stupid. 
     I would buy a Toyota vehicle even before and especially after the official government retraction
Regarding safety lapses, this began in August 2009.
     Now after hundreds of million of dollars in lost sales, we can put aside this unintended acceleration scam.
     But will the government return the $48.8 million it fined Toyota?
     Do not count on it.
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Location: Oakland County, Michigan

Ed Noble has been a car enthusiast his entire life. From the 1950s' on Woodward Avenue to writing automotive reviews for The Oakland Press Wheels page, car cruising is a summertime event he looks forward to each year. Ed will write new vehicle reviews for The Oakland Press and also provide some cruise news and other related information.

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