March 13, 2010

Scam or just stupid?

Via the Puppy Blender we see this Forbes article on the runaway Toyota Pious from last week.

He talks about how the guy claimed he reached down to try to pull up the pedal but was afraid to take his hands off the wheel to shift into neutral.... errr... was afraid the car would flip if he shifted into neutral.

He also mentions another setting on the Pious, you can shift into "B" and it slows the car down to help your brakes, it's for going downhills.

He links to a Car and Driver article on how to stop your car when the accelerator sticks.
Funnily enough you apply the brakes and your car stops. I know, counter-intuitive.
They did it with a Pious and it stopped fairly quickly. They even tried a supercharged Mustang and it still stopped with the gas all the way down.
It took a long time (903 feet), but it stopped.

Now I was skeptical from the start, the story was a little much, the details looked stupid so it looked to me like scam or his attempt at his 15-minutes.
The Forbes guy finds another data point
Blockquote
Sikes and his wife Patty in 2008 filed for bankruptcy and are over $700,000 in debt. Among their creditors is Toyota Financial Services for a lease on a 2008 Toyota Prius, with value at time of bankruptcy of $20,494....he denied being behind on his Prius payments.
Sikes also has a history of filing insurance claims for allegedly stolen items that are slowly coming to light. In 2001 he filed a police report with the Merced County Sheriff's Department for $58,000 in stolen property, including jewelry, a prosumer mini-DV camera and gear, and $24,000 in cash, ...His bankruptcy documents show a 2008 payment of $7,400 for an allegedly stolen saxophone and clothes.
End Blockquote

Remember, never impute to stupidity alone what can be explained by stupidity and malice.

The ending is what makes it for me,
Blockquote
They have been as determined to not investigate Sikes' claims as Sikes was to not stop his car. It's a Toyota media feeding frenzy and the media aren't about to let little things like incredible stories and readily-refutable claims get in the way.
End Blockquote
Minitru going after Government Motors' competitors. Who's next? I figure Honda. If you can't make yourself better, make everyone else worse. It's the leftish way.

There, I used blockquotes, now leave me alone.

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