2.25.2010

"Possessed" Lexus Still On The Road...27,000 Trouble-Free Miles Later



If that were your car, what would you do?

The Wall Street Journal (sub required...comments can be read free) reports that Rhonda Smith sold it...and another family has been driving it since.

That's right. Not  "demanded Toyota replace it under the Lemon Law".

Not "parked it and sued Toyota for its replacement cost".

We need to know just how that went down, I think. Trade it in and let the dealer work out the ethics? Craigslist? eBay? A close friend or neighbor?

And Rhonda? She needs to head right back to Capitol Hill, sit down in front of that committee, under oath, and give a word-by-word description of just how that transaction went down.

I mean, what do you say? "3,000 miles, creampuff, only tried to kill me once"?

"It's to die for?"

"Once you drive it, you'll never stop?"

Did she show them the CarFax?

Rhonda Smith's testimony is that she really believed she was going to die in that car.  The fact that she would then sell it to another human being (even a dealer trade assumes it will end up being driven by someone again) raises questions about whether her testimony was, in fact, true.

As does the fact that the new owners have put 27,000 miles on the ES350 trouble-free.

And where was this fact in Tuesday's hearing? Nowhere. Not mentioned by a single member of the committee, by Toyota Motor Sales USA president Jim Lentz and certainly not by Rhonda Smith.

In this week's Memo From Michael, I make the argument that we don't know enough about what's causing the Toyota incidents to accuse dead or injured drivers of incompetence.

Mrs. Smith is alive and wasn't hurt. The sale of the vehicle opens questions about her actions on the road that day, and the veracity of her testimony Tuesday.

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