Picture this: You’ve just spent hours lugging trash bags full of clothes down 5 flights of stairs, shoving them into your tiny corolla on top of all your furniture, decorations, and piles of binders. You just took your last, hardest final of the year and are literally the last human to leave for summer vacation. Getting onto the highway home of course all you want to do is fly right?! Until BOOM red and blue flashing lights sneak up behind you. Said driver may or may not be me and said driver isn’t too suave at talking to cops especially when totally oblivious to the fact that 70mph is the fastest one can drive in Virginia. So while driving down 81 on my way back to Tech yesterday the thought occurred to me….why isn’t there a cruise control where you can set a max mph?! This would have saved me lots of my money and my dad his vocal cords. For months after my first speeding ticket I was living on cruise control getting passed by grandpas whom, if it wasn’t for their arthritis, would fully flip me the finger. The drive from Tech to Nova is already long enough, actually following the speed limit just made it even worse. So pretty soon I was over the whole setting my cruise at exactly the speed limit and moved more towards checking my speed like literally every 5 seconds. I soon came to realize though that even if I’m cautious as can be I somehow must black out because BOOM I’m doing 85. Which is quite unfortunate yet totally not my fault because I think my car has a mind of its own. And apparently this is true because when my Toyota Corolla was on recall the mechanic told me that the computers in your car memorize slash learn how you drive. Anyways, some car company needs to implement this idea. My dad would be super happy considering his famous last words before I depart are always “drive slow!”. Duh dad, I’m your little angel. Minus my 3 speeding tickets in the past year but details aren’t important. “Car that ensures you never get another speeding ticket!” Now that’s an informercial I’d listen to. And I wouldn’t even need Billy Mays screaming in my face.
So, in regards to those tickets….in my defense my car was on recall aka basically had a mind of its own. Toyota definitely didn’t respond to the “runaway car” claims well. The company was not proactive and ignored claims of their “runaway” cars. As a result, Toyota had to recall almost 4 million vehicles, definitely damaging their reputation in the automobile industry. Consumers, even ones like me who couldn’t care less about the car they drive (ahem mine doesn’t even have all 4 hubcaps…), are never pleased to hear about a brand sitting back and ignoring complaints rather than taking charge and investigating, even if nothing is actually wrong. Toyota’s image was scarred and recovery was prolonged by even more recalls being made throughout 2011. Although a seemingly spotless brand before, Toyota’s reputation has been eroded all the way down to their driver floor mats. That’s why yesterday when I heard the news of Honda’s recent recalls I became really interested to see how the company planned on handling the situation. Toyota unfortunately is facing the hardship of reinventing their brand, trying to maintain current customers and get their name back into the heads of car purchasers. Honda has begun to recall vehicles due to the risk of window switches melting and causing fires. Exactly why everyone should kick it old school and have roll down windows like me. But anyways, recalls on cars are said not to be that uncommon so as long as brands handle the situation appropriately their reputation should not be too roughly tarnished. Honda faces the lucky circumstance that so far no one has been injured and the recall is said to begin November 2nd. The company has issued warnings to all users of the recalled model, a very important step that Toyota clearly skipped during their recall fiasco. Toyota apparently knew of the safety defects yet did not alert any users. Honda seems to have learned from Toyota’s mistakes and is doing well upholding their brand in the consumers eyes in times of trouble when it is definitely most crucial.