Thursday, February 25, 2010

A different perspective on the Toyota recalls

I hadn't heard of this before, had you?
  • The allegedly defective accelerator part is made in Canada by Indiana-based CTS Corp. Many makes and models use this same part. For example,
    • The Pontiac Vibe uses it.
    • Ford sells a van in China with the component.
Why aren't we hearing about those cars? Is it possible that the U.S. government is using some of its clout to try to "help" some of the bankrupt auto companies whose stock it now owns?

"Consider the numbers," writes Dr. David Eifrig.
34 people died in accidents blamed on the pedals . . . since 2000.

Toyota has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles in the U.S.

Assume the owners drive those vehicles 10,000 miles a year [I'm told the average car in the United States is driven somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 miles a year; but 10,000 makes for easy math]. . . . That means Toyotas are logging more than 85 billion miles a year in the U.S. - 850 billion miles during the last 10 years.

So divide 34 deaths into 850 billion miles, and the odds of a Toyota owner having one of these accidents is one in 2.5 million [miles]. . . That's a random event. . . .

You're more likely to get killed by lightning: 60 people died from lightning in the U.S. just last year.
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