Busted: Jim Sikes and the Little Toyota Prius that Couldn't
Wednesday/March/17 2010 Filed in: Marketing / Business
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Toyota has enough trouble without dealing with bozos out for a quick buck and fifteen minutes in the national spotlight.
It seems pretty clear now that up-to-his-neck-in-debt Jim Sikes concocted a bogus story about the uncontrolled acceleration of his Toyota Prius on a California highway, earlier this month.
After engineers looked at the car, Sikes' story just didn't pass the smell test.
Jalopnik.com, among other sites, has done their homework on this guy.
The Jim Sikes Reality Show
During the alleged high-speed terror-ride, Sikes had no interest in following the excellent guidance of the 911 operator, who gave him specific directions for regaining control of the car.
He didn't want to shift the car into neutral because he would have to put the cell phone down. In fact, his desperate call for help went on for over 20 minutes.
Over 20 minutes!
And what's so important about staying on the phone while hurtling through traffic at 90 miles an hour?
As anyone who has ever driven a car at 90 mph will tell you, you'll wish you had three or four hands on the wheel at that speed.
Toyota should be held accountable for problems with faulty cars sold.
But -- as it increasingly appears -- if Sikes was making a prank 911 call for fame or fortune while putting innocent civilians at risk by driving 90 miles per hour on purpose, he should be thrown in the slammer pronto.
Of course, the other question is on us.
Why are we so quick to believe what people say when it aligns with our preconceived notions?
Once we all bought into the narrative that Toyota makes unsafe cars, the Jim Sikes' story meshed with the reigning zeitgeist without suspicion.
In a world where predators lurk everywhere ready to con us out of our money, our time and our freedoms, critical thinking may be our last and best defense.
Without the inclination and the will to challenge our assumptions, we lock ourselves into perspectives that leave us easy prey for the next snake oil salesman to come along.
It certainly worked for that WMD thing...