THE BLOG
05/04/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Toyota, I Am Un-Friending You

I'm ending a long-term relationship with you, my companion of many years. We've clocked many a mile, scaled peaks and survived valley dips, shared run-ins and breakdowns. But you weren't honest, haven't been listening and often don't respond. I never thought it would end like this between me and you, Prius, my first hybrid. So, Toyota, I am un-friending you.

I want to share a few memories. Remember how we sped to see that awesome movie, The Hurt Locker? There's a scene where the Jeremy Renner character, trying to locate a bomb wired into a car, unexpectedly sets off the windshield wipers. The wipers going off randomly signals that someone messed with the vehicle's wiring...and probably planted a bomb. And then, we faced our own windshield wiper scene from real life. Although not seemingly as threatening as the movie scene, maybe it was a time bomb because it involved you, a Prius.

I admit, our story seems benign, even amusing at first, certainly nothing like the horrors some Toyota couples have endured. When I honk your hybrid horn, my windshield wipers sometimes start wiping. Often, a beep on the steering wheel gets the computerized voice on your spiffy computerized navigation system talking, answering questions that were never asked. Occasionally, the honk causes your air conditioning to blast. I get a similar wacky response if I brake suddenly.

Until I learned about potential electrical-computer connections to Toyota problems, I paid little attention to your quirks, my Prius, except to mention it to service people. I brought you in for TLC -- regular service check-ups -- because I cared about your maintenance. You seemed overly-revved up when stopped, like a runner or race car at the start line, raring to take off. Toyota service said they'd adjust your idle if it proved necessary. The revving up continued, but I figured it was normal for your underweight body metabolism. Even when your speed issue surfaced, I was tolerant; nothing is perfect. I threw away my floor mat like Toyota service suggested, unaware that they were aware this might not be the fix.

However, given the lack of resolution for the Toyota car recall, I decided to call my service branch and again share your odd electrical/computer glitches. I hoped I'd be helping them narrow in on the cause of the acceleration tragedies. Ridiculously, the Toyota service people were not grateful or gracious: grating would be more like it. I was on hold endlessly (okay, probably 20 minutes total given being disconnected, misdirected, and just plain ignored), before informing the Toyota representative that our issues were not part of the recall. I responded that originally the recall had been much smaller than now and that maybe car manufacturers should pay attention to issues before rather than after the disasters morphed. He told me that I could bring in the car (thanks ever so, dude) and that labor would cost me over a hundred dollars at minimum. Maybe I shouldn't be shocked that Toyota is mismanaging this phase of remediation and repair for their defective vehicles. But I had bought their hype along with you, my first Prius.

Toyota, we have a problem. I trusted you. You let me down. You aren't answering my calls. I'm changing my car status as soon as I can, getting myself into a relationship with a more appropriately responsive vehicle and vehicle manufacturer.