Posted by: Lori Schmidt Lutze | February 8, 2010

Is Toyota the Tiger Woods of the auto industry?

I bought my very first Toyota four months ago.  My Acura MDX had begun to feel too old, worn, silver, and large.  Plus, it was starting to act up.  When making important automobile related decisions, I always turn to Consumer Reports.  My use of Consumer Reports goes way, way back to my years as a bachelorette . . . after I’d been buying–and dating–one lemon after another. 

The car problems began with a used Chevy Monza.  It was a very bad car . . .

View Image

And my boyfriend at the time wasn’t much better.  The Monza overheated whenever it was driven too far.  One time I was stranded in Black River Falls, Wisconsin at the side of the freeway while smoke exploded from under the hood.  I ended up having to hitch a ride back to Madison with a snaky truck driver in order to make a 4:45 p.m. final exam.  Joyce was not at all happy when she heard I left the Monza at the side of the road and hopped into a fourteen wheeler with a potential serial killer. 

My next nasty car in this series of unhappy romances was with the Plymouth Horizon.  That car had a flywheel problem which was chronic and troublesome . . .

View Image

The car screeched upon starting almost every time.  It reminded me of the screaming violins in the Psycho shower scene.  It was a car that was making me psycho . . . as was the guy in my life at the time.

After the Horizon, I fell for the Oldsmobile Firenza . . .

View Image

My Firenza was in the shop 28 days in the first year of its life, but that wasn’t often enough to qualify for the lemon law.  I swore there was a mechanic at the dealership who was hot under the hood for me and that he kept breaking something on the Firenza with the hope of scoring a date.  That was back when I used to lament to Joyce and The Bobster, “Cars and men.  Cars and men.  Cars!  Men!” 

It was during my breakup with the Firenza that I became smitten with Consumer Reports.  I began to study it like the Bible.  I took it along on dates.  Surely Consumer Reports could break me from the bad car juju that had cursed my swinging single days. 

Consumer Reports instructed me to elope with a Honda.  And I listened.  And since then I’ve owned two Hondas and one Acura and I’ve had really good luck.  Plus I met Spike.  I was no longer singing the car and man blues thanks to Consumer Reports.  Until now. 

This time around I was lusting in my heart for a smaller SUV and I listened to Consumer Reports rave about the Toyota RAV4.  I began to get revved about the RAV.  And I’m crazy about white.  Remember how I love the white t-shirt?  Well, I also love the white car. 

It seemed like a match made in heaven–a small, white SUV made by trustworthy Toyota.  Until Toyota began behaving like Tiger Woods.  Through the years, who has been more trustworthy than Tiger or Toyota?  Nobody.  They both excelled at what they did.  They looked good.  They had sterling reputations.  They put out a great product.  They knew how to perform.  They made you feel safe and secure.  They . . . were . . . winners. 

But after the last two weeks I’ve decided that Toyota is the Tiger of cars.  Something was pretty smelly and stinky behind the scenes at Toyota and there were people who knew, but nobody was talking.  That is until the shit hit the fan.  Like Tiger, Toyota is image with little substance behind the scenes.

So now I’m waiting to hear something from Toyota about when they’re going to fix my RAV4.  We’re honeymooners, but I’m ready to break up.  Joyce finds it all a little worrisome.  And I think that Tiger should become the new Toyota spokesperson.  Don’t you think they deserve each other until they both figure out how to fix their faulty acceleration problems?



  1. […] admin wrote an interesting post today. Here’s a quick excerptI bought my very first Toyota four months ago. My Acura MDX had begun to feel too old, worn, silver, and large. Plus, it was starting to act up. When making important automobile related decisions, I always turn to Consumer Reports. … […]

  2. Two words: Honda, sister.

  3. Sorry, Black River Hills is funny, but I’m not going to elaborate… Do you mean Black River Falls?

  4. Well put! “Oh what a feeling–Toyota!”….just…not a good feeling! I will say I had to get rid of my old silver MDX and was broken up about it—believe it or not I needed something BIGGER as I couldn’t fit three car seats in it! Sniff. It was my fave car ever, but I love my new baby more! And, unlike your Toyota, he’s been relatively well behaved thus far–think I’ll keep him! Good luck with the Rav-4.


  5. Thank you, Nellie—I did mean Black River Falls. Now, Black River Hills—–that could really be a blog post……………………

  6. Can you select the Psycho? Take the free psycho quiz below to check it out;
    Click Here to Take The Psychos Quiz

    Dating Psychos is a place to post what you know about your ex psychos
    Click Here to Add and Check Out the Psychos


  7. Excellent comparison! You had some real interesting cars!!! I really can’t believe what is going on with Toyota, it’s crazy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: