Rants & Raves

Consumer Reports put the Lexus GX 460 SUV on its "do not buy" list. Why? Because the stability control doesn't kick in quick enough if the rear end starts to slide. Now don't get me wrong, if there is a problem with the programming Toyota needs to fix it. But really is this what it's come down to? They recommend you don't buy a car because the gizmo to keep idiots from spinning out of control doesn't kick in quick enough?

I am getting tired of "design for the lowest common denominator." I remember years ago, as high performance tires were becoming common place, reading in Car & Driver, I think it was a column by Patrick Bedard, about how tires were raising the cornering power to a level above the ability of the average driver. Think about where we are now - the average vehicle will corner at speeds well in excess of most people's skill level. If something goes wrong they will be well over their head. Throw in anti-lock brakes and stability control and it is possible for an average driver to begin to think he/she is ready for the track.
And this brings me to the second part of this rant - speed limits. My local PD, the Pacifica Police, recent had a column in our local paper going on about how speed causes accidents. When are they going to get this right? Speed by itself does nothing except get you to the end faster. I have driven at over double the limit on a local highway and I did not die or crash. Driving too fast for conditions causes wrecks, idiots cause wrecks, and that is the problem.

Our cars and our police are now both designed to protect the idiots. I think it's time to change. Start enforcing the laws that actually govern good, sensible driving. Get the idiots off my roads.
Evidently where my Pacifica Tribune articles show up confuses some people. Heck it confused me the first time I found my article on the San Jose Mercury News' web site. So let's see if I can explain this - My primary outlet is the Pacifica Tribune. The Trib is part of the Bay Area News Group. The Merc is also part of the Bay Area News Group. For whatever reason(s), the Merc's web site hosts the online edition of the Trib at www.mercurynews.com/pacifica. Is this clear as mud for you? I didn't ask to end up with the Mercury News and I ain't complaining.

On top of that, there is this site, my own web site, a place where I can write what I want, when I want, how I want.
I need to thank some people here. Last month the Western Automotive Journalists (WAJ) held their annual Media Days. So many people from WAJ worked all year to set this up, that I need to thank them all. Fearing I may leave someone out, let me just say thank you to everyone at WAJ who put together another great 2.5 days.

There were two other groups, unsung heroes all, who also made this possible. While we, the journalists, were at play, the hard-working folks from Page One Automotive and Specialty Transport, Inc. kept all the cars in working order, and took care of all the logistics. You guys are terrific and I thank you for making my life easier.


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