If you're out there on the road reading this, put your laptop or iPad on the seat next to you, pull over and then continue. This applies even more so if you happen to be driving a Toyota. You may remember how I have been espousing, over the past few years, the virtues and benefits of driving a hybrid vehicle: the money savings, limiting greenhouse gasses, that great feeling of smugness. Maybe you bought a Ford Fusion, and in that case God Bless You, since you get all those perks and you bought American. Hundreds of thousands of hybrid Toyotas were sold during that time, and if you purchased one at my behest, I apologize.
I tell people that my first car was a Chevrolet Vega, but for about two weeks, my real and true first car was a Toyota. Not a hybrid, but a pickup truck. I tend to put an asterisk next to that one, since I so abruptly dropped it off the side of a mountain road and into a tree that effectively ended the useful working life of the vehicle. The only need to recall that one would have been from my older brother, the truck's first owner, asking his dim younger sibling to give back his truck since obviously he didn't appreciate the gift of four wheels and a camper shell. If you own a Toyota of more recent vintage, however, you may be afraid to move it out of the driveway, let alone down a twisting mountain road. After months of mounting safety problems with the Prius, Toyota is considering a recall of its hot-selling Corolla subcompact after complaints about power steering problems. The world's best selling car may be the world's deadliest. Or at least pretty scary. Thirty-four deaths have been associated with "sudden acceleration problems" already, but when you add steering to that it gets a little messier. Let's just hope the radio still works. And if you're using a Toyota cup holder, just be careful with that hot coffee.