Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Trutanich Targets Toyota - Pulls Prius Perks
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has ordered his staff to cease using their City supplied Toyota Prius vehicles. The order was issued last week to City Attorney executives and staff to immediately stop driving the hybrid vehicle that Monday's LA Times reported as being involved in 34 fatal accidents. According to the Times, "34 people have died in accidents involving Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles that allegedly accelerated out of control in the past decade."
No doubt Trutanich's order was prompted by the recalls recently issued by Toyota, as well as concerns some may have that the problem is not only limited to the third generation Toyota Prius. Articles in the press, such as the LA Times article, might have made the City Attorney believe that the problem is more widespread.
Prudent risk management would seem to indicate that the smart move is to cease using the popular hybrid vehicle until more is known about the full extent of the problem, described in the LA Times as "sudden-acceleration." The LA Times reports that these sudden-acceleration deaths span a period of 10 years and involve all models of Toyota hybrid vehicles. This would tend to support the City Attorney's order to be safe rather than sorry.
Trutanich's order only effects Toyota vehicles used by his executives and staff. It is unknown whether other City Departments will follow his lead. The Toyota Prius is widely used by many City departments, and the City is believed to operate in excess of 400 of them. Typical uses include, Parking Enforcement, Building & Safety Inspections, as well as work-related transport by City employees.