“Why Do Toyotas Hate the Elderly? my article in Forbes Online

It was the Camry in a car wash nightmare. With her two grandchildren in the car, Doris Dresner went through the wash in Columbia, Mo., with the gear in neutral. At the end, she stepped on the brake and put the car in drive. Suddenly it lunged forward. She slammed the brake, but the car just went faster.

Dresner swerved to avoid a fire hydrant, but nonetheless it ripped off her left fender. Still accelerating, the car shot across the street, jumped the curb and went airborne before landing in a parking lot. Fortunately everybody was OK.

A columnist who only wrote about this a few weeks ago (though the accident happened in 2005) declared, “I suspect there were people like Doris all over the country—one here, one there.” And he’s right. But for all the wrong reasons.

Toyota should be ashamed for building cars that pick on seniors citizens!

Doris Dresner, you see, is 80. The columnist claimed her long driving record should allay suspicions that she hit the accelerator instead of the brake. In fact, her age supports that suspicion. Data regarding fatal accidents “connected to” Toyota sudden-acceleration complaints show that the trial lawyers really should be suing the company for age discrimination. That or as I write in my Forbes Online article “Why Do Toyotas Hate the Elderly,” something else important is happening that might explain much of the sudden acceleration phenomenon.