IN A NOVEL MOVE to speed repairs and restore consumer confidence, engineers have designed a low tech fix for the high tech problems in Toyota's electronic acceleration and braking systems that have plagued over 8 million of its vehicles.
"We call it 'Operation Bedrock'," said engineer Barry Hornerstone ,"because it goes back to basics and reminds us in a subtle way how we have allowed electronics and the combustion engine to take over our lives."
As described by Hornerstone, the fix will first involve the disabling of the accelerator pedal and brake pedal; followed by removal of a large portion of the floor panel for both the driver and front passenger. The new acceleration and braking system will require the driver and any front passenger to place their feet on the road surface and run to accelerate, followed by digging their heels into the road surface to brake.
"But don't worry," added Hornerstone, "for accelerating onto freeways or high speed roadways, we have included a long stick that drivers will be able to jam through a hole near the old accelerator pedal in order to reach the mechanical linkage that engages the engine and causes mechanical acceleration." Hornerstone was quick to add that this new repair was being considered by Toyota for its new models so that it would immediately meet the Obama Administration's tough new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
Consumer reaction appears to be mixed. When told of the new "fix", long-time Toyota owner Heidi Ricardo said, "Are they nuts? This will ruin my stockings and I won't be able to do my make up on the way to work!" Seventy-nine-year-old Priscilla Kendalson looked at her new Prius and said, "I'm going to have to buy some heavier shoes."
We were not able to get our calls returned by the Department of Transportation for any official reaction to this Toyota proposal, but Environmental Protection Agency officials were thrilled. "We don't care what the DOT says," offered EPA spokesman, Richard Thorne, "because we are totally on board with the idea of reducing the carbon footprint of automobiles in favor of human footprints."
So excited was Thorne that he later hinted the EPA was looking at Hornerstone's and Toyota's idea as a possible standard for all automobiles marketed in the United States. "Of course, it would have to be implemented over a period of time in order for Americans to increase their lower body strength, but we see no reason why we can't force Americans to get to the gym."