Toyota cares about your safety

Dear Toyota Customer,

You may have heard that a tiny number of Toyota vehicles, among the millions being driven around thePrius world, have not had acceleration problems. This is not true. As Humor Column President of Toyota’s North American Division, I want to assure you that all our vehicles are SAFE (Sometimes Accelerating Forward Erratically).

Your safety is important to us. We want to make sure that driving a Toyota continues to be a pleasure for you, that you always arrive at your destination safely and no sooner than you intend to.

In the past few months, we have recalled millions of vehicles, including our Prius, Camry and Tacoma models, and in the next few months, we will try to recall what we did to them.

Recalling millions of vehicles is a difficult, costly task. But we have taken this measure to prevent potential problems with the floor mats, accelerators and brakes. In some models, we have replaced the all-weather floor mats with newly designed, ultra-thin transparent mats that you will not be able to see or feel. In other models, our highly trained technicians have made a slight adjustment to the accelerator pedal, removing the patch of Velcro from its underside. We will no longer buy pedals from the same company that supplies Wal-Mart with children’s shoes.

Many of you, of course, are driving Toyotas that have never been recalled. Your vehicles should not cause you any problems, but just to put your worries to rest, we will soon be sending you, free of charge, our new Toyota Stopping Kit (TSK). It consists of a bungee cord and a hook. Please do not throw the hook out of your vehicle while passing a pedestrian. This is not a good idea, as we discovered during our extensive testing in Japan. The TSK proved to be very effective, but we received complaints from a few pedestrians, including one man who ran after our Toyota, screaming, “Hey you idiots, give me back my toupee!”

As you can see, we are doing our best to solve any problems associated with our cars. We hope that you, our loyal customer, will continue to trust us and ignore any rumors about our company. We hope you will also ignore the Rev. Pat Robertson when he expresses his unshakable belief that some of our cars have been possessed by evil spirits. (We appreciate the good reverend’s advice, but have no intention of changing our Toyota Prius to Toyota Pious.)

We are a company that believes in focusing on the positives of any situation. Every cloud has a silver lining. Many of our customers, thankfully, are just like us, as evident in some of the emails we’ve received:

—“I’m so glad I own a Toyota. I’ve been pulled over by cops three times in the last week, but haven’t gotten a single ticket, thanks to my explanation: ‘Sorry, officer, my Toyota just went out of control.’”

—“You won’t believe what happened the other day. My husband and I were driving home from the grocery store. He wanted to make a right turn to visit the liquor store, but our Toyota wouldn’t slow down. It zoomed straight ahead and took us to church instead.”

—“My husband drove his 1990 Toyota Celica for almost 20 years and often said that he would go to his grave driving it. Well, he died last year and we buried him in the Toyota. I’m sure he’s happy, but it’s going to take me a long time to recover. I really miss the Toyota.”

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. 🙂 good thing it took them to the church and not the graveyard.

  2. SAFE hahaha! Poor Toyota…

  3. anonymous says:

    He would go to his grave driving it …
    Too much humor Melvin!!

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