WASHINGTON -- Toyota may recall happier times and leisurely drives through the country, but the bad news keeps rolling in for the prominent Japanese automaker, as the company announced Tuesday that it will likely issue a recall on all Prius models made between 2004 and 2009.
The announcement came as a result of yet another "runaway Prius" incident, which occurred Monday on a San Diego highway involving 61-year-old resident James Sikes. Reports indicate that Sikes, who has a checkered financial history and cannot look anyone in the eye, was driving his Prius down a San Diego highway, when his car suddenly accelerated to 95 miles per hour and had to be stopped by local police.
"There are rumors that I faked the whole thing," Sikes angrily told reporters today in front of a team of lawyers, "whether or not that's true is unimportant, really. What matters is that I was frightened. I feared for my life. Seriously, reducing my carbon footprint shouldn't have to mean eliminating my footprints entirely."
"That car isn't eco-friendly," he said pointing at his Prius. "It's an eco-she-devil." He then stormed off.
On Tuesday, another impulsive Prius episode occurred in New York as a woman was backing out of her driveway. Her Prius accelerated excitedly, sending her careening through a stonewall. She was not injured, and sources indicate that it is not certain if the stonewall will be rebuilt -- or what it will look like should it be rebuilt.
"People think these incidents are bogus," the victim's husband said. "If only they knew how much I loved that thing ... and how much it's going to cost to fix it ..."
When asked whether he was talking about the wall or his wife, the man huffed: "well I think that's obvious."
Reports indicate that the wife ... meh ... but the wall ... very nice. You shoulda seen it.
As if to add insult to minor injury, the flood of "sticky accelerator" reports comes on the heel of Toyota's January announcement that it will be recalling 5.6 million vehicles in the U.S. and Wednesday's expansion of its recall on Tundra pickups to include all 2000-2003 U.S. vehicles. Reports indicate that the Tundra suffers from rust and corrosion problems. Reports are indicated.
"I mean the runaway Prius thing is just hilarious. Those eco turds deserve a little excitement," said Tundra pickup owner Ted Yastrumski. "But come on, rust problems on my pickup?"
"Normally, I'd say, 'rust? Nice. Looks vintage.' But I live in sunny Illinois for Chrissake, not frickin Atlantis or some g-damn shantytown," he said, scoffing.
"Rust? Seriously? What ... is this thing made out of recycled Pepsi cans? It's supposed to be hauling my farm equipment, not getting a tow from my wife's Passat."
Meanwhile, executives at Chrysler and GM said that they had never had any problems with their own Priuses and didn't see what the fuss was all about. "Hey, Toyota, call me when you're bankrupt, your wife leaves you, and you realize you're one of five people still living in Detroit," a Ford executive said after requesting anonymity.
"Though I have to say, this is pretty awesome," he continued. "It's like we're Wile E. Coyote and we finally get to watch the Road Runner eat sh*t off a cliff. Hey, here's to hoping they get out of the car business altogether ..."
As Toyota barrels through a publicity nightmare at an astounding clip, the company recalled a time when it didn't want to kill itself -- or you. Despite reports indicating otherwise, speaking from its headquarters in Japan, Toyota insisted that its mechanical difficulties are not part of an effort to create an edgy, rebellious image for its product. In fact, the automaker insisted that it has been forced to swallow an enormous amount of cultural pride before laboriously submitting to public pressure -- adding that, though its "cars are completely safe examples of engineering genius," it will be recalling them nonetheless.
In an attempt to combat its publicity imbroglio and to ensure the future safety of its drivers, Toyota also announced that it would be recalling all socially and environmentally conscious, upwardly mobile white people. "Our customer comes first," Toyota Spokesman Win Finklehorn said Thursday, "and we're just worried that even as we recall millions of Priuses, we simply won't have fixed the real problem."
Addressing the media at a press conference, Finklehorn further revealed the present corporate psychology at Toyota, expressing frustration over comparisons many are making between the automaker's situation and Speed, the 1994 film starring Dennis Hopper and Keanu Reeves -- as well as responding to the many other jokes being made at the company's expense:
"We will not be installing anti-lock accelerators, people. That's just ridiculous. Obviously, the technology doesn't exist. This isn't the future. This is the present, and we're trying to move forward and accelerate into a new decade. Our sales are up and so is morale; we have no plans of slowing down." Later, off camera and out of the spotlight, Finklehorn admitted that he was having trouble sleeping at night.
"And while I'm at it, let me respond to a few of the most frequently asked questions we've received: Yes, we do remember the Ford Pinto, and no we will not be releasing a Toyota Hindenburg. That's too much of a mouthful ... No, 'Toyota' is not a Japanese synonym for 'kamikaze' ... no Chrysler did not issue the recall ... no we will not be installing parachutes or including hockey equipment as we launch incentives for our remaining customers, which incentives, by the way, will NOT include 'happy endings' or puppies."
"Also, it is impossible for your car to transform into an ICBM or to grow robotic legs ... for the love of Pete, have any of you Americans considered that maybe it's just your fat feet that are hitting the accelerator at the same time as the brake?"
As Finklehorn concluded the press conference, the Kool Aid Man -- the former stout and eager Kool-Aid mascot -- busted through a nearby wall driving a Prius. Reports say he repeatedly shouted "Ohh Yeah!" until tranquilized.
To further add to Toyota's tragic situation, reports have surfaced that lawyers are gathering a class-action suit and continue to seek money for clients who've seen the value of their vehicles drop significantly since Toyota's Toyota-recall began. Toyota could be facing the biggest class action lawsuit in carmaker -- and Toyota -- history. Toyota.
There are many, however, that feel empathy for Toyota. "Listen, I think the Japanese make a terrific car," Paul Oakenfeld said from the front seat of his 2006 Prius, "and now that these reports of malfunctioning brakes and accelerators are out there, people are going to be looking for and expecting problems. If someone sneezes aggressively, they'll probably have to order a recall. It's a shame. People are stupid, and Toyota can't help that ... wait, did you just hear something? Like, a squeak or something? Do you know if there's a dealership near here?"
Toyota also expects the number of incidents of fraud to skyrocket. An additional Prius driver told sources anonymously that his brother, Chad, recently got into an accident in his Prius and blamed it on a sticky accelerator. "What he failed to mention to Toyota was that he'd been having trouble asking his girlfriend to marry him, so he consumed five margaritas at Hooters, painted 'will you merry me?' on the hood of the car and drove into his girlfriend's living room..."
In related news, Felicia Thurgood of New Salem has announced that she will be recalling her 16-year-old son, Derek, who recently failed out of his third high school. "He isn't even trying anymore ... So, I've decided that we're going to chalk Derek up as a test, and I'm going to try again with another father." On that note, she issued a recall of her husband, 49-year old Bob Tyler, as well.