Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Toyota problems: 2.8 in a million

Reader Mr. T (not related to the TV personality) sent me this link to a NY Times blog. It's by Robert Wright and it's about Toyotas.

My back-of-the-envelope calculations (explained in a footnote below) suggest that if you drive one of the Toyotas recalled for acceleration problems and don’t bother to comply with the recall, your chances of being involved in a fatal accident over the next two years because of the unfixed problem are a bit worse than one in a million — 2.8 in a million, to be more exact. Meanwhile, your chances of being killed in a car accident during the next two years just by virtue of being an American are one in 5,244.

I'm sick of hearing about Toyotas, to be quite frank (except for this blog post, with which I totally agree), but I'm happy the "news" replaced Tiger Woods as the top story.

Now I notice that Toyota is running a heck of a lot of commercials these days. Will it do any good in light of the feeding frenzy that is going on? Who knows?

Let's talk about what the stars wore to the Oscars. Now that's some real news!


Anonymous said...

Of course, if you happen to be that one in 2.8 million, you'd have a different perspective on the whole thing.

(These are not your *chances* of being killed by a run-away Toyota; these are the odds. Each time you drive the car is a chance. Sounds like a subtle difference but trust me, it ain't.)

- The Carrot

Gillian Swart said...

Carrot, as usual, you are absolutely correct!

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you read the footnotes (first paragraph), those are the odds of one of the recalled vehicles having *ever* been involved in a fatal accident due to the problem, regardless of how many trips it took and how many people were in the car. If you were to factor those in, the odds would be far smaller.

The comments on the article are also interesting.

- Mr. T