Prius Therapy

toyota-prius-2010-2For the first time, dispersions are being cast on my beloved #Toyota Prius! Dealing with all this unexpected cognitive dissonance is unpleasant and has me feeling out of sorts.

I was thrilled to be part of the “Club” when I bought my Prius exactly four years ago. As I noted in a blog back then, people stopped me in parking lots to express interest in buying one themselves or to share the happiness of their own Prius experience.

Rock-solid Toyota quality has taken some brutal body blows in the past few weeks and the company will suffer greatly in the short term.It was revealed yesterday that the Blue Book value of Toyotas had fallen by at least $300 and further declines were expected.

The thing is, I have too much emotional investment in my car to turn on Toyota at this point.I believe many others feel the same way.A local L.A. news story on TV last night featured a reporter out at a big Toyota dealer doing whatever she could to scare the s#%* out of customers brining their cars in for service – whether they owned the recalled models or not. The part needed to fix the sticky accelerators is very small – the size of a nickel.“Do you really feel that this tiny part can fix this big problem?” Disgraceful.

But despite the bias and sensationalism employed to milk the most out of this story, there were many – especially Prius owners – who continue to say, “Best car I ever owned.”

These problems are obviously serious and potentially life threatening in some instances. And as I understand it they were most likely caused by Toyota farming out the manufacturing for parts that they once handled internally. Not good.

Even so, perceptions and feelings nearly always trump facts in marketing. I just love my Prius too much to turn on it at this point. This has been one great, low-maintenance, high return relationship for the past four years. How could I possibly turn on my “friend” after all this time?

I suspect many others feel the same way, which is precisely why Toyota and the Prius will get through this crisis.

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