Sunday 7 September 2008

Prius hatred continues (U.S)

In the UK, the Toyota Prius is known as an eco-warrior. In the U.S, its known as an eco-nazi. Although no known attacks on Priuses occur in the UK, it happens regulary Stateside.

In the most brutal of a spate of violent attacks against the hybrids and their owners this year, someone torched a six month old Prius parked on a residential street in Los Angeles.

The car's owner said she heard an explosion at about 7 o'clock Friday morning, quickly followed by sirens of fire engines.

"I went outside to see what was going on and saw it was my car," she said.

Fire investigators concluded that the blaze was the work of an arsonist. No other vehicles in the area were torched.

Attacks on Priuses in the U.S aren't new. There was a spate of Priuses being "keyed" in Las Vegas in 2004. But until this year, the violence against them hadn't been so brutal.

In Petaluma, CA, a fairly quiet city of 55,000 north of San Francisco, at least seven Priuses were damaged during a 2 week rampage in April.

All of the attacks happened at night while the cars were parked and unoccupied, police Lt. Joe Edwards said. Weapons included large rocks, bricks, and a vehicle used to ram a Prius.

One of the Prius owners, Nina Perkins, awoke in the middle of the night to a banging in front of her home. She discovered that someone had taken a hammer to the body and windshield of her car. Vandals damaged the Prius of another woman twice in two weeks. Then, while it was in the shop being repaired, someone hurled a large rock at the Prius she was renting, causing hundreds of dollars' worth of damage to it.

No arrests had been made in those or the other Prius attacks in Petaluma. Toyota spokesman, John Hanson wonders if the incidence of vandalism against Priuses isn't any worse than vandalism against other vehicles, but because of the Prius's high profile, vandalism against them generates more media attention.

That said, Hanson acknowledged a Prius might be more prone to attacks than other vehicles. A Prius, he said, makes a very strong environmental statement, and if you are a person who might be perturbed by the whole environmental movement, you might feel justified in taking out your anger on a Prius. "I have a neighbor like that," he said.

Another possible motive, he said, is the envy/disdain Prius drivers incite in other drivers. In California, many hybrid drivers can legally drive in carpool lanes without any passengers.
"For people who are sitting in traffic in an SUV, to see a Prius go by with just a driver in it, maybe there's some resentment there as well," he said.

Via, Green Car Advisor > Prius: Envy or hybrid hatred?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Idiots who attack certain cars need physiatric help!

OK, the Prius may emit more CO2 when it is built but most people are concerned about what comes out of the tail-pipe...well in Europe anyway

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