Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Toyota -- moving forward

After Toyota had a few recalls because of the faulty brake pedals, someone came up with a few new slogans for Toyota...

Toyota, moving forward -- 'cause the pedals stuck.
Toyota, moving forward -- like a projectile.
Toyota, moving forward -- slowly towards acknowledging it's our fault.
Toyota, moving forward -- in reverse.
Toyota, moving forward -- and it won't stop!
Toyota, moving forward -- against my will!

Left hand seat

Right hand seat
The company that I work for has a Toyota Coaster 15-seater bus in Luanda which takes us to work and back every day. A 5 kilometer trip that can take anything from 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on the degree of traffic chaos that day. Through the potholes one suffers greatly from "turbulance", but I have to say that the bus itself does well to survive the up and downs of Luanda's roads. There is  just one thing about the bus that really puts me off. Not that I am planning on buying a 15-seater for my own personal use, but it does make me wonder why someone would pay for a 15-seater bus when in actual fact it only has 13 seats. Or let me rather put it this way, 13 seats that are relatively comfortable to sit in. I don't know who the gentleman or team from Toyota was who designed the bus, but at some point one of them had to say:" Boys, we have a little problem here! The two seats right opposite the back wheels do not have any legroom!". I don't know what the response would've been, but if I was in that team I probably would've agreed. "Boss, we have a problem. We want to put in 15 seats and sell it as a 15-seater, but two seats don't have space for the passengers' legs". Maybe this conversation did take place in the designing room of Toyota when they designed the Coaster, but I am more interested in hearing what the boss's answer might've been. "Oh wtf, let's hope that nobody notices!" Or maybe... "Listen (insert any Japanese name here) , just put in the two seats and keep quite, the customers will only find out when it is too late." Apart from the fact that the two passengers that are unfortunate enough to get the two seats over the back wheels are already sitting with their heads between their legs in the "brace" position, their arses are dangerously close to the wheels that are turning at around 1000 rpm at 120kmh (if my calculations are correct). Ok, the bus will never reach that speed in Luanda, but it is still uncomfortably close to a wheel that keeps hitting the bodywork because of the potholes. Getting stuck in two hours of traffic with nowhere to put your legs is NOT what I would call a comfortable ride. I wonder which slogan would fit this little design flaw...?

Toyota, moving forward -- your body, not your legs
Toyota, moving forward -- with your arse on the tyres
Toyota, moving forward -- with your head between your legs

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