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February 15, 2010


Bruce Klafter

The Toyota story is a powerful reminder that green products must also be in compliance with social, environmental and safety standards. Even if the Prius traveled 300 miles to the gallon of gasoline, it has to be safe and reliable. An electronic device could use virtually no energy and be made out of 100% recycled materials, but if it is made in a sweatshop, it does not represent a green product. Beyond compliance does not mean compliance no longer matters, the better term might be compliance plus.

Tom Eggert

With the new recall of Corollas today, I gave up and sold all of our Toyota stock. I'm betting that there is more pain to come before recovery sets in.

Jeff Sabins

"When all is said and done, the Prius will have mowed down a host of promising products with environmental attributes — and not just cars."

I do not meet many people who are legitimately on the fence about green products. In my experience, the majority of the climate skeptics and green marketing conspiracy theorists simply hold a more present tense view of practicality and cost effectiveness. They make after the fact philosophical stands based on what is congruent with their very practical, day to day, decisions.

The organic bananas that cost more but taste very similar to normal bananas do not make any sense to this person. Paying extra for a car that is smaller, has less horsepower, and doesn't actually save any money on fuel/maintenance because you have to change out the batteries at some point, makes exactly zero sense to him/her.
I do not think that this incident will turn many people on or off to green products. Those who make decisions based on practicality will not buy these products until the day to day benefits of green products match those of traditional products in a simple and intuitive way.

Jeffrey Sabins

Bruce, I have to disagree with your post. "but if it is made in a sweatshop, it does not represent a green product." I think this is incorrect. The words "green" and "safe" and "ethically manufactured" all exist because they have different meanings. Totally different, non-overlapping, topics.
By broadening the "Green" revolution to include all kinds of other value based, moral, and ethical issues, the odds that any positive change towards preserving the environment under the banner of "going green" goes to zero. Keep green for the environment, use the other terms where they apply.


I agree that safety should be the primary factor for choosing a car. It would be great if the car could be safe and ecological too! In any case, let us remember to weigh out all important factors in choosing a car.

Connie L.

Toyota's problem isn't going to have a big effect on the green movement. The biggest problem with the Green movement is that sometimes people implement dreams before they're ready. Like Jeff said, if something "green" tastes the same, works the same, and COSTS the same as a current product, it's hard to sell it to most people. A green product has to become economically practical in order to catch on.

Fabian Pattberg

I agree with Connie that this will not have a huge effect on the green movement. It just shows that even a company like Toyota is not the most reliable car manufacturer either. No car company can produce that reliable cars. That is the just the way it is in the mechanics world as far as I know.

Claremont auto glass

I believe that safety should be the primary concern of all auto manufacturers. They should also focus on creating a vehicle that helps the environment and not to destroy it. This recall should teach them a lesson.

Ruzzel Walsh

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