drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

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Thread: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

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    drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    source:dailybreez.com
    Electric car drivers protest at Toyota's Torrance headquarters
    Lessees complain that closed-end leases are keeping them from buying their vehicles, taken off the market in 2003.
    By Scott Martindale
    Daily Breeze
    Electric-vehicle owner Howard Stein took off a day of work to protest Toyota Motor Co.'s refusal to sell him the RAV4 EV model that his wife drives.

    As Stein stood in front of Toyota's U.S. sales headquarters in Torrance Wednesday morning, he and about a dozen fellow electric-vehicle owners demanded that the company allow leaseholders to buy their RAV4 EVs.



    Toyota plans to reclaim 462 RAV4 EVs issued under a closed-end lease, which blocks the lessee from buying the vehicle. Toyota says the vehicles were prototype models leased in bulk to corporate clients such as Southern California Edison through a "fleet-leasing" program, with the intention that they would return to Toyota for a re-evaluation.

    But a few ended up in the hands of drivers like Stein, 69, of Anaheim Hills, who had an open-end lease and was able to purchase his, and his wife, Linda Nicholes, who leased a RAV4 EV in 2001 -- a year before consumers could purchase the vehicle outright.

    "Read my lips: 'I am not giving up the car,' " said Stein, who plans to fight Toyota for the right to buy the vehicle, which he leased through his optometry business.

    Many owners and lessees are passionate about their RAV4 EVs, which Toyota took off the market in 2003, citing declining sales and low consumer interest. The organization DontCrush.com, which sponsored Wednesday's protest, was formed to advocate environmentally friendly vehicles.

    "We're not going to let the electric vehicle be quietly destroyed," said Bud Raymond, 24, of Ladera Heights, who plans to join fellow DontCrush.com members for more protests at local Toyota dealerships.

    In January, Raymond traveled to Sacramento to protest the Ford Motor Co.'s decision not to sell its electric-powered Ranger pickup trucks to drivers with leases. After staging a sit-in at a local Ford dealership, the company agreed to sell the trucks. Raymond purchased his for $1.

    Nevertheless, Ford dismantled its electric vehicle program, citing a lack of consumer sales, and said it intended to focus on hybrid gas-electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered cars.

    General Motors Co. also experimented with electric-powered vehicles, introducing the Saturn EV1 in 1996. That model was taken off the market in 2004 because it lacked "commercial viability," the company said.

    Toyota began producing the RAV4 EV in 1998 to comply with California's now-defunct "zero-emission vehicles" law, which mandated that 5 percent of vehicles sold in the state be emissions-free.

    About 1,500 models were sold during the six-year campaign -- not nearly enough to support the continued production of the SUV, Toyota said. The 462 under closed-end leases must be returned, while the rest can be kept by their owners. However, Toyota says it may eventually become too costly to keep maintenance and parts support for the vehicle.

    Mike Michels, a spokesman for Toyota, said the cost of replacing a battery on the RAV4 exceeds the value of the vehicle itself, and keeping the model is no longer profitable.

    He emphasized that Toyota does not plan to actually crush the vehicles, but will salvage many of the parts and recycle the metal. Critics say the RAV4 was insufficiently marketed to consumers and waiting lists were prohibitively long.

    Protester Marvin Campbell, 44, of Culver City said he believed that Toyota did not want to disrupt sales of its gasoline-powered vehicles.

    "It's all about self-protection," said Campbell, who drives a 2003 Toyota RAV4 EV.

    "It's 19th-century technology, and they're not in the business of changing it."

    State Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) has endorsed DontCrush.com's campaign.

    "We have to wonder whether a similar destruction of fuel-cell vehicles is in our future," she said in a statement, referring to an even newer technology still in the research stage.

    Sandy Kapteyn, 39, of Pasadena bought her RAV4 model two weeks ago after leasing it. She says she loves the perks that come with driving an electric vehicle: no oil changes, no tune-ups, low maintenance costs, use of freeway carpool lanes, preferred parking and no gasoline bills.

    "I'm going to go to the Costco down the street and recharge for free," said Kapteyn as she stood in front of the Toyota facility in Torrance. "Free fuel!"
    Last edited by IMPALAon20s; 06-02-2005 at 10:12 AM.

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    The same protests happened when GM pulled the EV1 off the market and wanted the cars back at the end of the lease.

    Mark

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    There are some real wacko's out there, most seem to be in California!!! And all this talk about emissions free. . . well were do the batteries go when they die, and how many thousands of acres of land do these batteries destroy from their manufacturing process/waste and disposal?

    pssst. . . don't tell those environmental wacko's, but electric cars really aren't all that environmentally friendly!!! Energy ain't free, there is always a byproduct. . .

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    this sounds strangely familiar, ala saturn ev1...

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    Quote Originally Posted by fatratchevy
    There are some real wacko's out there, most seem to be in California!!! And all this talk about emissions free. . . well were do the batteries go when they die, and how many thousands of acres of land do these batteries destroy from their manufacturing process/waste and disposal?

    pssst. . . don't tell those environmental wacko's, but electric cars really aren't all that environmentally friendly!!! Energy ain't free, there is always a byproduct. . .
    amen to that. tree huggers tend to forget that electricity isn't generated otu of thin air... it comes from somewhere, and someone is paying for it...

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    "Read my lips" he says? Read Toyotas lips: leased vehicles belong to the company until they're bought out. So good luck! Too bad there are no Baywatch beauties in on this!
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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    if drivers were shady, they could purchase a totaled regular rav4, and do a tag job on it, and report the their Rav4 EV stolen. but who cares anyway, bunch of tree hugging wannabe hippies. i like the old school hippies, that just smoked weed and talked about love, and wasn't a threat to my job. dont like these new starbucks sipping, hybrid driving, earth first, burning suvs ones.

    so, does that mean the baywatch chic that protested when gm too their ev1's to crusher, was at this protest too?
    Last edited by IMPALAon20s; 06-02-2005 at 10:52 AM.

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    "I demand to pay for this 1998 Rav4!" ....Is it just me or does that sound completely ridiculous.

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    Quote Originally Posted by TaHoE
    "I demand to pay for this 1998 Rav4!" ....Is it just me or does that sound completely ridiculous.
    thats how you know the toyota brainwashing of america has worked, americans are protesting to buy a car that they dont want to sell.

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    Quote Originally Posted by mkaake
    amen to that. tree huggers tend to forget that electricity isn't generated otu of thin air... it comes from somewhere, and someone is paying for it...

    Yup, that energy coming out of that wall socket took some form of "environmentally unfriendly" process to supply it. . .like hydro electric (daming up rivers) or nuclear (nuclear waste). I would love for someone to do a study as to the REAL environmental impact of Hybrids and Electric cars. This should not only include tailpipe emissions (or lack there of), but also battery manufacturing, battery disposal, frequency of fill-ups/recharge (and the environmental impact of that energy generation), and all of the other "unseen" environmental punches in the face that add up but arent accounted for. I somehow doubt that tree huggers would still look at them as the savior of this planet, and the great demise of the internal combustion, fossil fuel burning behemoths they hate so much. . .

    Anyhow, I have a hard time deciding who to root for here, Toyota or Tree-Huggers. . .
    Last edited by fatratchevy; 06-02-2005 at 10:57 AM.

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    Quote Originally Posted by fatratchevy
    Anyhow, I have a hard time deciding who to rout for here, Toyota or Tree-Huggers. . .
    i say screw them both! i never had to pick sides to watch a fight.

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    ... and now I wanna go home and watch the cynical Bill Maher, get a double mocha almond grande latte (in the cardboard cup which took a tree or two to make), get a new pair of Birkenstocks and go to the MoveOn.org website to see what I should be p!ssed about and see where us "professional protesters" should go.

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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    Quote Originally Posted by fatratchevy
    Anyhow, I have a hard time deciding who to root for here, Toyota or Tree-Huggers. . .
    Root for the tree-huggers. If they win and buy their RAV EVs, the next suit is to force Toyota to make parts to keep those things running forever.
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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    come on they know this is not going to work...just look what GM did to the EV1. They will get a response by having a truck drive by bringing them to a crusher.
    I'll make a new sig. Later.
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    Re: drivers protest Toyota over refusal to sell electric Rav4 EV's

    Quote Originally Posted by IMPALAon20s
    i say screw them both! i never had to pick sides to watch a fight.
    The only thing this fire needs is some gasoline thrown on it.

    Pardon the pun.

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