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Andrew Clark (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)
Andrew Clark (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)

Road Sage

A one-size-fits-all total recall Add to ...

It was the biggest automobile recall call since 1996. Toyota Motor Corp. announced last week that it was recalling 7.43 million vehicles because of malfunctioning power window switches. It is a worldwide take-back affecting cars in North America, China and Europe. In Canada, the vehicles involved include the Yaris, Camry, RAV4, Highlander and Corolla.

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While it may be the biggest, it’s by no means the first, nor will it be the last. Automobile recalls are now almost a weekly event. Road Sage (always striving to be helpful) thinks automobile manufacturers can cut down on the paper work by having a one-size-fits-all recall. Here’s a first draft:

Attention: Car Owner

The company that sold you your car and told you it was this incredible machine that would change your life and make every trip to the store feel like a combination of running the Indy 500 and cruising down Sunset Boulevard has some news for you.

Are you sitting down?


Okay, before we go any further, the automobile company wants to assure you that nothing has changed. Your vehicle is still awesome. It’s great. I mean, how about that cup holder with the “Beverage Warming Feature?” Nice, right? And the mileage? Did we lie? It’s a real penny-pincher.

So it is still the same glistening machine that you purchased. However, a few little, and we mean little … tiny really … glitches have been reported. It’s nothing to be alarmed about. Only a real techie would care but we at your automobile manufacturer are perfectionists, so we thought we’d let you know.

Please read the recall warning below carefully and sign the waiver at the bottom of this correspondence:

Subject: Recall of the Car you Paid $45,999 for

The car you purchased is absolutely fine. You and your family are in no danger whatsoever. Your car is a premium vehicle that hugs the road and drives smoothly. Enjoy your car! That said, some safety issues have been reported.

Drivers may experience a “sticky” or “gluey” feeling when turning their vehicle. If “sticky” feeling is noticed, immediately pull over. Exit the vehicle and proceed to walk away from the vehicle until at least 150 metres away. Do not, we repeat, DO NOT LOOK BACK AT YOUR VEHICLE WHILE WALKING AWAY. Eye contact will only make it more angry. With your back securely turned to the vehicle, use a mobile device to notify law enforcement, the emergency task force and fire department by calling 911. When you get an operator use the code: “TEXAS-33-RED.” They will know what you mean. If you do not have a mobile device build a small fire.

Some drivers have reported losing the ability to brake or steer their vehicle after it has been exposed to water. If your vehicle is exposed to water and you subsequently experience feelings such as “my steering wheel is not responding” or “it’s like my brake pedal is a marshmallow,” immediately attempt to jump from your moving vehicle. If immediately leaping from a moving vehicle is not an option, drive your vehicle into a large bush. You may think you can faintly hear Bryan Adams’s hit song Heaven from the Reckless album playing softly in the background. If you hear it, try to ignore it. Do not go into the light.

If, at any time while you are operating the vehicle, you hear a noise that sounds like “ErrreeekErrreeekSnap,” pull over. Call the most important person in your life and close your eyes. It’s important that you do the last thing first.

Other reported glitches include: accidentally catching fire, intentionally catching fire, flooding (in that the vehicle somehow floods itself in an attempt to drown its owner), unprovoked attacks on other automobiles, the ability to cause generalized anxiety disorder in the driver when idling at a traffic light, only playing AM radio, refusing to start, refusing to stop, refusing to start stopping, the inability or unwillingness to drive anywhere, playing Motley Crue’s Home Sweet Home over and over until you think you’re losing your mind, somehow, while you are parking, triggering childhood memories that remind you how painfully futile life is, jettisoning all four wheels while you are crossing a drawbridge. One vehicle actually choked an owner by ramming the rear-view mirror down his throat. This only happened once.

Owners of these vehicles may receive a safety recall notification letter via first-class mail. Surviving drivers can then bring their vehicles in for a repair that will take approximately 17 months, depending on the dealer’s work schedule.

Detailed information is available for customers at youboughtit.com and at our Customer Service Centre 1-800-TEXAS-33-RED.

To let us know you understand this recall and to waive any right to compensation please sign this release and fax or e-mail it back to your automobile manufacturer.

Thank you.

The Automobile Manufacturers of the World


Follow Andrew Clark on Twitter: @aclarkcomedy

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