Home » Why Toyota Is Banning Some Truck Customers From Posting On Social Media: Report

Why Toyota Is Banning Some Truck Customers From Posting On Social Media: Report

Tmd Tundra 2
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It’s a weird quirk of modernity that every generation seems convinced that the prior generation had it better. Today’s news of one of Toyota’s arms trying to stop buyers in a special new program from talking about their vehicles is fascinating from a journalistic perspective but does seem to underscore why some are dissatisfied with the present state of the world.

While we’re on the topic of dissatisfaction, electric truckmaking startup Volta is following the path of many electric truckmaking startups by… declaring bankruptcy. Tesla isn’t going to be going bankrupt anytime soon, but the automaker has both a major recall and some questionable third-quarter numbers to deal with this week.

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A big thanks to Thomas for handling TMD yesterday. Between flying, recovering from the Galpin Car Show, and the baseball ALCS… it was a long day.

Is Toyota’s Social Media Ban The Future?

2022 Toyota Tundra Platinum Blueprint 061.jpg
Photo credit: Toyota

The Australian car market has slowly been losing its original identity as the realities of automotive globalization have led to the death of Australian-only market vehicles, which is yet more proof that the recent past had its advantages. On the upside, Australia is getting access to vehicles it’s never had before.

Specifically, the loss of the ute has been somewhat softened by the introduction of full-sized trucks to Australia, with both the Silverado and Ram 1500 arriving in the market. Soon to follow is the Ford F-150 and, it seems, the Toyota Tundra.

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As the Toyota Tundra is made for the American market in Texas, all vehicles are LHD. It’s going to be Walkinshaw Automotive Group, former maker of all sorts of wild Holden vehicles, that’ll be converting the vehicles to RHD. Only 300 vehicles will be produced as part of a trial group known as the Toyota Insider Program.

As Drive.com.au reports, the perks of being an original Australia Tundra owner come with some downsides:

A letter from Toyota to prospective participants in the Tundra Insider Program advises customers will need to make their vehicles available for frequent detailed technical inspections, and to not share their experiences on social media or with motoring media outlets.

While the more frequent technical inspections are understandable – given the program was established to detect early any rectification work that may be required before ramping up production – the ban on social media activity is unusual given the vehicles will be in the public domain and on public roads.

The social media ban is also at odds with other owners’ groups that have been established on platforms such as Facebook where customers can openly and honestly share their experiences, both good and bad.

Toyota Tundra customers who take part in the ‘Insider Program’ must agree to “avoid any comment about the Tundra on social media, and refrain from mentioning or discussing the lease agreement, or the Tundra itself, with any media outlets.”

That’s right! If you take one of these cars you can’t give it to any lowly blogger or influencer and you can’t talk about it in public forums.

I can completely understand why Toyota is doing this and it’s hard to fault them for trying. The company is turning people into beta testers, essentially.

It’s weird, though, to make someone pay to be a beta tester and then tell them they can’t talk about the vehicle. According to Drive.com.au, the cost of being a part of the program is about $1,200 USD a month for one year (with the possibility of extending to 18 months).

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I’ll be disappointed in the Australian media if they can’t get one of these vehicles and then write up an anonymized review.

Also, don’t feel too bad for the Australians as they can still get HiLuxes and Landcruiser 70s.

Volta Files For Bankruptcy

Volta Trucks 2

Swedish electric truckmaker Volta Trucks created the first commercially available electric 16-tonne truck, the Volta Zero, which can travel about 95-125 miles. Let’s check in on how that’s going with this press release I just got from them:

Volta Trucks accomplished a great deal from a standing start in 2019, revolutionising commercial vehicle operations for a sustainable future.

We created the world’s first purpose built 16-tonne all-electric truck, including a unique cab and chassis design, that would have contributed to decarbonising the environment and enhanced the health and safety and air quality of urban centres. Piloting in five countries in Europe, we received fantastic feedback, which led to a strong pipeline of highly reputed customers who wanted to introduce our Volta Zero Trucks into their fleets.

However, like all scale-ups in the EV manufacturing sector, Volta Trucks has faced challenges along the way. The recent news that our battery supplier (Proterra) has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, has had a significant impact on our manufacturing plans, reducing the volume of vehicles that we had forecast to produce. The uncertainty with our battery supplier also negatively affected our ability to raise sufficient capital in an already challenging capital-raising environment for electric vehicle players.

With deep and sincere regret, the Board has therefore taken the difficult decision to take steps to file for bankruptcy proceedings in Sweden. The main trading entity of the Group, Volta Trucks Limited, will shortly file for administration in England, with insolvency practitioners from Alvarez & Marsal anticipated to take office. Other Group entities will also shortly file for insolvency proceedings in the relevant jurisdictions.

The Board has not taken this course easily or lightly and is fully aware of the significant impact this will have on the organisation’s dedicated workforce, as well as customers and partners. We would like to sincerely thank the Volta Trucks team and are incredibly proud of their pioneering work to deliver such an innovative zero emission commercial vehicle.

That’s extremely unfortunate for Volta’s investors and employees. Volta joins EV truck/bus startups Lordstown Motors and Proterra in the bankruptcy club.

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Tesla Has To Recall About 55K Model X Crossovers

Tesla Model XTesla deserves credit for simplifying the modern automobile and for making over-the-air updates a reality. Today’s story allows me to talk about both of these things.

Cars are complex and full of computers and the ability of automakers to fix small issues without bringing a car into a service center is an incredible innovation, especially for electric cars, which have fewer moving parts that would necessitate an in-person repair.

EVs do have some moving parts, however, including brakes. According to Reuters, Tesla is having to recall about 55,000 Model Xs because the vehicle’s sensors are unlikely to detect low brake fluid levels in the vehicle and warn the driver.

Owners don’t have to do anything as Tesla will fix the vehicles with an over-the-air update. No big deal.

How Bad Are Tesla’s Q3 Financials Going To Be?

0x0 Modely 03

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This is the part of The Morning Dump where it’s important to qualify that when Tesla has “bad” numbers these are “bad” only relative to Tesla. Most automakers would kill to have the kind of margins Tesla has, so Tesla can only be compared to Tesla.

How is the current Tesla doing versus the old Tesla? Probably not as great.

Here’s how Automotive News describes it:

Global sales fell from the preceding quarter, profit margins have likely slipped because of price cuts, and the Cybertruck pickup failed to launch by the end of September, as forecast earlier in the year by CEO Elon Musk, analysts said.

More specifically, the price cuts haven’t yet done enough to make up for plant upgrades and softening electric car demand. Again, from Automotive News:

“It’s clear Elon is trying to maintain sales through the use of price cuts, but that’s a dangerous drug that often causes addiction for the brands that employ it,” Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars, told Automotive News. “U.S. automakers have an ugly history with incentives, and it’s ironic that yet another U.S. brand is falling into their trap.”

Brauer said EV makers face market saturation from a flood of new vehicles.

“Even Tesla can’t escape those realities, as its pricing and sales have already confirmed and profit margins will likely reflect when announced this week,” he said.

Cutting prices seems like a good short-term strategy as Tesla tries to hold on to its EV market share lead in the United States, which shrunk from 62% in Q1 to just 50% in Q3. Still, it’s risky, not only do margins take a hit, but once you lower prices it’s harder to raise them again without offering more value.

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Even with the price increases, Tesla saw sales drop year-over-year for the 3, S, and X. Only the Model Y has been growing, thanks to price cuts.

The Big Question

Is this the future? Already, automakers are telling people they can’t flip special models (which is good). This seems different and seems to take us down the slippery slope of bringing us closer to a VaaS future (Vehicles as a Service).

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Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
9 months ago

I can understand why someone would buy the Tesla 3 or Y, but the X is just idiotic. Silly doors, weighs as much as a small house. The S is surely irrelevant and also looks painfully dated by now.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
9 months ago

“It’s clear Elon is trying to maintain sales through the use of price cuts, but that’s a dangerous drug that often causes addiction for the brands that employ it,””

“U.S. automakers have an ugly history with incentives,”

What he calls ‘ugly’, I call ‘fantastic’… as a consumer.

And regarding the Volta Trucks bankruptcy… hopefully it’s just a “creditor protection” type of bankruptcy that they can emerge from in some form, not a “liquidate assets and shut it down” type of bankruptcy

“Is this the future?”

Nah… the 1986 Ford Taurus was the future. Now we are in the post-future! And that’s because Time Keeps On Slipping Into The Future:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAaG6CYVV0U

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
9 months ago

Ford Australia did much the same thing around the turn of the century when they planned on the return of the F-Series to Oz. They provided a small fleet of vehicles to various customers and such and said have at it as part of a long term engineering evaluation. Part of the deal was however… don’t tell anyone in the media about your experience. Even though they were in the public domain. This proved to be wise in hindsight.

There was one on a property some ways out of town where I was living at the time. Everyone in town knew about it and the running joke at the time was if we were ever on the road past their property then we should keep our eye out for Ford parts lying in the dirt because there were bits constantly falling off it.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
9 months ago

GUYS, it’s a trial program. It is normal for consumer-facing companies to have confidentiality conditions in place for trial programs. For god’s sake it’s 300 vehicles.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
9 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

This is my take. This is an ACTUAL BETA TEST. Not like the Tesla FSD nonsense where its rampant. Its a limited selection of vehicles, testing the conversion process, the size viability, everything! So yeah, keep your mouth shut request on 300 short term ownerships I totally get.

Lokki
Lokki
9 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

This: this is a special program to prepare the truck for sale in Australia by having Beta Testers identify faults. Any (almost all) problems identified by the test will be fixed before general introduction: thats the point of Beta Testing! So, testers posting about problems found will just generate press about problems that won’t be actually found in production cars.

And hey! You don’t have to play if you don’t want to. You can just wait till official introduction and then post any damn thing you want.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
9 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

Like the Citroën M35 or Birotor, except it’s painfully uninteresting.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
9 months ago

Toyota says, “Give us money and keep your stupid mouth shut.” Mr. Musk slaps his forehead and mutters, “Son of a bitch. Brilliant!” Please Australia, don’t let Toyota tell you that you’re too stupid to talk about your own property.

RataTejas
RataTejas
9 months ago
Reply to  Dodsworth

It’s a lease. It’s Toyota’s property. You’re paying for the privilege of operating it.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
9 months ago

Toyota outright hates enthusiasts at worst and sees us as money dispensers at best. I always crack up when JDM bros rant and rave about how Toyota is keeping enthusiast cars alive. This isn’t the first time they’ve pulled this type of crap recently. Remember when they denied warranty claims to a GR86 owner because they stalked them on social media and saw the car being hooned on a track?

Or the stupid ass MoRiZo EdItIoN GR Corolla, that they literally required an APPLICATION for that included giving Toyota access to all your social media to comb through before they “approved” you for a $60,000 version of a $40,000 car that had just the back seats yanked out and a tiny bit more boost? Imagine going through all that for a fucking Corolla of all things.

Their stupid allocation system is effectively a wink and nod at dealerships to charge whatever they want for enthusiast car…I just have no idea why enthusiasts slobber over this company so much. They hate us. You’re getting played. Knock it off already. Stop feeding into this madness.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
9 months ago

I know nothing about “Remember when they denied warranty claims to a GR86 owner because they stalked them on social media and saw the car being hooned on a track?”
but
Was track use a warranty deal breaker? Did the owner claim it wasn’t used on a track?
Did they have to “stalk” the owner or did he put video up for the world to see?

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
9 months ago
Reply to  Lew Schiller

Pretty sure Toyota corporate covered the GR86. It was the dealer denying the claim. Those great dealers who are needed to advocate for us consumers against the big bad corporations.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
9 months ago

If hooning breaches warranty, and you post a video on a public medium showing you breaching that warranty, then you try to claim that warranty, the company is not out of line holding that against you. You chose to breach warranty, you chose to video it, you chose to post it publicly, declaring that usage to any and all who chose to view it. Those actions come with consequences.

Now, there are arguments in that specific Toyota issue about whether or not hooning on a track breaches the warranty. Those are legit questions. But a company using your publicly posted information against you isn’t a bad actor. If you don’t like public info being used against you DONT FREAKING POST IT PUBLICLY! You have a right to privacy only for that which you KEEP PRIVATE.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
9 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

Toyota literally advertises the cars as being track capable and offers free track days with some or all of their GR models. GR cars on on tracks in their advertising too. They’re just as much at fault IMHO. You can’t encourage people to track your cars then have a tantrum when something goes wrong when they do.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
9 months ago

On this point we can agree. Toyota’s marketing department said things that didn’t line up with their warranty/legal departments and created a whole mess for everyone. I agree that since the company’s own statements created the confusion, they should have covered the engine without all the fracas being necessary.

DadBod
DadBod
9 months ago

Sorry Australia, soon you will be just as miserable as Americans, surrounded by douchebags in their giant trucks. Maybe you can get rid of all your gun laws next.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

Maybe you can get rid of all your gun laws next.

Guns are the only things keeping the kangaroos from taking over!

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Those kangaroo pouches are full of weapons, and as soon as the Aussie government has taken enough guns away the uprising will begin. Some even say the government is taking the guns and handing them over to those marsupial marauders. They call the resistance movement ‘RooAnon.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

Joey! NOOO!

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
9 months ago

We know how well that turned out the first time with EmuAnon.

Harmanx
Harmanx
9 months ago

I thought it was widely anticipated that Tesla would have a poor quarter — mostly due to downtime with retooling for the new Model 3 (Highland).

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
9 months ago
Reply to  Harmanx

That and all the costs associated with bringing the Cybertruck into production and spending more money on ramping the Semi.

The money/work spent this quarter will start to pay off more next and future quarters.

Drew
Drew
9 months ago

Is this the future? Already, automakers are telling people they can’t flip special models (which is good). This seems different and seems to take us down the slippery slope of bringing us closer to a VaaS future (Vehicles as a Service).

I think we are still some time away from VaaS. It’s hard to get people interested when you are pitching non-ownership of new cars and (presumably) selling the used cars that it produces. Apple can’t even do it with the iPhone (they have a program to upgrade every year, but you can always buy. Tesla manages it with their leases to some extent, but that’s a particular fanbase and they still offer traditional sales, too.
To really convince someone, you need to both convince them they’ll want new cars often and have a plan to get value out of the used cars without undercutting your VaaS business. You’d need to be able to retrofit them, offer used vehicles as a service, or sell them at a price that doesn’t tempt away the customers getting the new ones.

As to an NDA, I strongly suspect that it’s mostly due to the fact that people are paying for the privilege of allowing Toyota to frequently inspect their vehicles. Somebody has some problems or just doesn’t end up liking that experience, Toyota wants them muzzled. They’ll love people grabbing photos and such, and they’ll likely not go after anyone who leaks positive experiences. It’s a weird situation, but it makes some sense from Toyota’s side. It’s hard to guess how people will respond to the experience they signed up for (and the technical issues they are there to discover).

Oldskool
Oldskool
9 months ago

Sounds like a major red flag. Any company that offered a quality product would have no problem with people spreading the word about it.

Besides, any company that tells me what I can and can’t do with my personal time can kiss off. Funny I don’t even use FB, IG, etc. But the fact that they want to control me is enough to want to stay away.

DadBod
DadBod
9 months ago
Reply to  Oldskool

Or they know dipwads will post anything negative to get clicks?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  Oldskool

Besides, any company that tells me what I can and can’t do with my personal time can kiss off.

Besides your employer that is…

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
9 months ago
Reply to  Oldskool

I think “quality product” is exactly the question. They are using a new product in a new market, built with a new partner. I think they want the opportunity to refine quality before the “bad quality” leaks out. They are trying to avoid issues and gain an opportunity to fix the ones that arise, not strangle people from having an opinion. Its 300 freaking trucks. Thats literally 1.5 days worth of sales in the US for the Tundra by 2022 numbers.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
9 months ago
Reply to  Oldskool

Any company that offered a quality product would have no problem with people spreading the word about it.”

Hence, the reason why Tesla hasn’t needed to advertise…

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
9 months ago

Tesla jacked prices so high during the pandemic that they had to cut to maintain market share. Right now they need to stop chasing BYD for market share. BYD is in a whole lot more places with much cheaper products. Duh they’ll sell more. Zee Germans learned this lesson long ago. Market share isn’t everything.

Tesla introducing a refreshed Y in China without rolling those updates out elsewhere is likely softening demand. Especially now that the Highland 3 has been released. They’re likely going to roll out an updated Y in mid 2024 for late 2024 delivery. The Osborne Effect is real and Tesla is afflicted with it right now.

Droid
Droid
9 months ago

Calis Ghosn had argued that market share is the ONLY thing.
He expected a cataclysmic industry shake-out that only those with significant market share would survive.
he might’ve been right, he might’ve been wrong, we’ll see…

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
9 months ago
Reply to  Droid

I think he was wrong about that. Case-in-point… companies like Ferrari, Porsche and Tesla.

All three of those have way less market share than others, but are hugely profitable and are arguably far healthier financially than many other companies with much bigger market share.

There is no point in having all that market share if you have to sell product at a loss to maintain it.

The important thing in my view is profitability and relevance. Having the right product for the times for the given market that you can make good money on.

A classic example of what I’m talking about is the Mustang II. Everyone likes to shit on it for being a shitty vehicle… but it was the right vehicle at the right time… and the sales Ford made off of it proves that.

Last edited 9 months ago by Manwich Sandwich
Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
9 months ago

Manufacturers telling me I can’t sell it if that’s what I want to do is BS. Once I have purchased an object – car, cell phone, t-shirt, whatever – it’s mine to do with as I wish. Apple struggled with this concept early on with the iPhone when the did things like replace screws with tamper-proof screws during maintenance and stripped apps they didn’t like off of personal phones. Once I have purchased something I can do what I like with it – repair it, disassemble it, sell it, hang it from the rafters, whatever, if that’s what I want to do.

If I purchase something and come to realize that I can make a profit on the secondary market then that’s my decision to make, not the manufacturer’s. If I decide to dissect it and see how it works, then that’s my decision to make. The company can then refuse warranty repairs, and that’s fair, but at least I know the choice was mine.

The denial of posting on social media is at least voluntary. The people in that program have to agree to the restriction in order to participate. While it’s not a choice I would make, I can’t say it’s wrong for others if that’s what they want to agree to.

“Hi, my name is Balloondoggle and I void warranties.”

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
9 months ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

At least with the Tundras in question, its a lease. Not a purchase. So the manufacturer still owns the truck. That is the doorway that gives them the rights on the gag order.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

It’s weird, though, to make someone pay to be a beta tester and then tell them they can’t talk about the vehicle. According to Drive.com.au, the cost of being a part of the program is about $1,200 USD a month for one year (with the possibility of extending to 18 months).

$1200/mo?! Even without the gag why would anyone sign up for this?

V10omous
V10omous
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

To literally have something their neighbor can’t have?

I don’t know what vehicles cost in Australia compared to here, but I imagine full size trucks aren’t cheap in any case considering they need to be imported and converted to RHD.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

To literally have something their neighbor can’t have?

That’s quite a price to pay just to be a douchebag.

V10omous
V10omous
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Prizing rare items and displaying wealth has been human nature since we started walking upright.

$1200/month is remarkably cheap to own something with that level of exclusivity.

You don’t have to agree with the value, but I find it hard to believe you really don’t understand the appeal. Unless you legitimately believe everyone driving something expensive or rare is actually a douchebag.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
9 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Positional goods in econ – something made valuable precisely b/c others can’t have them. Interesting how firms are figuring out new ways to create position-ability (?)…in the past, it was mostly done via price and to a lesser extent, supply.

I wonder if we’ll eventually have things like firms locking you into buying from them from N years in exchange for being able to access something desirable today?

V10omous
V10omous
9 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Spot on.

Just to add one more thing to my post, $1200/month to lease a full size truck is not even out of line for the Australian market as best I can tell. Maybe our Australian correspondent can weigh in?

A Silverado costs $110-163K AUD ($70-105K USD)

An F Series can cost $100-230K AUD ($65-140K USD)

A Ram has the widest range at $86-265K AUD ($55-170K USD)

Assuming the old fashioned 1% rule, a $120K USD truck would lease at $1200/month. That’s right in the center of the range.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Nobody makes you sign an NDA to lease those though.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

This is about 300 beta test trucks. Just the first run. I would bet they want to see exactly how the trucks work, how the conversion works, if they can trust the relationship with builder. This is about product development, and an opportunity to fix what might be wrong early on without the slander online.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

Nope.

Slander

slăn′dər
noun
Oral communication of false and malicious statements that damage the reputation of another.

A false and malicious statement or report about someone

Its not “slander” to report to the world if the engine blows up or the wheels fall off if that’s what actually happens. If it does, well that’s how product development works, right Fred? Why else would you have signed that 90 page waiver all in microscopic legalese?

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/jiZZ0IJL2_w/maxresdefault.jpg

Toyota is already covered if the tester posts “false and malicious” information so there is no need for an NDA to prevent actual slander.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

No one is forcing you to buy or lease these trucks. If you want one to be a beta tester, you have to agree to T&C’s. This is completely normal.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

And by not only volunteering but paying money to do so those betas let manufacturers know those T&C are A-OK

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Nobody is forcing anybody. If this isn’t for you, that’s fine. People are getting into this program entirely cognizant of the terms.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

Its the precedent it sets I’m not comfortable with. Manufacturers shouldn’t be gagging honest reviews.

Last edited 9 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Dan Parker
Dan Parker
9 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Was sorta thinking the same, cars/trucks seem quite a bit more expensive there than I’m used to seeing.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Prizing rare items and displaying wealth has been human nature since we started walking upright.

e.g. douchebaggery. Like theft and murder it’s not a desirable human behavior.

Unless you legitimately believe everyone driving something expensive or rare is actually a douchebag.

It depends on the reason:

If it’s because THEY prize a rare item because they like it regardless of what anyone else thinks or it fits their needs that’s fine by me.
If it’s because they prize a rare item because it “turns heads” it’s petty attention whoring.
If it’s to make others jealous via “displaying wealth” it’s douchebaggery.

Last edited 9 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Goof
Goof
9 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

People forget that in the Victorian era you could RENT A PINEAPPLE.

You did not misread that. People would pay to rent a pineapple and carry it cradled in their arm as they walked around town, to show they had the money to buy pineapples. They wouldn’t eat it, they’d return it at the end of the rental period. In which it might be rented out again. This is because a pineapple could easily cost a MULTIPLE of an average person’s yearly earnings.

In time the pineapple would be sold to be displayed (and eventually served) at a truly wealthy person’s party, but pineapples were such a Veblen good people legit paid good money to rent them to carry about town and show off.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-53432877

V10omous
V10omous
9 months ago
Reply to  Goof

That is fascinating, never seen that story before.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
9 months ago
Reply to  Goof

That sounds plausible and like something I’ve heard before.

Kind of how it was a big deal in the Victorian period to have beeswax candles. Most cheaper candles were made of tallow (beef or hog), which not only gave off a smell, but tended to burn less cleanly, creating black smoke. We’re talking about a whole other ballgame if you were rich enough to have a multi-candle votive or candelabra. So yeah, quantity and quality of your candles indicated your wealth level.

Goof
Goof
9 months ago

Oh, the whole candle-making industry was wild back in the day. Just like whale oil lanterns were a big deal before electricity. Big money in both of those industries. In fact, the whole reason why Moby Dick was based in New Bedford is because not only was it the whaling capital of the world, but that whale oil (plus the mills) made it the richest city in the world.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
9 months ago
Reply to  Goof

What about carved watermelons?

RataTejas
RataTejas
9 months ago
Reply to  Goof

 I needed a new heel for my shoe, so I decided to go to Morganville which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So, I tied an onion to my belt which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel. And in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ‘em. ‘Give me five bees for a quarter,’ you’d say. Now, where were we? Oh, yeah! The important thing was that I had an onion on my belt which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones.”

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Americans pay that and more to be douchebags.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

But why when it’s so easy do be a douchebag for free?

RataTejas
RataTejas
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

New to cars are we?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  RataTejas

No. Why?

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I had the same reaction. Signing up to pay $1,200 USD a month for a vehicle with these restrictions and that the manufacturer may decide to take back at some point is lunacy. Getting the 18 month extension means you’ll have paid $60k over 2 and a half years. Why, besides vanity, would you want to do that? You can’t even brag about having one of the first trucks on social media if it’s all about peacocking for you.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

Getting the 18 month extension means you’ll have paid $60k over 2 and a half years.

Not by my maths. $1200/mo x 30 months = $36,000

Last edited 9 months ago by Cheap Bastard
IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Yeah I completely blew the math on that. Hence why I work in medical/social services and not accounting.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
9 months ago

RIP your patients

A. Barth
A. Barth
9 months ago

Only 300 vehicles will be produced as part of a trial group known as the Toyota Insider Program.

Just the TIP, meaning it could be the prelude to something more invasive.

And if someone could explain irony to Karl Brauer, that would be great.

Pappa P
Pappa P
9 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

If the TIP recieves the warm and willing reception Toyota is hoping for, they are set to move forward with the Buy American Long Lease Sydney Department Extendable Enhanced Program.
They expect this to finally bring the satisfaction that Australian truck fans desire.
If sales fall limp and performance enhancements prove ineffective, Toyota is prepared to pull out and later re-enter Australia in order to prevent a premature finish, which would be a great disappointment for the country.

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
9 months ago

Meanwhile on Facebook:

Suggested for you: “Aussie Tundra Owners Insider Program Neighbor’s Club”

Superfluous
Superfluous
9 months ago

The new Tundra is having some growing pains that Toyota would probably not want to publicize as they enter a new market. The worst of these flaws, in technical terms is, an engine that goes kablooey. The Tundra forums have lots of people minimizing this, but almost daily we have members that are sharing their spun bearing failures that occur without warning and require a block replacement. I have a 2023, and mine has not suffered kablooey yet. I am hoping Toyota comes up with a program to extend warranty on this specific issue, but I am not holding my breath. I will either buy an extended warranty or sell the truck before the warranty expires.

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
9 months ago
Reply to  Superfluous

I may or may not have access to a certain manufacturers recall notices, and I may or may not have seen more recalls on a certain vehicle more than I thought imaginable. Possibly or possibly not one or two every week or so. Allegedly all across the vehicle. Theoretically from engines to turbos to axles and wheels falling off, to paint to regulatory issues. This is all conjecture of course, and definitely not grounded in reality, but it’s possible.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
9 months ago

This is the sort of perspective I’ll be deeply interested in once the 2024 Tacoma appears.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
9 months ago

I’m even more intrigued by the charging to be a beta-tester aspect.

It’s seemingly a smart (if depressing) reading of the strength of our society’s current very strong need to feel emotionally connected to something – politicians, celebrities, and now objects – that people will pay money to do so.

It’s always been inherent in how we relate to people and things (we all enjoy what our vehicles say about us and very few among us wear exclusively brand-free clothing), but never so monetized it seems.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

very few among us wear exclusively brand-free clothing

I do actively try to avoid such clothing. I HATE being a walking billboard, doubly so to pay for the privilege!

If I do wear branded clothing I prefer to advertise brands and products that don’t exist anymore, those not available in my own market or so vague it’s not clear what its hawking.

In the past I’ve made exceptions for my alma maters but as time wears on I’m leaning away from that too:

https://hollywoodlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/John-Belushi-5-things-everett-collection-gal-3.jpg?w=680

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

That’s great discipline. The older I get, the less I care about brands, though I will confess to retroactively trying to deal with my teenage angst over not having the “right” clothes by only buying (now kinda dated) name brand sneakers and jeans. I’m weak for a pair of Nikes.

AssMatt
AssMatt
9 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Ha! Echoed. I’ll bet I’ve had >forty pairs of Adidas in the >thirty years since junior high.

JumboG
JumboG
9 months ago
Reply to  AssMatt

I did, too, until the discontinued Stan Smiths for a year or so and then brought them back with a much lower quality. Now I’m a dedicated New Balance man.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
9 months ago
Reply to  JumboG

Cargo shorts, Hawaiian shirts, and salt and pepper goatee can’t be far behind

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

My interest in branded clothing ended the moment I realized wearing it didn’t help ME in any way. If anything it was hurting my wallet solely for the benefit of the brand. However I don’t mind wearing branded clothing if the cost is no higher, there is no loss of quality and if my wearing it puts others OFF that brand.

Hey branditeers, you get what you pay for!

Cerberus
Cerberus
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Same or I use my own illustrations of things I’ve made (or made up).

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
9 months ago

It’s a lease, so they can require what they want. If it were a purchase, I’d say sue me after I post this blog about the car I own.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
9 months ago

They not want us to flip car models, but you know what I can flip?

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

The car! I have faith in you, handbrake turn that Tundra and you will flip it like nobody’s business!

RataTejas
RataTejas
9 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Pancakes?

PresterJohn
PresterJohn
9 months ago

Tangentially Morning Dump related: I’ve been expecting to see some coverage of the Hydrogen Hubs announcement from the other day. I guess it’s not directly related to cars, but it’s a lot of money being thrown around and could lead to hydrogen fuel being cheaper. Is it really totally unrelated and thus not covered here?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

Here’s your coverage:

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) $7 billion announcement launching seven “hydrogen hubs” is intended to fund clusters of projects to test different ways of making, storing, moving, and using a gas that could cut emissions.

However, the decision supports concepts that could ultimately worsen climate pollution and waste billions in public money if allowed to scale, such as making hydrogen from fossil fuels and burning it to heat homes.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2023/10/17/doe-hydrogen-hubs-decision-funds-fossil-fuels-but-45v-tax-credit-can-right-the-ship/?sh=2f205dd57e2a

I don’t think Toyota is excited about bringing up the fact Australia is making hydrogen for Japan from filthy brown coal:

  • Key elements of the pilot supply chain include:
  • Hydrogen was extracted from Latrobe Valley coal and a mixture of biomass at a newly constructed plant located at AGL’s Loy Yang Complex in the Latrobe Valley through gasification and refining. Carbon offsets were purchased to mitigate emissions from the pilot. In the commercial phase, carbon dioxide would be captured during this process and stored deep underground in a process known as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
  • The hydrogen gas was transported by truck to a liquefaction and loading terminal at the Port of Hastings, the first of its kind in Australia.
  • The hydrogen gas was liquefied and then loaded on to a specially designed marine carrier for shipment to Japan.

https://www.hydrogenenergysupplychain.com/about-hesc/

highlights mine. Note that the hydrogen is being created (using carbon offsets as a band-aid) but the promised permanent sequestration is still only a pinkie promise.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
9 months ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

Tangentially tangentially, I found this interesting, apparently we’ve been flushing future fuel.
ARL researchers also discovered that the hydrogen generation rate increases by almost two-fold when the aluminum based nanogalvanic alloy powder comes in contact with urine, when compared with pure water. Because of this unique property, scientists have considered applying the aluminum powder in austere environments where power and water are scarce, such as deserts or space, where urine could be repurposed as a fuel source.[11]

Black Peter
Black Peter
9 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

That’s amazing..

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

Promising. Just note that the energy involved is provided by the aluminum powder, not by the urine. I expect that powder is not a catalyst but is consumed in the reaction, probably forming aluminum oxide in a process similar to thermite.

From the Army press release 1 kg of powder is expected to generate 220 kW for 3 minutes so 11kWh of energy; the equivalent of 1/3 gallon of gasoline. Given the inefficiencies of small generators (~<15% TE) that is about 2 gallons of gas. As long as that powder does not present any additional hazard or is unreasonably expensive or scarce it might be a good way to get power in the field when other options aren't available.

https://www.army.mil/article/193647/army_scientists_discover_power_in_urine

Last edited 9 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Hoonicus
Hoonicus
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I won’t pretend this is an area of expertise for me, but found it fascinating.
My limited understanding of this reaction is that the aluminum based nanogalvanic alloy powder oxidizes without creating a aluminium-oxide barrier thus continuing the oxidation till consumed, and releasing the unbound H2. Suspect a component of urine is functioning as a catalyst to result in higher yield. What I see as most promising is that the powder can be pelletized and possibly utilized at the point of consumption IE fuel cell/engine, and negate H2 storage/transport.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

Without being privy to all the details I’d assume that’s where the “nano” part comes in.
Metallic aluminum forms a passivation layer a few nanometers thick on exposure to oxygen but if the powder grains are only a few nanometers in size themselves the particle is smaller than the layer so all or at least most of the aluminum is consumed.
Suspect a component of urine is functioning as a catalyst to result in higher yield.

Without delving into the details I’d expect the ammonia formed by urea and water is a better hydrogen donor than water and the nitrogen is more likely to form N2 than passivate the aluminum.

Just a guess though.

What I see as most promising is that the powder can be pelletized and possibly utilized at the point of consumption IE fuel cell/engine, and negate H2 storage/transport.

Maybe. 1 kg of aluminum powder is quite a bit lighter and I’m guessing more energy dense than 2 gallons of gasoline. Gasoline however can be pumped easily, transported easily in pipelines or tankers, flows under gravity and is a well proven energy carrier under all kinds of conditions. I expect this powder is highly susceptible to moisture and to be harder to manage flow control, especially if it clumps up. Safety is also a concern; if it were to get wet unintentionally bad things might happen and who knows about a fire.

Then there is the issue of cost, how much will a kilo of this cost vs a couple of gallons of gas?

Fuel cells are notoriously easy to poison. Will the hydrogen generated by this reaction be pure enough or will there be traces of ammonia and other stuff that might over time diminish the efficacy of the cell?

I expect (like hydrogen in general) this is will be a niche product, useful in very specialized applications (space exploration) but the disadvantages will outweigh the advantages for everything else. I could be wrong, however the history of using hydrogen as an energy carrier says I’m probably not.

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