Clean Car Advocates Say to Toyota: Don't Crush Your Electric Cars

Local representatives of the Sierra Club and the American Lung Association join electric car advocates for press conference at Toyota's Torrance, California headquarters.

Published: 01-Jun-2005

Sen. Sheila Kuehl and DontCrush.com, the clean car group whose recent protest against General Motors made national headlines, will publicly ask Toyota on Wednesday, June 1st to stop crushing its RAV4 EV electric cars and allow leaseholders to purchase the vehicles.

Local representatives of the Sierra Club and the American Lung Assn. will also participate in the 10:30 a.m. DontCrush.com news conference at Toyota's local headquarters: 19200 Grammercy Place, Torrance.

In a letter to be unveiled at the news conference, Sen. Kuehl writes that she "most respectfully requests...Toyota re-evaluate the systematic destruction of existing Electric Vehicles." Kuehl is hoping that Toyota "will decide to alter" its decision to crush the cleanest cars on the road today.

Thousands of Electric Vehicles (Evs) were manufactured to comply with California's Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate. In doing so, automakers including Toyota benefited from tens of millions of dollars from California taxpayers to put these zero-emission, zero- gasoline vehicles on the road. Now, however, Toyota is literally crushing Californians' investment in clean air.

DontCrush.com member Linda Nicholes of Anaheim Hills has been leasing a RAV4 EV for three and a half years, but Toyota refuses to sell it to her. "Apparently, they'd prefer to hook us up to the gas pump again," says Nicholes, who owns one of several RAV Evs to be present at the news conference. Dozens of RAV4 EV leaseholders have repeatedly requested the right to purchase their cars. Toyota has flatly refused every request, even though consumers snatched up every RAV4 that Toyota put on the market. Toyota also refused a formal request to meet and discuss the matter with DontCrush.com members, whose 30-day vigil protesting GM's decision to crush its EV1 electric cars made news from coast to coast earlier this year. "We hope that the car companies listen to their consumers to keep up with the demand," said Andy Weisser, spokesman for the American Lung Assn. of California. "After all, like the American Lung Association says, when you can't breathe, nothing else matters." The press conference is being held on the same day that the Sierra Club will announce its position on the Toyota Rav4 Evs. American consumers have demonstrated they want to buy the cleanest, most efficient cars available. Hybrids have waiting lists while gas guzzling SUVs languish on dealer lots. Waiting lists have long existed for the auto makers' 100% electric cars. Rather than meeting this consumer demand, the auto makers chose to crush and shred their great electric cars.

DontCrush.com is a coalition of RAV4 EV drivers, former Honda EV+, GM EV1, and Ford Th!nk City lessees, and clean air and energy independence advocates. It is supported by the Electric Auto Association, Rainforest Action Network, Global Exchange, and Earth Resource Foundation.

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