Saturday, August 22, 2009

Do You Still Want a Smart Car?

This was the title of the E-mail that was forwarded to me by a good friend. It obviously was one of those E-mails that gets forwarded about the Internet. Usually they are political or sometimes representing a religious point of view. But this was about an automobile. I had seen the Smart Car and had expressed some interest in the little car. My friend, he feels it to be appropriate to pass on this bit of information for my consideration. I usually will not bother to open E-mails that look to be one of these forwarded messages, but this was from my buddy and indeed indicated that the topic was of interest to me.

With a Click, I can now read the content of the e-mail. The body of the email was comprised of the following text and a couple of photos.

"Below is a photo of a wreck in Jefferson Parish, LA (near New Orleans )between two trucks and a Smart Car. Think I ll pass on the Smart Car."

Followed by the these photos showing a horrible wreck.

Dang! What a horrible mess! But, I was suspicious. With Photo-shop experts out there, it is possible to create any illusion. So, I visited a couple of my favorite web sites that debunk urban legends, scams, and outright lies.

And debunked it was! Not only was there evidence of the original story clearly pointing out the make and model of the vehicle, (Not a Smart Car) but also that the person fortunately survived the crash. Another interesting note that was pointed out, was the fact that the only identifiable feature of the crushed car is one of it's wheels. It is clearly shown to be a 5 lug-nut wheel, where the image of the intact Smart Car is clearly sporting a 3 lug-nut wheel.

Now I know my friend probably forwarded this without checking out the validity of this e-mail and I do not think he was trying to deceive, but the question in my mind is this.... Why would someone take the time to lie about the photo shown saying that this was a photo of a crushed Smart Car, when they very well knew it was not? So, a little more investigating and I started getting an idea of what was going on.
I quickly was able to find a large number of web sites and forums that are dedicated to bashing the Smart Car. And by the discussion that was going on at these various forums, it appeared to me that the general political persuasion of those bashing this little car were of the right wing. The level of disgust and hatred for this little car was astounding. The Smart Car, to these right wing zealots was the symbol for all that is evil and was the start of the loss of all our liberties in these good United States of America!

Wow! That is a very big burden for a single car to carry on it's itty bitty shoulders.

Personally I do see a need for a "City Car". That is, a car that gets excellent fuel mileage, would carry 1 or 2 persons maximum. Good tool for that daily short commute, taking advantage of great fuel economy, and finding parking in limited parking areas.
While I do keep my options open in considering a small vehicle, I am not sure the Smart Car is the vehicle of choice as it really does not get that great of fuel mileage when you consider its size. Barely challenges some of the mid-size vehicles. Plus the price would have to come down.

Now I have observed several crash tests on YouTube of the Smart Car, and it gets high marks for protecting the passenger space in frontal and side impact. But it is a very small and light weight car, and in the business of crashes, mass will win the battle every time, thus demonstrated in the above photo of the crushed mid size car. I doubt that any car would fair well being crushed between two trucks. The physics of the situation simply will play out. Somethings got to give!

So again.... why the lies! If you would rather not drive a small car then don't. And why fret about someone else driving a small car.... It only makes it safer for those that drive the behemoths! In the near future many will be faced with the possibility of unreasonably high fuel prices. Many will of course at that time seek more fuel efficient transportation.

A good debunk site-


The humble Farmer said...

Good article. I was also looking for a site that would explain this smart car hoax. One sees a lot of these smart cars in Italy and France. Thanks for taking the time to write this. Neighbor humble

The humble Farmer

Gary Stoneking said...

Good job. I just had this forwarded to me by a concerned friend. (I drive a smart fourtwo every day.) Funny, but there seems to be more concern about my safety in the smart than there was when I was riding a motorcycle...
My smart gets 41 mpg city/highway. It's comfortable inside, though it does not ride like a limo. The smart is right up there behind the Nissan Leaf and Honda Civic CNG (compressed natural gas) on the green car list. We've had ours for three years now, and love it.