Vandals Destroying Priuses in California

Posted: September 8, 2008

Toyota Prius Pictures

Toyota Prius Pictures

Edmunds Inside Line reports, "The gut-deep disdain some people have toward Toyota Prius drivers has reached new depths, with violence against the fuel-efficient hybrids more vicious than ever.  In the most brutal of a spate of attacks against the Japanese import this year, investigators concluded that a fire that consumed a newer Prius on a residential street in Los Angeles seven weeks ago was the work of an arsonist."

That conclusion follows an earlier investigation in the San Francisco suburb of Petaluma, which concluded that "at last seven Priuses were damaged" by vandals "during a two-week rampage in April."

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat explains, "Five times a brick, rock or hammer has been thrown through a window. Once, a fender was dented, police said."

The Prius is hardly the first vehicle to be the target of a political hate campaign.  Syracuse, New York's Post-Standard notes, "Web sites such as ihatehummer.com encourage motorists to give Hummer owners the one-finger salute. Last year, vandals smashed up a Washington, D.C., owner's Hummer and scrawled an environmental message on its side." 

But the Prius now has its own legion of haters.  "The TV show "South Park" has skewered Prius owners for contributing dangerous levels of 'smug' to the environment," notes the Post-Standard.  The automotive web site Jalopnik has picked up that battle cry, using the word "smug" in 57 hybrid-related entries so far this year.

Autoblog comments, "What's it all prove? Nothing, except that asshats are readily found on both sides of every issue."

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