The first in an on-going series

Toyota CEO Akio Toyota humbly apologized via editorial in The Washington Post on Tuesday.

Introduction: Green commuters are a diverse constituency (you bike! you walk! you drive a hybrid car!). But we here at Be A Green Commuter aspire to be inclusive of those of all of you who get to UCLA in a way that produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to what seems to be the default option in LA, which is driving a car with a gas combustion engine by our pretty selves.

So this column, though inspired by the satirical blog "Things Hipsters Hate", will feature items that might qualify under Things Green Commuters Like. I'm aspiring to include topics that are actually useful, but I can't help but feature the Toyota Prius, a prominent status symbol here on the Westside, in my inaugural column:

1. When the CEO of a global company has the hutzpah to own up to a major mistake: “We failed to connect the dots”.
And does so in a significant way. You may have heard about the recall Toyota finally issued for its 3rd generation Priuses, which have defective accelerator pedals.  But critics and the cultural zeitgeists claim Toyota took way too long to address this and many other mechanical problems with its hybrid vehicles.

But then Toyoda surprised me by publicly apologized via a Washington Post editorial, and vowing to address quality control and communication issues.

Admittedly, that editorial was a probably the product of the aggressive efforts Toyota is making to restore its reputation for quality (see LATimes story, 2/9/10). But at the behind those words was also a person who had to swallow his pride and own up. For that, I give him props.

Because, after all, Toyoda had taken a beating in American late-night television. My favorite: Toyotathon & The Daily Show:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Toyotathon of Death
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Submit your own suggestions to stritipeskul at ts.ucla.edu.