Last week’s photo showed the newly restyled 2013 Lexus ES sedan. For a better photo and information, read this week’s road test.
Chosen randomly from the correct entries was Paula A. Reese, from Hephzibah, who wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. Other readers identifying the vehicle were:
AUGUSTA: Bert Dean
CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “With the visible tailpipe in the teaser shot, this is the normal ES and not the hybrid version. In keeping with the more environmental friendly theme, the hybrid version has a less prominent exhaust discretely placed behind the lower rear fascia.
“Being a Lexus, the ES can be had with a wide range of creature, safety and performance options. The trend in this class of cars is what I call the ‘Nanny State’ options.
“This would be the options like lane departure and blind spot warnings, front and rear sensors to avoid an ‘impending’ collision in addition to intelligent or adaptive cruise control. Some of these have already begun to trickle down to the lesser brands.
“I find these options to be worrisome. I feel they will lead to a certain amount of complacency as drivers come to rely solely on them, rather than practice simple basic, essential driving skills.
“When behind the wheel of a 2-to 3-ton (potentially deadly) missile flying down the road at 60-70 mph, we need more driver involvement, not less.
“Take for example, the evolution of the outside rearview mirrors. Every car sold in this country has one on both sides of the car. In the beginning, the outside mirror was an option only for the driver’s side. Eventually it became standard equipment on all cars.
“Then the passenger-side mirror became an option, and eventually it also became standard equipment. Why did this happen? Because there is value in having these safety options; but take a closer look at that right-side mirror. In an effort to show the driver a wider field of vision, the right-side mirror is now a convex reflective surface.
“The downside of this is that the images and distance perception in that mirror are distorted and not true to scale. This is why they carry the warning, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” I do not know the exact history of that warning, but either the corporate lawyers were trying to out-think the tort lawyers or a tort lawyer actually brought a product liability suit against a manufacturer that led to that warning.
“Mark my words, a product liability lawsuit will come about because of these Nanny State options. Either the system will malfunction and not warn the driver as designed, or, in an actual emergency, an alert, proficient driver will not be able to perform an evasive maneuver to avoid a collision because the system could not be overridden.
“Don’t get me wrong. I think there is value in these options, but not to the point that the driver should forgo simple common sense. Regarding those outside mirrors, even most driver’s manuals included with the cars today still caution that they do not completely replace a look back over both shoulders when changing lanes.”
EVANS: Jerry Paul and Wayne Wilke
MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski and Jeff J. Miller
PERRY, FLA.: Larry Anderson wrote: “The auto is a Lexus ES 350, a midsize Japanese luxury car. The 350 designates a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The transmission is a six-speed automatic. A very nice looking and classy luxury auto with a good record for dependability.”