Reader Question: To Buy a New Taco or Not?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Matt asks: I was listening to your interview on the David Knight show from this week. You had mentioned that most new cars being produced already have the technology that can allow the manufacturer to shut your vehicle down remotely. This is concerning to me. I am looking to buy my next vehicle that I was hoping to keep it for a very long time. I thought I had it figured until I listened to your interview. I was going to get a manual transmission 2024 Tacoma Off Road. Your comments are making me reconsider this now. Here are some questions going through my mind right now:

Do the 2024 Tacomas have this technology? If they do, will it be effective at stopping a manual transmission Tacoma? On a different note though, do you know if the Tacoma’s have fake engine noise being pumped into the cabin by the speakers? (I drove a manual 2022 M5 and the fake engine noise being pumped into the cabin ruined the entire driving experience for me.)

My reply: Unfortunately, the just-updated Taco has a suite of the very latest “advanced driver assistance technology.” Here’s a look at the list:

It also includes the ability to receive “updates” over the air, as is true of all new vehicles. These “updates” have the potential, at least, to allow for external control (including disabling) of the vehicle.

Essentially everything in a modern vehicle is controlled by computers now and these computers are now connected – wirelessly – to the manufacturer. Whether Toyota exercises control over the vehicle is not really the point. The point – as I see it – is that Toyota can. And – via Toyota – so can the government.

I recommend buying a ’23 Taco V6/manual instead. I think you’ll love the vehicle. And love knowing you won’t be controlled but it.

I test drove/reviewed one last fall. You can find that here!

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