Apr 04 2011

California Prius woes: how not to catalyze the economy

Category: economy,environmentharmonicminer @ 9:13 pm

I drive a Toyota Prius.  It needs a new catalytic converter.  If I lived in any state but California, I could buy one for around $350, and pay maybe $100-200 to have it installed.  For example, here is a website selling the item, for any state but California (notice, it says “no sales to CA”).

Since I live in California, it will cost me $2200 to have a new catalytic converter installed, because it is a dealer only item, and since Toyota has no competition for the part, they have a legal monopoly on it…  which means they can charge whatever they want, and I really have no choice.

But wait, you say, aren’t monopolies illegal in the USA?  The answer, of course, is that monopolies have mostly only flourished where the government enforces them in some way (it’s called crony capitalism, and one of the earliest examples was the building of railroads in the 19th century, based on monopolistic leases from the federal government), and California, as we’ve mentioned before, is a state dedicated to the proposition that most businesses should be driven from the state, and all paying customers should be punished for being customers, or at least for having sufficient funds to be customers.

Call it another example of why California is going the way of the dodo.  And, as a state government, it has about the same IQ.

It would be cheaper for me to drive the car to Arizona and have it repaired there, then drive it home.

I asked the service manager at Toyota why the catalytic converter costs so much.  He said it “has precious metal in it.”  Maybe, if I get a new one, I’ll sell it and retire.

This is emblematic of California’s ridiculous posture on so many issues, where it is willing to pay (AND force the citizens to pay) 10 times as much as some other states, for a tiny increment of “improvement” in the quality of the thing purchased.  Is it possible this catalytic converter is 8-10 times as good as other catalytic converters on other cars?  Really?

It is a government imposed monopoly, and the sky is the limit on how much Toyota can charge, because they are literally the only legal game in town, so says CARB.





4 Responses to “California Prius woes: how not to catalyze the economy”

  1. kdippre says:

    You could also drive to Tijuana and get some cheap, good quality body work. Is there no way to bid for this item, say on E-bay? Nothing in California seems to be grounded in any kind of reality. Out here i would be looking for that part in a salvage yard, providing that they actually had a Prius in the yard.

  2. tonedeaf says:

    Any metal that costs $2,200.00 is ‘precious metal’.

  3. Anthony says:

    The way I see it you have two options, a vacation has been warranted for Arizona to see family or a quick trip to Vegas. It’s up to you, have fun!

  4. Darryl says:

    This is unbelievable! I don’t see how everyday Americans can tolerate this!

Leave a Reply