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Is Toyota’s Latest Patent Filing a (Very) Early April Fools Joke?

A few years back, Toyota put our a press release about the next-generation of its backup camera’s would have filters, like on Instagram. It was an April Fools Day joke, obviously, and Lexus has gotten in on the fun too, like last year’s spot about it was introducing a program that would create custom vehicles based on your genetic profile. That said, we have to admit we’re a little confused but this latest patent filing — and we think it’s a long play for this year’s prank.

Because at the end of the description for the a customizable fragrance dispensing system, we get this little gem:

The vehicle fragrance dispenser of claim 1, wherein: the fragrance generation section is configured to release a tear gas component inside the vehicle; and the controller controls the fragrance generation section to release the tear gas component inside the vehicle in a case in which an illegitimate engine start has been detected by an immobilizer of the vehicle.

We first learned about the aggressive tech after reading about it over on Autoblog, and we feel it’s a joke, and that the P.R. folks just needed to get it out in plenty of time for April 1st.  Because we don’t really see a car company releasing any vehicle with an on-board tear gas dispenser as standard — or optional — equipment. Could you imagine the liability?

So yeah, we don’t think that your local AutoNation Toyota dealer is going to start selling vehicles with weaponized fragrance systems any time soon. We’ll update as soon as we hear anything more. You have to admit it’s funny though.

But that said, our locations are full of vehicles for every need and price point, so will great vehicles like the all-new, fifth-generation Avalon, the  sporty Supra, and the practical, fun-to-drive Corolla hatchback on hand, they’re sure to have something that’s right up your alley!

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