A Wave of Anti-Prius Vandalism in Seattle?

Too early to call the incident a pattern.

Vandals in Seattle are targeting the Toyota Prius in a “rash of attacks,” according to MyBallard, a local neighborhood website. The website reported that “a number of street-parked Prius windshields were…smashed” over the weekend, including one owner who reported that his Prius’ was vandalized on Friday night.

Smashed Prius Windshield

Photo of smashed Prius windshield posted to MyBallard.com, a Seattle-based neighborhood website.

Seattle Police Detective Mark Jamieson confirmed a single incident that occurred on Friday at 11:30 pm on the 1900 block of NW 73rd street. When the owner responded to his vehicle alarm going off, he discovered that a street sign had been thrown into the front windshield, and the rear driver’s side taillight was smashed. The owner didn’t see or hear a suspect, according to the police report—contradicting the MyBallard post claiming the suspect was driving an SUV.
Detective Jamieson was unable to locate other anti-Prius incidents in Seattle. “It doesn’t appear at this point to be any sort of pattern,” Jamieson told HybridCars.com.

During record high gas prices in spring 2008, vandalism against Priuses was on the rise. There were reports of at least seven attacks in Petaluma, Calif. in April 2008. Vandals used bricks or rocks to smash windshields, and there was one instance of a Prius getting rammed by another vehicle. Three months later, a Toyota Prius was set on fire in Los Angeles. Fire investigators concluded that the inferno was the result of arson. Anti-Prius vandalism dates back to 2004, when there was a spate of Priuses being “keyed” in Las Vegas.

The most visible act of car-related political vandalism occurred in 2003, when so-called “eco-arsonists” set blaze to 20 Hummer H2s, valued in total at $3 million, in the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles. The vandals targeted the Hummer—the vehicle that symbolizes gas-guzzling and disregard for the environment. According to UK’s The Independent, several vehicles were spray-painted with graffiti slogans, including “Fat, Lazy Americans”, and daubed with the letters ELF, which stands for Earth Liberation Front, a radical fringe ecological group, which claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Speculation about the cause of last year’s anti-Prius attacks includes anger against the environmental movement and, in California, envy about hybrid drivers’ ability to legally drive solo in carpool lanes.


  • Randell

    I’m a little curious why this is happening on either side. On one side, you have the ELF and the eco terrorists trying to attack Americans for wanting to drive what they want to drive, and on this side, you have Americans driving with an eco conscience and they are still being attacked.

    You gotta love the hypocrisy.

  • HummerGuy

    I believe anti-prius attacks are as wrong, and characterizing HUMMER as “the vehicle that symbolizes gas-guzzling and disregard for the environment,” is also wrong.

  • TD

    It’s Ballard. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

  • Chris Davis

    Quote “the cause of last year’s anti-Prius attacks includes anger against the environmental movement”

    What is it with these american’s?
    Anger against the environmental movement?

    God damm those enviromentalists, trying to save our home planet, we want to posion the air we breath, the water we drink and the food we eat.
    How dare they want a clean and plesant land for our childrens children.

    You’re so weird

  • Old Man Crowder

    So basically, this article is saying “Some Priuses have been vandalized. We know nothing else.”

    What’s in store for tomorrow? “Hybrid Paint Colours Chosen By Monkeys. We Think.” ?

    How about posting the story once the facts are known and a definite trend is identified?

  • TP_Proud

    I have had my Prius for 6 months now, and so far find it to be as advertised. Good mileage, and plenty of room. I drive the speed limit everywhere I go, and still get 49 MPG on a consistant basis.
    I chose the Prius after driving Mini-Vans for about 15 years, and paying more and more for Gas, even though the last one got 28 MPG on the highway.
    It amazes me that anyone would begin targeting one of the most Earth friendly cars out there. And it is really only the beginning of the Eco-Friendly cars to come. So Why, and what does the future hold????

  • Clive Burke

    I own a Pious, and alas I fear all the smug I give off may be the cause of all the resentment!! ;-))

  • K

    You need a new section on this site for “scare tactic news”…

    Looks like the real story is “Someone had their windshield smashed in Seatttle”… although nice job pointing out that maybe more Priuses were vandalized (maybe not…) and the vandals may have been driving an SUV! I think they were also smoking, and probably left their water running at home. Oh, and they were probably grouchy too … and they hate puppies too. Yeah, that’s it.

    Guess the answer to the question in the headline is “No, guess not…”

  • Paddlers2

    I believe you might want to look in the direction of the half-wit union, ‘Buy American’ crowd who are targeting Priuses and other hybrids not because they are hybrids, but are seen as a ‘foreign threat’ by idiots who continue to ignore the fact that Detroit abandoned them years ago, and have been foisting crap on a willing public for years. ‘We’ll build whatever crap we want, and the public will buy it, because it’s made in America.’ And so it has been…

    My Toyota Tacoma was 85% manufactured (the transmission is the exception) and 100% assembled right here the good ol’ U.S. of A., which is a lot more than many of the GM, Ford and Chrysler owners can say. While not a hybrid,

    What’s funny is that the cretins who are vandalizing ‘rice burners’ aren’t being blamed for it. The blame falls on opinion show hosts who have had the bad taste to provide statistics and data, then voice their opinions about those facts. The finger-pointers and name-callers are the losers.

    Thanks for reading.

  • ilol’d

    i cant believe someone took the time to write this up. i lol’d.