That habitual harbinger of doom, the Daily Mail, has finally pushed me over the edge.

I hate the fact that this paper (which makes a speciality of fuelling our anxieties) has taken to encouraging Toyota owners not to drive their cars, apparently because their lives are at risk.

I’ve rarely heard such twaddle. The clear inference is that the recalled cars have been incompetently built, whereas the reverse is true. Today’s cars — especially Toyotas — are made with better attention to quality, safety and durability than ever before. But they’ll never be perfect.

There’s an argument that says some fault lies with the operators. Despite the increasing complexity today’s cars — a response to market demands — they have become extremely simple to operate.

The user no longer needs a scintilla of mechanical sympathy or technical awareness, to the extent that some drivers’ knowledge of what’s going on may well have fallen below a dangerous threshold.

If you were driving a car over some weeks, and its throttle return grew gradually weaker, would you, as a car-aware Autocar reader, drive on until it finally stuck open? Of course not.