- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A car crash in Dubai killed four last week, including a baby, but an Abu Dhabi Subaru dealership turned the tragedy into an opportunity to teach women a lesson on driving.

Subaru Emirates’ Facebook page posted a statement blaming the accident on “a grave mistake by a lady driver,” Al Jazeera first reported.

“Women driver at it again,” the original post read. “An entire family has perished as a result of a grave mistake by a lady driver on SZR this weekend. A Jordanian woman parked her car right in the middle of the road on Sheikh Zayed motorway after it suffered from a tyre [sic] puncture. She ignored the driver’s warning to take her car off the road and fix the tyre [sic] on the hard shoulder area.”

“Unfortunately a driver who was passing through that area had warned the woman to instantly take her car off the road but that she did not listen,” it continued. “Call it her ignorance, 4 innocent soul paid with their life including a 9-month-old baby boy. Another woman in the car was said to be seriously wounded.”

“Well, [Roads and Transport Authority] cannot put in extra parameters for women to check their presence of mind during crisis situation while driving, it’s all about being responsible drivers,” the post concluded.

The post created a social media firestorm that has forced the dealership to go into PR overdrive.

“At Subaru, SAFETY IS OUR TOPMOST PRIORITY AND CONCERN,” Subaru posted to Facebook Sunday, pulling the original statement. “The news posted yesterday was intended as a general awareness message. Sometimes with the best of intentions a final communication may come out wrong. This was one such instance. We just want to bring to everyone’s notice to please be more cautious while driving. Our sincere apologies once again.”

But a lot of people aren’t buying the apology.

“If safety is your top most priority then highlight the fact that more men speed than women. Thought your apology a bit rubbish I must say,” one user wrote on Facebook.

Another said: “We’ve all made jokes about women driving in jest. But posting a statement BLAMING one for a lethal accident then defending it is despicable.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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