03/11/2011—With the tragic events in Japan late last week, natural disasters are obviously top of mind.

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami arrived on the heels of the Christchurch, New Zealand quake, after which the world discovered the story of Ashley and Christine Vendt, the New Zealand couple who survived the event, managed to find their semi-crushed Lexus RX, and then drove the battered luxury vehicle to their home nearly 400 miles away.

At Lexus, we’ve noticed—via the letters and e-mails we receive—that when natural disasters occur, there’s often a Lexus owner with a story to tell. One we’ll never forget came from Lexus GS owner Alex Tremble a few years ago. At the time, Tremble was a director at the naval hospital in Guam and had made it through a destructive, drenching Pacific typhoon:

“I’ve lived on Guam for almost 15 years, and I’ve been through about a dozen typhoons. Here they can get up to 160, 170 miles an hour. The one in December 2002, called Pongsona, was the worst I’ve ever seen...buildings totally collapsed. I saw this humongous tree right in front of the hospital pick up and fly away.

[Afterward] we went without electricity for weeks...but as it turned out, we were blessed—our family and home were fine. The Lexus was only scratched a little bit, and more importantly, there’s wasn’t a drop of water inside. That’s a tight car.

A lot of neighbors’ cars were damaged, so I gave friends rides to go see their families and picked up water for people. After two or three days, the police started clearing everything and said it was okay to be on the roads if you had a four-wheel-drive vehicle. We didn’t have one, but my wife, a housing inspector for the Air Force, was needed to check on the military families on the other side of the island.

I said, ‘Sharon, are you sure you want to go?’ and she said, about the Lexus, “My baby can make it.” When she got to work, she called to tell me she’d never seen anything like those streets in her entire life, but ‘the car made it through nice and easy.’ We found out that a Lexus is almost like a person in a way—it really performs under pressure.”

What’s significant about Mr. Tremble’s story, really, is how common it is. Judging by the array of similar stories that have arrived over the years, it’s clear that many Lexus owners are quick to assist their neighbors in situations like these, often using their vehicles, if they can, to get the job done.

And this is why we have no doubt that somewhere in Japan there’s a Lexus owner doing her or his best, right now, to help somebody in need.

To this owner, and to all the people of Japan: Our hearts go out to you, as do the hearts of Lexus drivers around the world.