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    "My Other Car Is Not A VW"
    Volkswagen: Just One "THING" After Another?


    (October 2006) See Time Magazine (October, 30, 2006) for article on "VW's hope to win back (after scaring off?) American fans."
    Reports generally poor rapport with consumers and explains why. The good news? VW may team up with General Motors (now there's a team?) to make a VW mini-van, perhaps coming to a dealer near you in 2008. Best advice may be to let VWs sit on the lot at least until product, quality and consumer satisfaction improves. Marketing can achieve only so much.
     
    (June 2005) VW does us all a favor for once?!!! It stopped shipping Eurovans to the US during the 2005 model year (2005 VW Eurovan), with no word whether it will ship them here again. It wouldn't take much to take the interior space planning (Its only plus) of the EuroVan , improve it, and make the vehicle more cost-effectively fuel efficient, and safer (gas take placement?), reprice it reasonably, and bring it back with a less truckish chassis. Volvo, are you listening? Ford? GM? Toyota? Anyone?

The VW Junkyard

Cute, eh?
Unreinforced brittle fiberglass bumper snapped like a plastic spoon upon minor impact when the vehicle was backed from a stopped position at a parking space into a vertical light post (see vertical crease in rear deck), shattered bumper (glued together by owner). VW did not provide the minimum 2.5 mph rated bumper required on standard sedans, because it is not required for mini-vans or sport utility vehicles. Note that the Plexiglas window is duck-taped in place because the young family could not afford repair work with high deductible as they had just relocated to secure employment. Had they known that VW was shorting customers on bumpers they would not have bought this vehicle for use in the city where it is subject to parking uses. Note, bumper caps popped off at ends of bumper exposing ugly electrical wiring and VW "craftsmanship". $5,000 (+/-) to replace bumper, rear deck and window. Fahrvernugen? Peeyew! Take the duck-tape option. Oh yeah, that's duck-tape holding the third brake light in place behind the Plexiglas.



VW has had an ongoing problem with bumpers. Bumpers used to be to protect the chassis or body of the vehicle from minor impacts. No more. VW has been investigated for poor bumper construction on several of its models and years since 1988. Is that why they call the Jetta a Jetta, because its bumpers jettison spontaneously in traffic? The NHTSA was investigating VW because its vehicle (Jetta, GTI and GOLF) bumpers were falling off in traffic making steering difficult and causing damages to other vehicles on the highway. Apparently VW is still having bumper problems. Well, at least VW consumers are having VW bumper problems, eh? The droopy bumpers on the Jetta, and GOLF are not happy expressions.



Pick it up, turn it over and shake it. This is a picture of the gas tank under the vehicle beneath the front seat. The front tire is at the lower left of the photo. Note that the fuel (gasoline) tank extends outside the front-to-rear rectangular chassis frame, unnecessarily exposing it to side impact on the driver's door side of the car. This may be the only family mini-van besides the Mazda MPV which continues to place potentially explosive fuel tanks in a position outside the chassis frame. Other car manufacturers apparently believe that placing the gas tank between the front and rear axles and between the chassis frames near the sides of the vehicle might be more protection from the majority of garden variety of 35 mph to 55 mph side impact collisions. (Or at least this placement lessens the risks of consumer lawsuits in explosive collisions?).

Even General Motors stopped making its infamous saddlebag style pickup truck gas tanks in 1987, in which hundreds of consumers have been incinerated after side impact collisions. Check the gas tank placement and assure yourself that the manufacturer has placed it such that it is as protected as it can be from front, rear and side collisions. Volkswagen apparently is too big to merely retool and reconfigure this plastic gas tank, even though it has had three or more model years to phase in this minor change, as it continues to ship its EuroVans with gas tanks placed as shown. Also note the rough edge of the bottom of the door finish. This was supposed to have been a new car, or at least it was represented as new. Is this what in Germany is called a "Monday car"?

November 1997 -- The VW Jetta and Golf were reportedly rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as "marginal" in IIHS's crashworthiness tests. The rankings include "poor", "marginal", "acceptable", and "good".

May, 1999, Volkswagen was featured in the "Bad" column of a recent mainstream media carried report by JD Powers Associates regarding customer satisfaction. Apparently, Consumer Reports' recent but earlier suggestion that the Passat surpassed the Toyota Camry as the best family car may be premature. Leave it to VW to assume that increased unit sales gives it carte blanche to run down consumers. There were rumors that VW had mended its ways in order to increase market share after falling to fewer than 50,000 unit sales in the US in the early seventies... false rumors perhaps (likely?).

(April / May 1999) An acquaintance recently bought the way over priced EuroVan-Winnebagoed Camper. He went to the VW dealer with which we made our last VW mistake. He reported that the salesperson said that it was against the law to put the gas tank between the chassis frame... He walked and bought his vehicle from another dealer, apparently less inclined to think him a fool enough to believe a stupid or liarly sales remark. Oh yeah, and its been back to the dealer already twice for inoperative factory installed parts.


"My Other Car Is Not A VW"

Perhaps Marge Schott (Former Cincinnatti Reds Owner) meant VW, when she mentioned that, 'Hitler had some good ideas in the beginning, you know, before he went crazy...' [sic-k] (?) At least Ford put his name on his cars...(:-)

"Book casts shadow on Volkwagen's Past," an Associated Press (AP) featured newswire story about a book VW reportedly commissioned about its Nazi past. AP was reported to have written "Volkswagen and Its Workers During the Third Reich," by Hans Mommsen, 'has renewed discussion of VW's use of slave labor during World War II.' 'Complete with photos of Der Fuehrer admiring a Beetle model, it is the most comprehensive -- and potentially damaging -- history ever written about the Nazi-era birth of the company.'


NEW VW AD?

An AP photo of Der Fuerhrer standing on a stage behind a line of 1938 VW Beetles (Buggies?), flanked by Trench coat draped SS (Jackbooted Thugs?), published with the AP story, is available from World Wide Photos, (212-621-1939), 50 Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020. ($100 for license to web-publish this historic image of VW's co-founder and first salesman? ... for VW afficianados only? Finally a car that David Duke and Pat Buchanan could support, if not drive? Check out those fancy turbo-powered hub-caps...

To be fair, it has also been reported that Porsche, Mercedes Benz, and BMW or people associated with these companies also may have either turned a blind eye to the Nazi/SS and their insectlike ways, or actively assisted their anti-social agenda.

(Oh, goodie! More reasons to pay too much for your next new or used Volkswagen, Porsche, Benz, or Beemer?) Beware the bugs in the New Beetles. Give them a model year or two or three before making your next VW mistake.

Now lets be fair? The Nazis tried to take over the world. Toyko thought it would be nice to help. This leaves us with Detroit? It bought Manhattan Island (New York) for $25.00 wirth of zirconium and marked it up several million percent. Choices, choices... decisions, decisions. Such a deal?


Even consumers are catching on that the New Beetle is not the Beetle of yester-yore... as VW would have them believe... Even the remaining Beetles apparently refused to do the ads...

Check out Marketplace Radio (Archives 3-16-98)

'SEGMENT
Look-Ahead
Coming up on 3/16/98: Volkswagen's new "bug" is in
showrooms now, but hardcore lovers of the quirky car aren't
fooled. Next time on Marketplace, beetle lovers pay tribute to the
automotive legend that sounded like grandma's sewing machine.'


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My Other Car Not A VW | Legislative Alerts | Dodging Chryslers
Mini Van Junkyard | Activist Flyers True Costs of Driving | Car Deal Illiteracy
15 Sec. Car Deal Lecture | Parallel Parking | Test-I-Moanials

 

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