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Cadillac has corrected its
error in claiming it outsold the Lincoln Town Car recently (So
big deal, even if it had, European and Asian luxury cars are
outselling both). And it is recalling the Seville due to possible
combustible problems. Contact your dealer or Cadillac/General
Motors for details, soon. In the meanwhile consider not parking
these cars in garages or other enclosed areas or near flamable
recalling some of its Caravans and Villager Mini Vans. Possible
fire ignition problem. Contact your dealer or Chrysler for details
as soon as possible. In the meanwhile park it in the driveway
away from buildings or flamable materials.
Mini-vans fail crash tests. (The real ones done by the Insurance Companies)
Nine mini-vans tested by the National Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety (check our Auto Consumer Reference Page) failed
5 mph crash tests. Ford Aerostar failed the worst with
damages amounting to over $5,700+, about 1/3 the sticker
price of the mini-van new. The Honda Oddessy (Ordeal?) rated
the best with costs for damages around $400+. The average damages
caused from the 5 mph crash tests was around $1,400+. More good
reasons to become a Guerrilla Car Consumer and not pay too much
for cheap imitation bumpers.
Ford attacked the methodology of the tests, suggesting perhaps somewhat accurately
that the tests do not predict actual accident scenarios or damages.
In actual accidents usually two or more vehicles are involved
and speeds usually combined exceed 5 mph, likely resulting in
much greater damage and costs. Good point, Ford (Fix Or Repair
in the unpredictability of the angles of impact and the grinding, twisting
or torquing effects of braking or swerving to avoid impact, and
actual damages and costs could far exceed those of controlled
accident scenarios carried out in a crash test lab at only 5
miles per hour (mph). More good excuses to not pay too much for
mini-vans and to keep your insurance deductible low, and have
the manufacturer or dealer carry the costs for the lowered deductible
as part of the deal negotiations.
and the manufacturers defended mini-van bumpers by stating that they
meet all Federal standards. They conveniently failed to say that
mini-vans, trucks and sport utility vehicles are not even required
to meet standard sedan bumper standards, which were reduced from
5 mph to 2 mph by the anti-consumer policies of the Reagan Administration.
Don't pay more for less. Make a "ding list" of all
the reasons to pay less for a vehicle and keep this close to
you during deal negotiations. Try not to buy the "space
frame" or "crush zone" argument that dealers use
to soften or loosen up consumers who question bumper design and
durability. Many of the mini-vans used to haul families around
are rated poorly by the National Insurance Institute for Highway
Safety, even though the vehicles may or may not meet "all
federal crash tests."
low impact accidents its not unreasonable that cars, mini-vans, light
trucks and sport utility vehicles be fitted with a bumper to
absorb energy and diminish the damages of low to moderate impacts.
Manufacturers are merely passing costs downhill to consumer by
not competing on providing real bumpers on these vehicles, instead
towing the line on meeting only the letter of minimum standards,
which are often inadequate when they exist at all.
around at other older cars with real bumpers. Note that many bumpers
are dinged and battered, while the body of the vehicle in many
cases have been spared damage. That is what bumpers were designed
to do, to protect consumers from the added expense of "body
blows" in minor impacts and to absorb energy in moderate
boast that auto quality has
improved, when in fact sheet metal has been squeezed nearly paper
thin making it dingable by falling pinecones or by merely leaning
against a vehicle. Plastic has replaced metal bumpers and other
parts, and prices of automobiles have outpaced increases in the
inflation rate. Computer technology evolves at a rapid pace yet
prices come down noticeably in short periods of time due to competition.
On the other hand, automobiles which have not evolved technologically
over the past five to ten years, except to incorporate cheaper
and cheaper computerized technology, have increased in price
at a fire sale pace. As long as consumers continue to pay too
much for cheaper and cheaper automobile products, that what we
will be served.
for a plastic to metal ratio before
buying your next automobile mistake.
new fake "integral bumpers" and reshapeable plastic bumper ferrings or covers
guarantee that more extensive damages and costs will be incurred
in low impacts, with added costs accruing to the consumer, and
increased profits accruing to manufacturer of overpriced replacement
molded plastic parts.
and compare the relative replacement costs of the bumpers and
deduct this cost from your final offer. Man, can plastic really
be this expensive? Price the cost of the plastic wheel covers
(hub caps) and ask for a free spare prior to buying. Don't be
surprised if a replacement hub cap runs around $75 to $100 or
more each for cheap molded plastic in most cases. And expect
the dealer and manufacturer to blame labor unions for excessive
costs, instead of excessive management costs, unchecked profit
creep, and executive salaries, and that big boat at the marina.
same for "plastic veneering" (veneering according to Websters: A thin finishing
or surface layer bonded to an inferior substratum; Surface show;
gloss; to overlay with a veneer.) or molding along the bottom
of doors or along the sides of vehicles (sometimes these molded
plastic veneers cover flimsy metal rods that are supposed to
pass for bumpers beneath, or to hide the fact that no token steel
bumper actually exists beneath the molding or bumper cover.
these molded plastic "cover-ups" or trim items can
leave even the most car deal war experienced Guerrilla Car Consumer
in tears, bleeding, and unconscious. The slightest scraping from
an indelicate fellow motorist in any common parking lot, along
local community streets, or in freeway commute driving can result
in very expensive repair and replacement costs. Also ask to see
the cheep plastic fastenings with which the plastic molding is
attached to the vehicle. Make sure the price quoted for the replacement
parts include all fastening and finishing items and installation
costs. Don't be low-balled into a sham deal or into paying too
much for your next car deal mistake. CARveat Emptor!
did they put the gas tank this time...? Uh huh?
With The Dealer
reported to be having problems with some of its Anti-locking
Braking Systems (ABS) systems. The ones made by Varity-Kelsey-Hayes
Company have been reported on national television (aired on the
West Coast, November 11, 1996) to be seriously flawed in design,
creating potentially hazardous driving situations for owners
and others who share the road.
that the problem is
with drivers pumping the brakes instead of holding steady pressure
on the brake pedal. However 7450 '91-96 GM Suburban, Jimmy, and
other GM vehicle owners have filed complaints, some disputing
GM's claims that the brakes are OK and the driver's are faulty.
2006 GM vehicle owners have blamed accidents on failure of the
braking systems which they say failed to work or stop the vehicle.
600 injuries have been reported to have been caused by failure
of GM ABS braking systems. CARveat Emptor.
should completely research all of the mechanical systems on the make and
model of vehicle they are considering "investing" in
(especially the braking system), and make sure that they are
compatible with consumer expectations.
all automobile safety related problems to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) in Washington, D.C. Call 1-800-434-9393.
NHTSA is also a good vehicle quality research resource. Request
safety related reports on any vehicle make and model before buying.
The report makes a great consumer ding list to bargain for better
pricing. Report vehicle safety problems to NHTSA too.
December 26, 1996
Hyundai is reportedly experiencing massive
labor strikes in Korea. Watch the low-end quality problems for
the next six months to a year...or so?
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Tricks of the Great American Car Deal,
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Air, Planet, & People: To Save Y'our Breath, Lives, Money
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