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April 8, 2001

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I'm Always Listening to Bjork!

April 8, 2001

It seems as though The Paperless One's Chrysler Intrepid is safe after all, but still louder than Bjork at an intersection!

Can't take it...help me find a cliff to drive off of!How loud is Bjork at an intersection, you ask?

Just kidding, but in all seriousness, the Paperless One was starting to believe that he was a truly evil person, for riding the Junior Paperless One around in a car with banshee brakes such as the Paperless mobile.

The last time the Paperless One had the car in the shop, he had Chrysler technicians check said banshee brakes.  Their findings:  these brakes are FULLY METALLIC, and therefore tend to squeak a lot more than "PARTIALLY METALLIC" brakes.

Over the winter, the wailing brakes continued to sound much worse, enough to prompt me to get a second opinion on their safety from another Chrysler dealership.  This time, my car wasn't in for anything else - just to check the brakes while the Junior Paperless One and I had breakfast across the street.  I won't even elaborate on the fact that it was in the rockin' town of Paris, where E Coli was discovered in a town water well recently, and that we did "drink the water" while there!

One hour and $40.00 later, the Chrysler technician had solved my problem.  Sure, my brakes were quiet and I was $40.00 poorer, but my problem was "solved".

"Blame the government,"  was the three-word statement that was to explain everything for me.  You see, "the government" banned the use of asbestos in brake pads after it was found to cause cancer in laboratory rats and auto mechanics (people felt sorry for the rats!), and outlawed asbestos use.

According to the Chrysler technician, he had good news and bad news.  The good news was that I could flip the old middle finger to casters of nasty looks for driving a two-year-old around in a car with unsafe brakes, because they are perfectly safe.  The bad news is that in addition to being safe, they also have 90% life left on them, and won't be in need of replacement for a long time!

Plenty of time for cursing, right?  Also, this gave me plenty of time to research all of the tales that I had just heard.  Whoa Nelly!  Did I find tales or what?!? 

Initially, I thought that everyone loved Chrysler.  The B-52's help confirm my assumption, by giving the automaker a prominent honourable mention in their 1990's hit, "Love Shack".

"I got me a Chrysler, it's as big as a whale,
And it's about to set sail
I got me a Chrysler, it seats about twenty,
So come on and bring your juke box money"

As I dug deeper, I found quotes like this gem, as well as a slew of websites devoted to the company that was responsible for the K-Car.

"At Chrysler I was once talking about the sales department's failure to achieve their sales objectives in one particular vehicle. I said 'Why is it?' And one of my colleagues said, 'The problem is we're running out of stupid customers.' You can't screw people anymore.'" --Former Chrysler Corp. Vice Chairman, Robert Lutz, quoted in Automotive News, February 22, 1999.

Here are a list of notable findings on the web:

http://www.wam.umd.edu/~gluckman/Chrysler/ Here's a "Chrysler Products Problem Webpage", which mostly deals with the small problem of Chrysler paint jobs going the way of temporary tattoos.

http://www.apa.ca The Automobile Protection Agency - they have information on lemon laws, recalls, and support consumers by assisting in establishing David vs. Goliath court cases.

http://carconsumers.com/ Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety also have an interesting website.

http://www.carterdodgechrysler.com/ This one is hilarious!  This guy bought an Intrepid from hell, then bought the most logical domain name for the Burnaby, B.C. dealership that he purchased it from, just to tell the world about it.

http://www.wam.umd.edu/~gluckman/Chrysler/CCD/95Intrepid.html Here's a guy with a 1995 Intrepid from hell!  Similar to the stories above.

Not only do people really love Chrysler, but Chrysler seems to really love people as well.  Check out this Christmas tale of Golliath vs. David!

DaimlerChrysler Seeks $277,000 From Parents of Daughter Killed by Airbag

Consumer Groups Call on CEO Juergen Schrempp to Withdraw Mean Spirited Legal Action

The Center for Auto Safety (CAS), Public Citizen and the Consumer Federation of American on Christmas Eve called on Daimler Chrysler Chairman Juergen Schrempp to drop a court action seeking an award of $277,366 against Elizabeth and Robert Sanders whose 7-year old daughter Alison was killed by an airbag in a 9.3 mph velocity change crash in a 1995 Chrysler minivan. The groups called this a "mean spirited and vindictive action" intended to bankrupt a family who dared sue DaimlerChrysler and who founded Parents For Safer Airbags to prevent similar tragedies from striking other parents.

Fascinating.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not listing all of these seemingly Chrysler-hating sites in this column to imply that Chrysler was responsible for my noisy brakes.  After all, these brakes were put in by none other than CAR CANADA, the dealer that I got the car from.  Is there such a thing as "BRAND X - NOISY AND SQUEAKY BRAKES", and did CAR CANADA use them when putting new brakes on the car they sold to me?  

Well, they did find me "BRAND X - NEVER-BEFORE HEARD OF TIRES" when I took the Intrepid back to them a week after buying it and suffering a Formula 1 style tire shredding flat on the vehicle's original and very bald tires (I thought they were racing slicks!!!), so I wouldn't doubt that CAR CANADA found find such brakes and install them.  

After all, it WAS CAR CANADA that treated me with such contempt after returning to the service department regarding my bald tires which should never have been left on a vehicle going up for resale.  Their attitude was less than pleasant, and the "common ground" that we achieved on the tire issue was no more than a "Fuck you, we already have your money" gesture on their part.  As a result, I would not recommend CAR CANADA to anyone who may ever feel the need to maintain a service relationship with the company who sold you a vehicle.  

Sure, the CAR CANADA sticker quickly got peeled off the car, but the Paperless One will give you their website so you can see how nice they actually are...until they have your money.

http://www.carcanada.com  

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