Rain water, not fraud or sabotage, is behind the bad gasoline sold at stations near Baltimore early this week. Hess, the supplier, is covering any damage to customers’ cars caused by the diluted fuel. So, how does this happen?
Remember the disgruntled Range Rover owner in England who lettered his complaints on the vehicle and parked it in front of the dealership? Reader M.H. discovered his American counterpart standing in front of a Hyundai dealership in Vancouver, Washington.
As GM’s bankruptcy looms, let’s take a look at what might be in store for its network of dealerships. Chrysler dealers are understandably angry at the company’s shutting down of dealerships, refusal to take back unsold inventory, and general inability to, in the words of Jon Stewart, “be a f@#king person.” Or ethically behaving corporate entity, whatevs.
In case you don’t watch “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” as obsessively as I do, here’s a segment from earlier this week that is relevant to Consumerist readers’ interests. In it, they provide an overview of news coverage of the closing of GM and Chrysler dealerships, and implore the companies to “be a f@#king person!”
Mark Calisi, 47, who owns Eagle Auto-Mall in Riverhead, New York, says he was “devastated” to learn that his dealership would be closed. He said Chrysler accounts for a third of his business, which also sells Volvo, Mazda and Kia, and that on Thursday he had to sack 30 of his 100 employees.
General Motors is projected to default on its next bond payment—the last before the June 1st government-imposed restructuring deadline. Next freeway exit: bankruptcy.
The Washington Post has just published a story accusing executives at Chrysler Financial of turning down a $750 million government loan because they “didn’t want to abide by new federal limits on pay,” and instead opted for more expensive private sector financing, “adding to the burdens of the already fragile automaker and its financing company.” Chrysler Financial denies the charge.
WeSeed directed us to this sad photo album of cars backed up at ports and manufacturer lots around the world. Maybe they can be handed out in clusters as executive bonuses at the end of the year.
Shaken by a huge drop in sales last month, Toyota has announced cash incentives to help move inventory, including (for the first time) the Prius. [Jalopnik]
You, dear consumer, have abruptly stopped purchasing automobiles. GM’s sales are down 45%. Ford has sunk by 30% and Toyota, yes, that Toyota is down 23%.
Here are 11 secrets to detailing your car like a professional. [CNN]
Earlier this summer, we wrote about how Paul was being gouged by Advantage Rent-A-Car on repairs that had to be made after his rental was damaged in a hit and run. Paul was willing to pay the repairs on the vehicle, but Advantage wanted almost double the amount. After we posted his story, Paul was able to get in touch with a higher-up at Advantage who passed him along directly to the Chairman. Here’s what happened.
Consumerist reader Chris decided to take advantage of GM’s please-buy-a-car Employee Discount sale that we wrote about yesterday, so he headed off to two different dealerships in the NY/NJ area. What he found were deserted showrooms with salesmen who ignored him or argued with him over the existence of specific models he’d looked at online. He adds, “tonight I’m off to Toyota for some hard numbers on a Corolla and Camry.”
GM is desperate to boost its sales this month, so the company is offering some steep discounts under its “Employee Pricing” sale. The car blog KickingTires is covering the discounts and points out that “almost all of the prices are around 10% off, which is big in terms of car sales.” For example, you can save $9,000 on a Hummer H3. Of course, you’ll spend that much on gas for it in the first week, but there are other options as well, like Saturns, Chevys, and even the 2008 Corvette Z06 (which we mention separately because KickingTires says powerful sports cars are usually exempt from this sort of sale, but not this time).
23 months after we first posted her story, Angela Weigold writes in with the latest update about a Prius salesmen who left multiple harassing phone messages daily, calling Anela a “whore” and put her phone number on online escort websites.
In an effort to spur sales, General Motors is offering no-interest, six-year loans on new vehicle purchases through June 30th. Unfortunately, only the slow-selling models (i.e., not very fuel efficient) are included in the sale. Oh, also they’re raising prices on 2009 models. [New York Times]
Sure, switching from a gas guzzler to a highly efficient (and probably much smaller) car is best for the environment, but it’s not a realistic solution for large families or people who can’t afford it. But don’t let the fact that you can’t buy a 40 mpg car turn you off of a trade up in efficiency anyway. A couple of economists have pointed out that “using ‘miles per gallon’ as a measure of fuel efficiency leads people to undervalue the benefits of replacing the most inefficient automobiles.” Their point: if you’re driving a gas guzzler, even a small improvement in fuel efficiency can generate significant savings.
To help you fight the battle against high gasoline prices, Consumer Reports has put together a list of the 16 best used fuel-sipping cars. The list only contains cars under 10 years old and the criteria is based on fuel economy and reliability. It does not take into account driver comfort or fancy options. Check out CNN’s full article for more detailed information on each car. The list, inside…