http://consumerist.com/2009/01/19/shaken-by-a-huge-drop/

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]

Graphic: Why GM Will Still Fail

Graphic: Why GM Will Still Fail

Not that you necessarily need convincing that GM is doomed no matter how much cash is thrown at it, but here’s a cool graphic that shows all of the auto company’s problems as piles of shipping containers. The designer points out that “many aspects of this graphic can apply to the rest of the Big Three but I focused on GM since they are in the most dire position.”

Merchant Tries To Forbid Chargebacks

Merchant Tries To Forbid Chargebacks

A reader wrote in to ask us if we’ve ever seen anything like the “Chargeback Abuse Policy” that Luxury Car Tuning in Las Vegas includes in their terms—”You agree not to file a credit card or debit card chargeback with regard to any purchase,” and if you do anyway, you have to pay any fees that normally the merchant must pay when dealing with a chargeback. The reader wants to know, “Is this allowed by any merchant agreement that you know of?  Sounds pretty ridiculous to me. How likely would it be that they could get away with this?”

General Motors Says New Fuel Requirements Will Add $6,000 To Price Of Cars

General Motors Says New Fuel Requirements Will Add $6,000 To Price Of Cars

Bob Lutz, GM’s vice president and product chief, told reporters this week that new federal guidelines that require 35mpg fuel efficiency by 2020 (yes, more than a decade from now) are so stringent that it will end up costing an average of $6,000 more per vehicle. “That cost will have to be passed on to consumers,” he then threatened. We can’t help but feel sorry for GM. After all, this whole “better fuel efficiency” topic was only brought up, what, like two or three months ago? And GM only has twelve years to find cost-effective (we’d say “innovative” but don’t want to put too much pressure on such a backwards, fearful company) ways to lighten cars and improve engines.

Subprime Mortgage Debacle Makes General Motors Cry

Subprime Mortgage Debacle Makes General Motors Cry

Hey, you may be asking yourself, why are GM’s profits down 90% from this quarter last year?

Bad Manners: Walmart Borrows Your Car Without Asking

Bad Manners: Walmart Borrows Your Car Without Asking

My parents had a similarly horrible experience at Walmart last year here in South Edmonton Common, Edmonton, AB. They took their car into get an oil change, and left it there to do other errands. When they got there, the clerk at the desk could not ‘find’ their car and got all nervous. After about 15 minutes of ‘checking the lot’ the clerk gave in and said one of the mechanics had taken their car to go pick up a friend who’s car had broken down! My parents immediately got the manager involved, and the manager seemed to be taking the appropriate actions, and when the tech came back ~10 minutes later he wasn’t even apologetic about stealing their car to get his friend, he seemed to think he had the right to! My parents, being the nice pushovers they are, and seeing it as someone helping someone else and no harm was done other than ~20 minutes of time let it go. Walmart even made them pay for the oil change! The manager said he would call them back with a resolution, but none ever came.

Jonny’s parents should have explained to the manager that they charged $5.00 a minute for unauthorized car rental. —MEGHANN MARCO

Consumerist Confessions: Tell Us About Cars…

Consumerist Confessions: Tell Us About Cars…

The Consumerist is interested in hearing from car salespeople and customer service representatives in the automotive field. We’re looking for tips related to buying a new or used car. If you are or once were a car salesperson or worked in a car dealership and would like to confess, write to us at tips [at] consumerist [dot] com.