Maybe I can’t play Plants vs. Zombies while I drive (or maybe I can!*), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of useful apps for the average driver. In its August issue, Consumer Reports reviews a bunch of apps for motorists, both free and paid, that promise to help you remember maintenance dates, get the correct info after an accident, or find your car in a big parking lot. [More]
Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have announced a recall of 4.5 million vehicles spanning back to 1992. A mixup in the manufacture resulted in the “self-immolation” button being labeled “cruise control.” In all seriousness, though, a vehicle fire could occur on these models, so be sure to check this out.
Are you planning on buying tires soon? According to this report from TireBusiness.com, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is planning on raising its prices for passenger and light truck tires by “up to 12 percent,” in response to an increase on tarrifs from China. They wouldn’t provide a hard date for the price increase, but said “soon.”
Matt and his family used the portable storage company PODS for their recent move. The company rents you a storage container, then stores it or moves it around on a truck for you. Their system sounded pretty great, but then things started to go wrong. Very, very wrong. What followed was a tale of broken promises, underestimations, and their belongings being held by the police (!) that would put fear into the heart of any person planning a move.
Last Friday, we posted about how a Dodge dealership in New York spent nearly a week working on a truck, and charged over $700 for the labor, only to say they couldn’t fix it in the end. It looks like the story has a happy ending: after the truck’s owner sent in a formal complaint and pointed the dealership to our post, the dealership’s owner refunded both the repair fees and the towing fees.
A Dodge dealership in Alexandria Bay, NY, wasted over $700 of Joe’s dad’s money and a week of their time not repairing a 20-year-old truck. Joe says he heard that the dealership recently replaced all of its mechanics—maybe they took a page from Circuit City’s playbook?
Chris and his wife moved recently. To do so, they rented a truck from U-Haul. They planned ahead, booked their truck in advance, and did everything correctly. They just had the audacity to request a truck that wasn’t located an hour away from their new home. This was apparently too much for the U-Haul infrastructure to handle.
U-Haul Forgets Customer, Forgets Guarantee, Then Forgets Extra Day Agreement And Threatens Criminal Charges
Consumerist reader Dionicious and his brother tried to rent a trailer from U-Haul over the weekend. First they were faced with a closed location, then they had to ask before the company followed through on its $50 “Right Time, Right Location” guarantee. They hoped that was the end of the screw-ups, but the next day an angry employee called and threatened to file criminal charges against the brothers. Too bad there’s not some sort of $50 “We Threaten You, We Pay” guarantee.
I love the idea of electric vehicles, but did Electric Vehicles International really have to call it the “eviLightTruck”? Probably not a good idea to have, you know, Satan, in your product name. You’re electric, people already think you’re going to blow up their baby carriages, don’t go out looking for ways to make your job tougher. [evi-usa]
When Sean returned a rented truck to Budget Truck Rental nearly a year ago, he went through the standard inspection with an employee, who then signed off on the return. Now the company has sent a $500 bill to collection for damage they refuse to provide evidence of.
“Buy one new dodge ram, get a second dodge ram at no additional cost,” reads the ad for Rob Lambdin’s University Dodge. The auto industry is officially totally fucked. In response to the ad, a commenter on Bimmerclassics.net quipped, “Well at least one of the Big Three is admitting that if you buy one of their new cars you will need a second one as a parts car for the first.” I can’t read the asterisks but our tipster says the deal is you buy one Dodge Ram Quad Cab 1500 and you get a Dodge Ram Single Cab for free. Full ad inside…
Look, we know gas is expensive, but don’t save a couple bucks by topping off your U-Haul’s gas tank with water. We won’t pretend to care about U-Haul—not even U-Haul cares about their vehicles—but the next renter will want to bludgeon you with a rusty ice pick when their truck breaks down because you hosed the engine.
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.
Now that it’s summer, many people are doing the moving thing. For some, this might mean renting a truck or trailer from U-Haul, like reader Ryan. He reserved a truck from U-Haul online well in advance of his move, but when he went in for pickup was told none were available. Ryan called corporate, who called the store and convinced the surly manager to give Ryan a truck. Three days after Ryan returned the truck, he got this voicemail from from U-Haul: “This is Alexandria U-Haul Rentals. Your rental truck was due three days ago and you haven’t returned it. If you don’t return our truck today I will call the police.” See how Ryan handled the situation, inside.
Gas prices are changing consumer behavior says G.M., forcing the manufacturer to slash production and close 4 plants as they make the shift toward more fuel efficient vehicles. They also announced that they may sell the “Hummer” brand.