There have been a lot of theories about why consumers abruptly stopped buying cars — and not just American cars but all kinds of cars. Fingers have been pointed at poor fuel economy, lack of available financing, and if Hyundai is to be believed — concern about losing your job. But a new survey found that the most popular reason for not buying a new car — is that there’s nothing wrong with the old one.
To crowbar open the pocketbooks of newly thrifty shoppers, carmakers are getting more creative. For instance, if you finance a new Hyundai after Jan 3 and lose your job, supposedly the car maker will let you return your vehicle, with no further financial obligation, and no damage to your credit. Intriguing, but definitely one to scour the fine print on.
Last fiscal year, Toyota made $28 billion dollars in profit. This year? Yeah. Not so much.
“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…
Hey, here’s a new and exciting deal. Buy a car; get 100 shares of GM stock. “Join us in jump starting America,” says the sales pitch. Unfortunately, GM’s shares are trading at 66 year low today as a bailout looks doubtful.
KNBC undercover cameras caught local JiffyLubes and EZ-Lubes upselling customers to buy engine-flushing and fuel-injection cleaning services, services which have been forbidden by auto-manufacturers because they’re unnecessary and can severely damage your engine. One guy’s engine died while he was driving on the highway, and it cost him $5,000 to replace his engine.
Aaron went shopping on AutoTrader and saw a BMW he liked sold by International Motor Productions. The lady over the phone, Brigette Brown, told him everything about the car was perfect. He put down a $500 deposit and flew down from Chicago to check it out with his friend Nathan. There he discovered the body panels didn’t line up and the tires were mismatched and worn. When he took it for a test drive, it pulled under acceleration and made horrible noises. He took it to a reputable dealer who inspected the car and assessed it had been in an accident and had frame damage. When he took it back to International Motor Productions and asked for his deposit back…
The Federal Communications Commission and its benevolent overlord, Mr. Kevin Martin, recently spent $350,000 to sponsor a NASCAR team for 3 races. The “Digital TV Transition Ford” sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission crashed during its inaugural NASCAR race Sunday afternoon, says the WSJ.
Did you know that gas price gouging almost never occurs as prices rise? Rather, it’s most often when dealers keep prices artificially high even as their costs fall. As gas costs were near $5 a gallon until falling and oil companies earn around $100 billion each year, it’s a good time to question what really goes into the price of gas. The numbers on the gas station sign hide a complex set of transactions. Before gas can power your car, it must be discovered as crude oil, traverse three markets, and be refined from crude into gas. Inside, we’ll explain the three markets, walk you through the role of refineries, and show how oil companies use creative tactics to manipulate gas prices…
There’s a gas shortage in Atlanta, GA, so consumers are using Twitter to help each other find gas. They’re tagging their posts #atlgas whenever they spot some and letting others know the price and location, as well as tossing out requests for information. The tag was created by Tessa Horehled who writes the DriveAFasterCar blog.
There’s 4 main ways a gas pump can screw you over:
People who drive fewer than 15,000 miles per year can save 13-54% on their GMAC insurance premiums under a GMAC Insurance’s new Low-Mileage Discount. All you have to do is opt-in to let OnStar monitor your mileage. The average annual vehicle mileage is about 12,000 miles, according to the Department of Energy’s Annual Energy Review ’06, so it looks like most people with GMAC insurance and OnStar could save under OnStar’s Low-Mileage Discount Program. With the need to save every dollar on your car, this could be a good program for eligible drivers to check out by calling 1-800-GMAC-123 or going to gmacinsurance.com.
Reader inkjammer would like to let you know that Chrysler thinks of a full tank of gas as an “additional feature” — albeit a free one.
Consumerist commenter doireallyneedausername forwarded us an email he got from MyGallons.com, claiming that his membership fee will be refunded because MyGallons.com cannot find a credit card processor. The email, signed by CEO Steve Verona, says that current members will get a free year of MyGallons.com when (if?) they are ever able to process transactions. Read the email inside.
Last Friday, we told you about Ashlee from Paonia, Colorado who took her Saturn to a Walmart Auto Service Center in the city of Delta for an oil change. Because they botched the job, the oil leaked out which resulted in extensive engine damage to the tune of $5,875. Since then, she spoke to a representative from Walmart’s insurance company who said that they won’t pay for the repairs, because when Ashlee discovered the damage, she took her car to a non-Walmart mechanic, and in doing so has “tampered with evidence.” Not to be trifled with, Ashlee is gathering evidence and witnesses and hiring a lawyer. Ashlee’s, letter inside…
State Farm: This 1963 Chrysler Newport Is Not An Antique, Unless You Give It A Fresh Coat Of Paint. What?
Humphrmi’s 1963 Chrysler Newport has antique license plates, meaning he can’t drive to or from anywhere other than car shows, shops and parades; but State Farm won’t insure the car as an antique unless it gets a new coat of paint. “You have to paint the car,” they said, to avoid a 33% higher premium. Does this strike anyone else as insane?
After acknowledging that it did not have a contract in place to process transactions, gasoline-hedging service MyGallons.com has suspended accepting membership fees and placed the current fees in a non-interest bearing escrow account, says the BBB. Read the BBB’s findings inside.