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.
If you own a Tacoma made between 1995 and 2000, Toyota would like to inspect it free of charge—and if the rust corrosion is severe enough, they will either repair the truck on their dime or buy it back as a vehicle in “excellent condition” no matter what state it’s really in. Toyota announced this a little over a month ago and said thy would start sending letters to Tacoma owners in the weeks to come, so if you haven’t received yours yet, be on the lookout for it.
What about all those tales about broken and poorly maintained trucks? His thoughts, inside…
Kevin noted on his Budget rental forms that his truck was covered with graffiti and other nicks and scratches before driving off the lot. As soon as he returned the truck, the lot agent pointed out a slew of damage and invited him inside. He said that Kevin had two options: pay $670 in cash immediately, or pay several thousand dollars to corporate later. Kevin paid the extortion fee, but now Budget’s corporate office wants $2,080 to repair, among other things, graffiti damage.
Texas levies an inventory tax of .02% on the retail value of all products in a company’s inventory each year, but lots of car dealerships try to sneak the fee over to the consumer. Even worse, they do it year-round.
We guess the sort of person who wants a luxury SUV isn’t too concerned about the idea of gas approaching $3.50 a gallon in the coming months, because sales have only dropped 0.9% over the past year, reports BusinessWeek. “‘For a high-dollar car, people with that level of discretionary income can absorb gas fluctuations,’ says Brinley of AutoData.” But it’s not just the filthy rich who have SUV-fever: sales of small SUVs have increased by 22.7%.
Paul Brant of Indiana bought a 2008 Dodge Ram with quarters and gold dollars worth $26,670. The septuagenarian spent thirteen years collecting enough loose change to buy the new pickup, which will replace the Dodge he purchased in 1994 with 144,000 quarters. Brant’s revolutionary method for collecting spare change, after the jump.
Toyota has announced that it is recalling 15,600 Tundra 2007 Tundra four-wheel-drive pickup trucks because “a rear propeller shaft may separate at the joint.”
F-series Super Duty trucks, E-series vans and Excursion SUVs from model years 1997 through 2003 equipped with 7.3-liter diesel engines are being recalled by Ford because of a computer software problem that causes their engines to stall. Several minor accidents have been caused by the defect, but no injuries.
Ford is recalling 1.2 million vans, SUVs, and pickup trucks “because of a flaw in an engine sensor that could cause sudden stalling.” [Reuters]
When consumers try take the truck in for warranty repair, dealerships say the dashboards aren’t on a recall list, so they can’t do anything. The only thing Dodge will say is that they’re “reviewing records.”
- Toyota Motor Corp. plans to recall about 533,000 Sequoia SUVs and Tundra pickup trucks in the United States to repair faulty components that could make the vehicles difficult to steer….The latest recall covers certain 2004 to 2007 model year Sequoias and 2004 to 2006 model year Tundras, both built at Toyota’s Indiana plant, the automaker’s U.S. sales unit said in a statement.
The defect has caused 11 accidents and 6 injuries, Toyota said. They’ll begin notifying owners in Mid-February and will repair the “defective front suspension lower ball joints free of charge.”—MEGHANN MARCO
Blah blah blah Uhaul wouldn’t rent me a Uhaul because I’m too much of a slacker to show up on time. That’s what ran through our brains when we first read Christopher’s letter. Then we stumbled across this gem.
Shrink a head in a pot, rub your skeletally-painted hands together and evoke ancient jungle spirits for their gris gris: exactly what sort of voodoo do you have to perform to get U-Haul to give you the right truck?
We just got a great story from David H. concerning a run-in he had with some incompetent assholes at U-Haul. After taking his reservation and promising to let him know the day before when he could pick up his truck, David — like many people who incredulously discover that reservations don’t actually mean that a company will reserve anything for you — discovered that he didn’t have a truck on moving day. Worse, when he finally did get him a truck, it looked like Evel Kneivel had used it to jump over the moon. But the best part of his story is that when David complained, the manager looked him straight in the eye, told David that he “was the kind of customer I hate” then kicked him out of the store, slapping a canceled order fee on his credit card on top of it!