VB's posting the news separately. A separate post with photos will be available shortly.
Here's VB's favorite news item of the week. We are so fed up with VW dealership service in our area (and there's two of them), that now with no warranty, we just take our VWs up to Bob's in West Springfield. Awesome Daughter took her 2003 Jetta GLX to the dealership as the new engine light was on. They told her not only did she need a new catalytic converter costing $1200.00, but she also needed a new timing belt, and the cost for that would be $1600.00. Her car is a 2.8 VR6 and has a timing chain. At 80,000 miles a replacement should not be necessary, and as we suspected was verified from inspection by our independent service shop. Did the VW dealer think they could take advantage of a young woman, are they stupid (not knowing the difference between a timing chain and a belt) or are they just a bunch of crooks?! So we've had it with VW of America. None of our cars are in warranty, and that's fine with us. And, we will probably not buy a VW anytime in the near future.
Independents give better repair service, Consumer Reports survey says
"When it comes to service and repairs, car owners surveyed by Consumer Reports said they preferred taking their cars to independent repair shops rather than dealerships."
"Among individual brands, domestic dealerships fared quite well, with Buick, Saturn, Mercury, Cadillac and Lincoln all landing in the top 10 (Lexus was No. 1). At the bottom of the ranking were Mazda, Nissan, Jeep, Suzuki and — in last place — Volkswagen.
The full results of the survey will be in the June issue of Consumer Reports, which hits newsstands Tuesday, and at www.consumerreports.org."
Customized '68 Beetle: Chopped, Dropped and Topless
Things that go clunk! / Teens tell of love-hate relationship with clunkers
Ben & Jerry's Tries New Recipe for Store Design
"Streamlined, Ben & Jerry’s style: A flagship store (left) incorporates natural materials to create the unified funky farm vibe that's rolling out to new stores. To stay true to Ben & Jerry’s brand positioning, Tesser sought out repurposed materials for quirky fixtures, such as the milk crate and bottle light fixture/chandelier, the VW bus plasma screen and the ‘beaded curtain’ made of ice cream pint lids. By seeking out and using such things as post-recycled plastic, environmentally safe glue and replenishable wood species, the project jibes with the company’s social mission. The next challenge? Scaling costs back in order to remodel all 500 stores. "
VB has never seen this show, but there's a cool photo at the link.
Bus Gets Bumped
"Last night’s episode brought out the fight in the final four competitors of this season’s Bullrun. Team Avalanche, Corvette, VW and Shelby all stepped to the plate. In the beginning, Team Shelby jumped out of the gate with flying colors and came in first at the checkpoint in Scottsdale, AZ followed by Teams Avalanche, Corvette and VW."Even though most of us may have missed it (it's in Australia), go to the link and check out the Kombi Konvoy video.
Nimbin MardiGrass 2009
"MardiGrass is basically a peaceful rally for cannabis law reform. Supporters for the legalisation of cannabis are fighting for it to be recognised as a substance that can be used medicinally, as a food source, an environmentally-friendly fibre or as a potential fuel source."From Jalopnik: 1958 Volkswagen Bus Highboy for $6,500!
What Clunker Cash Might Buy
"Congress is considering two plans aimed at helping automakers and dealers to lift sales, cut emissions and reduce reliance on foreign oil."Editor's Note: Earl S. MacPherson and His Invention
Clean Up Your Classic Car With Propane
VB doesn't think this (below) is so smart of an idea. Doesn't current mobile use interfere with driving already? Now we want to encourage it, with smarter GPS technology?! VB will stick with the Tomtom, and that's annoying enough when you have John Cleese telling you where to go.
Smarter GPS to Let Cellphones Point the Way
"The emerging generation of navigation devices have the ability to connect to the Internet and to one another, which may spell the end of similar dashtop devices."Wheels: Classic Ad: 1984 VW GTI
"The original commercial for the 1984 VW Rabbit GTI features jumping cars and a version of the Ronny and Daytonas song "Little G.T.O.," altered for the ad and sung in German."Wheels: Zipcar Licenses Car-Share System
"Zipcar, the car-sharing service that lets people rent by the hour, is now sharing its proprietary car-management technology with the public sector."FOUR DEAD, TENS INJURED IN RING ROAD PILEUP
"CAIRO: At least four people died and more than 30 were injured Monday in a road accident involving more than 20 cars on the Ring Road in Katameya.Secrets of the Modern Repo Man
Some of those injured are still in intensive care.
The accident involved a collision between a truck full of steel rods and a public transportation bus, followed by a collision of more than 20 cars coming towards the accident site at high speed, according to local press reports.
“The cars were crushed. There wasn’t a single piece that wasn’t destroyed,” said Ahmed Saad, an eyewitness to the aftermath of the accident. “It was really sad. They were dragging corpses out of the cars. I don’t know why people drive at this crazy speed.”"
"Modern repo men try to avoid nasty conflicts with high-tech tools. They search for their targets in the dark of night with gear that scans license plates. Tow trucks have also been upgraded. Now, agents can haul tightly parked cars without ever leaving the cab of the tow truck. Some dealers can even track and disable a car from afar, making it easy to bring back to the lot.
If you're late on your payments, here are a few high-tech tools that might bring a repo man to your car:" (Read on for advice.)
But, here's the one piece VB thinks she may need to check into. Not that she's late on payments. She just doesn't like this spying software shit. She's got a 2005 Mini Cooper S, and even though she keeps up with her payments, the question remains: "What else does this software do?" Perhaps she will take her Mini somewhere unaffiliated with BMW and have it checked. It took her over a year to get the title to the 2003 VW Jetta she paid off! Is VB paranoid - um, slightly. Who killed JFK!?
"SmartTrack. Rocky Mountain Tracking is among the many sellers of GPS tracking devices that pitch them to auto dealers, offering what the company calls "no-fuss car repossession." The $200 device slips unobtrusively under a dash and uses GPS satellites to pinpoint its location. Dealers need only pay a few dollars more to get the location data if and when a borrower defaults on a loan. For $100 or so more, dealers can install a model that can also disable the car's ignition."
(Below): Your complimentary Cairo traffic photo, which should be labeled, "Don't try this at home, or anywhere else for that matter." Amazing!