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Where’s My Auto Bailout?

By spokesman | December 4, 2008

This blog is about bicycles but today I am going to discuss cars - specifically my car.  For the last 9 years I have owned a Ford Escape.  When I bought it, I was happy to have an American car built by UAW labor.  Over the years the car performed well and I had very few complaints.  I was especially happy with how much I could fit in the vehicle and still get good gas mileage.  I could fit 3 bicycles and 3 people in the car. 

Two weeks ago the check engine light came on, when the odometer hit 120,000 miles.  I thought that it might be related to a periodic check.  When I took it to the dealer, I got the news that one of the cylinders had stopped firing and that the engine had lost compression.  I was told that the fix was an engine replacement. 

The heads of GM, Chrysler and Ford have been testifying before congress for a bailout for their companies.   They have been talking about how the economy has hurt the companies and all of the great progress they have made in building better vehicles.  While I am sympathetic to the workers, I am not happy about a tax payer funded bailout. 

I am angry at Ford.  The failure of my engine is inexcusable.  The trade-in value of my vehicle has fallen to virtually nothing.  There is a 2009 Escape with a hybrid engine.  The Ford CEO drove one from Detroit to Washington to beg for his loan.   However I don’t have enough trust in Ford to buy one.  If they have not mastered the internal combustion engine after 100 years, how can I expect good reliability from an engine that has so much new technology.

Due to the current economy, there were abundant bargains as I began to shop for a new car - especially from the big three.  A quick reading of car reviews backed up my experience and pointed to the real problem with Ford, Chrysler and GM vehicles - low quality.  While I wanted to buy one of their cars, I did not want to personally contribute to their bailout or get stuck with an unreliable vehicle.  I need my own auto bailout.  I could also use a bailout for my 401K.

However, I did find a way to buy a reliable American car.  I bought a Honda that was built in Ohio.

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Topics: Flotsam |

2 Responses to “Where’s My Auto Bailout?”

  1. Rachel Says:
    December 9th, 2008 at 1:30 am

    I can sense your disappointment with the American car industry, but you made the right decision. As for your 401K, I can’t help you with that one.

  2. Kevin Says:
    December 9th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    The sad truth for me is I’ve been anti-big three since I was little. We had big three cars back then and they all had problems. We moved on to Hondas and literally never had problems with them.

    My Dad ended up getting a company car at some point and got an Explorer (’98) which after the lease ran out he bought out himself and then within the next 6 months there were 2 major engine issues that had to be repaired. It’s been ingrained in my system not to go with a car from the big three, despite the fact I want to support american companies. I drive a toyota pick up now.

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