Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The unlocker/locker remote thingy for my car

Back in '04, I bought my first new car; a Chevy Malibu. I chose GM because I'd saved a couple thousand dollars in down payment using a GM credit card.

Since then, I've ditched the GM card because I've ditched any hope of purchasing a GM car again. Little crap kept breaking, and once the warranty ended, that little crap was costing me a lot of money.

There were three moments in particular that bugged me.

1. I went in because the blinkers weren't working. Thought it was a bulb. "Oh, no, that's not it," they told me. "The whole electrical system could shut down while you're driving. In fact, we're not allowed to give you the car back until we fix that."

2. The driver's seat couldn't move forward or backward anymore. I figured it was electrical, since every damn other electrical thing about my Malibu is screwed up. "Oh, no, that's not it," they told me. "Turns out the tracks that the seat moves on are warped. That'll be a thousand dollars." No thank you. My car is now only driveable by six-foot-three people. My wife can't drive it unless I pay a thousand dollars.

3. The very same day, I went into the shop to get the battery replaced on my clicker-doodle that unlocks and locks my car. "Oh, no," he said, opening the clicker-doodle. "It's not the battery. The whole inside is now corroded. Look. And that's not covered by your warranty. It'll cost you several hundred dollars. Or, you can solder this part on yourself." No thank you. I simply subbed out the first clicker for the second.

Yesterday, on the way to work, I heard news about a possible bailout for GM.

After work, I headed out to the car with my (second) clickerdoodle in hand and hit the button to unlock the car.

Nothing. The second clicker lasted just a little over two years of normal use...just like the first one. As a point of comparison, my wife's 2001 Subaru's clicker is still going strong. Meanwhile, I've burned through two in half the time.

If your product sucks, you're going to go out of business. If economists who know more about this than I do say that we have to rescue this lousy company with a shitty product because the consequences of doing nothing are too great, I'll defer to their judgment.

But I don't have to like it if my tax dollars go there. They already have taken too much of my money.

You want to make a profit? Make a product worth buying.


Brooklyn said...

Could not agree more.

Now where do you stand on farm subsidies?

Alison said...

Amen to this!

The last GM car I owned was an Oldsmobile Omega (same car as the Buick Skylark, but with different logos). Anyhow, the little electronic sensor for the cooling system routinely melted when the engine got hot.

I know that's not actually the definition of irony, but, damn, it comes close.

Melissa said...

Don't even get me started about our Chevy Malibu, which just happens to be in the shop at the moment costing us no less than $700 for its latest fix.

If it weren't so much more expensive to buy a new car, you can bet we'd be putting that one in drive and sending it off a cliff on a lonely stretch of forest service road somewhere in the Olympic Peninsula.

tommyspoon said...

I guess this would be a bad time to mention that the electronic key fob for my 1999 Mazda is still going strong. Oh, and my car has over 150K and is still running well.

Kate said...

Great, my husband just ordered a Malibu as his company car. But at least we won't have to pay for things that break - and I won't be stranded when that happens.

We do, however, own a former company car, a 2003 Chevy Venture minivan, which has generally been great - until the gas gauge broke a couple months ago. "That'll be $400 to crack open the dashboard and replace the ENTIRE thing, ma'am." Uhhhh, no. The car is already worth less than that.

I think GM would have gone bust awhile ago but so many corporations, govt agencies, and rental car agencies buy American cars for their fleets.