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Fearless Forecasts

GM Engine Intake Manifolds: No More Secret Warranty
GM Canada is on the run.

It will soon follow Ford’s lead and drop its 6-year/100,000 km secret warranty covering engine intake manifold gasket failures on 1996-2003 model vehicles (its front-drive minivans are the worst offenders). Look for an announcement that, henceforth, all owners will receive retroactive compensation up to 7 years/160,000 km.
Owners wanting a repair refund now are urged to make a formal claim, using Lemon-Aid’s Used Car and Minivan Guide (sample complaint letters and jurisprudence).
Also check out for tips on framing your legal argument to get a speedy settlement, specifically in Ford and GM intake manifold cases.

2006 Flops and Firings

This year, Detroit’s Feeble Three will continue their sales decline and loss of market share.
• GM will sell GMAC, and its interest in Isuzu, Saab, Subaru. and Saab, while Ford jettisons Jaguar, DaimlerChrysler’s Jeep Commander is also living on borrowed time.
• GM CEO Rick Wagoner is a “dead man walking,” who will likely be replaced this year by Mark Hogan, president of the auto supplier Magna, or Carlos Ghosn, the head of Nissan and Renault. Not only has the automaker lost billions on his watch, but the company has to ‘restate’ its financial reports to comply with SEC regulations. Presently, General Motors is the subject of at least six federal accounting investigations. Insiders say the revised reports will show the company’s accountants ‘forgot’ to list an additional $2 billion in losses.
The kicker?
Wagoner earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Duke University in 1975 and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard in 1977.

GM, Ford and Chrysler will embrace Canada-style healthcare

Pummeled by billions of dollars for employee health care payments, automakers will endorse a single-payer health system in stages, with lowered drug prices the first target. Initially, GM will set up just one health care plan for both salaried and hourly workers.

New car PDI and freight fees will top $1,500

There will be no rime nor reason to charges. Vehicles made in Oakville will cost more to deliver than those made in Osaka.

10 Biggest Auto Myths

1. You get what you pay for. No, cheaper cars are often better than luxury lemons.

2. Mercedes makes the best cars. No longer; even German drivers say they prefer Toyota and Lexus.

3. Hybrids are the future. Don’t bet on it; fuel economy is over-stated by half and they can fry you in an accident.

4. Saturn is a different car company. Yeah, it is a pain in Uranus.

5. Toyota and Honda have impressive reliability. No longer; Trannies, engines and sliding doors are their nemesis.

6. New cars are better than used. Only if you are a new car dealer..

7. US car companies are on the rebound. Call it a ‘dead cat bounce’ before rigor-mortis sets in.

8. You get a better deal paying cash. Only if you are from Bogota.

9. Dealers are more honest today. No, they just cheat you differently.

10. Cars are better made today. Partly, yes. Bodies are safer and more durable; engines and transmissions are less reliable and costlier to fix.

Copyright 2006