Monthly Archives: July 2015

  • Walking the tightrope at Allpar

    Allpar walks a tightrope. We have to report the news accurately, regardless of how it makes Chrysler (FCA US LLC) look. If we’re too positive, or even we’re neutral, we’re also dismissed as “fanboys.” Indeed,  I don’t think it matters what we write, we’ll be called fanboys, but being accurate and responsible is the right thing to do, and provides us with all the credibility we have. Then again, if we report things that are “negative” or (and I’m not sure which is worse) tell people about upcoming products, we’re not invited to press events or interviews and/or denied loaner cars. Emails and calls go un-answered or spend weeks in limbo before getting a nonsensical corporate say-nothing response. There are some very good people in…

  • Why don’t people get their recalls done?

    The NHTSA has hit Chrysler with a huge fine because so few people have had their cars fixed after they were recalled. The company isn’t being punished because some people are lazy, or for political reasons. Chrysler has tended to be slow in providing service parts, even as assembly lines run on overtime. Dealer staff and customers have both complained about this, and examples abound. Loyal customers have called their dealer over and over again, and could not get an appointment. It can take months and months of work to get a recall done. Busy dealers often don’t call customers when the part comes in, either — and someone else may nab it for their own recall. Just a bit over half of the heavy duty truck tie-rod recalls appear to…

  • Overcoming my anonymity

    If you’ve perused Allpar for any length of time, you may have noticed that I rarely give myself a byline or photo credit. That’s partly a reaction to my own excesses of the past. I created two college newspapers, one at Rutgers, replacing a newsletter that had been mailed first-class to our mostly adult students and yet was, according to a survey, still unknown by many people; and one in grad school, possibly the first that school ever had. I’m not proud now of the quality of my editing then. One error in both cases was putting myself onto the front page during dull news times. At Allpar, which I essentially started in 1994 (the name came four years later), I deliberately pushed…

  • The FCA recall screwups

    You know it’s bad when even the press releases announcing the settlement are screwy. Chrysler has been doing a large number of proactive recalls, analyzing warranty data to the point where single events are investigated and problems are found, in some cases, before a single car has been sold. That’s pretty good. The company is, in some ways, taking safety more seriously than ever before. On the darker side, dealers and customers alike have horror stories of waiting and waiting and waiting for parts that never came. Dealers talk of being told they can only order one part at a time, wait for it to be installed, then order a second — for a recall. Meanwhile the plants run on overtime using…

  • Getting Ready for the Chrysler Nats in Lahaska

    There are many car clubs devoted to Chrysler these days. The most active (in the US) is almost certainly the huge Plymouth Owners Club, but they are restricted to that one brand. Then we have a panoply of relatively local Mopar clubs, the National Chrysler Products Club, Walter P. Chrysler Products Club, Dodge Brothers Club, and the new Mopar Heritage Car Club. This weekend is the National Chrysler Products Club annual national meet, though the term “national” may be disputed. It’s normally a good show with over a hundred cars ranging from 1910s Dodge Brothers to present-day cars and trucks. Maybe I’ll see you there? Preparation was not too bad this year, I had to top off the antifreeze (there’s a leak somewhere…

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