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July 20, 2007

Reliable, durable vehicles

I just read another letter (7/17) about the American automotive industry telling us why we should buy vehicles with American nameplates. There is only “Buy it because we made it” — no mention of product quality, dependability or customer satisfaction.

Not one of my last six General Motors (I still have two) cars made 85,000 miles. All were or will be traded because of the cost of upkeep. If you call the GM customer service 800 number to complain, it’s answered in India or Venezuela. The foreign nameplates have a better reliability, durability and customer service reputation.

What I (and others) want is a dependable and durable vehicle at a reasonable price. I’m tired of putting my money where their mouth is. So until the American nameplates get a reliable reputation or can guarantee a dependable product, I’ll pass.

Al Mason
Overland Park


red rover

And then it hit me today, I've driven dozens of new and used GM vehicles for 30 years with no problems or lemons and that I should thank Al for this. Apparently he has been buying all of the lemons. I need him to keep buying GM.

red rover

Sorry, you could give the very same car to two different and have two different RESULTS. People need something else to write in about. The Star stirs this pot almost weekly and thes blogs just turn into "he says, she says."

red rover

Poor, whiny little Al. I bet he's one of the customers that Sprint took their phone away from too. Of course you never get the full story, such as did he buy the cars new or used and how or if he maintained them. But come on, six random cars that don't "last" over 85k? Sounds like the owner's problem more than the cars. You could give the very same car to two different people and have different cars.
Al's the kind of guy I can buy a "problem" car from and drive it forever with no problems.
Am I the only reader that has noticed the Star never prints letters from import owners complaing of their cars? I imagine some write in but I have yet to see any. I see a late model Toyota on I-29 almost daily that smokes like a chimney. I wish that he would write in and tell us how happy he is with his import.
Al doesn't like talking to CS reps in foreign countries, yet now he's going to buy an import. I imagine after he has the same run of bad luck with imports, he probably won't have the guts to write in about that.

Mark K

I bought a 1991 escort with 100,000 miles on it about a year ago. 5,000 miles later the transmission gave out. 5,000 miles after that, a fuel leak caused the car to go up in a fireball. When I noticed smoke under the hood, I got out. 5 minutes later there were 15 foot flames and a 40 foot cloud of smoke. On the other hand, my F-150 has 292,000 with original motor and transmission. I'll never buy another Ford car, but I'll sure as hell buy a truck.


The worst cars I ever owned were German. Never buy a used German car.

The best, for the money, were Ford Escorts. I bought one new and ran it into the ground (180K). The second I bought used with 120K on it, and it ran like a sewing machine for a couple of years until a nitwit ran a stop sign and totaled it and nearly totaled me.


I've driven GM cars for over 50 years, at least two of them for over 100000 miles. No real problems. One son has had a lot of troubles with various Japanese makes. Proves nothing, but neither does the letter.

Reality Check

Honda. Toyota. Subaru.

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