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Cars, Irony, Justice

Before we left for vacation, I had a weird experience with the fuel gauge in my car. I had filled it with a full tank of tasty 94-octane love, only to burn the first half of it in about 50 miles. Especially troubling was that the fuel gauge dipped a little over an eighth of a tank while I was idling at a red light. But the dashboard computer indicated that I was getting normal mileage, and after the weird dip reversed itself later in the day, it drove as expected for the rest of the tank.

Weird, I thought, and scheduled a service appointment. I was right at 15,000 miles, so it was time for an oil change anyway.

I dropped off the car at the dealership this morning, and Liz drove me in to work, and came to get me at the end of the day. She dropped me off at the dealership with the intention of meeting me over at the car wash in a few minutes, as both of our cars are desperate to be clean.

I filled out the paperwork, paid for the oil change, and they brought out my car. I set my bag in the car, sat down, buckled up, and noticed that they had rolled down the front windows, and that the A/C was also running. Well, I know better than to air condition the entire planet (my momma didn't raise no fool!), so I rolled up the driver's side window, and then rolled up the passenger's side window.

Or at least, that was what was supposed to happen.

The passenger window went up about half way and then, quite disobediently, rolled right back down again. I twiddled the button, and the window went up halfway again and stopped. I twiddled the button a second time, and that's when the window mechanism made a really neat noise and the window dropped into the door with a disturbing series of loud clunks.

Fuck, I thought. That's not supposed to work that way.

I hopped out of the car and walked right back into the service desk to hotly proclaim that my window regulator had just died a horrible and unglamorous death, completely unbefitting its status as part of such a beautiful and stylish vehicle. More paperwork. Called Liz to let her know I'd be late. Waited for the rental car guy to arrive with my means of getting home. More paperwork. Pleasant small talk. Finally, I drove home in my rental -- a silver Jetta, sadly a low-end model bereft of most of the goodies that I have grown accustomed to, but thankfully worlds better than the crappy Chevy Malibu that I got during the infamous Hubcap Incident.

Now, the first thing I do when I get home is to go check the mailbox to see if there's anything in there, and as Liz was still out running some errands, there was indeed new post to be retrieved. And what, pray tell, should be at the top of the pile of otherwise useless dead tree pulp?

A little white tri-fold piece of mail addressed to me...

...from someone named "VW Window Regulator Litigation."

Yes, kids, the part of my car that just broke is the subject of a class action lawsuit that's about to be settled, and they were letting me know that I'm part of it if I want to be.

Now, I can never remember if that's irony or coincidence, but it did have me laughing out loud as I stood at the mailbox. And really, that's about the best I could have hoped for given the circumstances.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 19th, 2003 06:06 pm (UTC)
Why bother with semantics?
It could be coincidental irony or ironic coincidence!
Aug. 20th, 2003 01:52 am (UTC)
It's probably an "ironic coincidence". Hehe. What model is your car anyway?
Aug. 20th, 2003 06:20 am (UTC)
It's a 2002 Jetta GLX, VR6 engine, black, with the VW sport suspension and wheels. Ordinarily, it's a very well behaved car, and a joy to drive. (It likes to go fast, and who am I to deny it this?)
Aug. 20th, 2003 06:30 am (UTC)
ooo... I've been thinking of getting a Jetta after my current car dies. My dad had one for ten years, and he liked it so much his next car was a Jetta, too.

Though Marie and Gracie might object to the non-domestic-carness of it all. :P

Aug. 20th, 2003 01:06 pm (UTC)
The auto industry is so incestuous anymore that it really doesn't matter. You have "American" models that are full of foreign parts (my high school history teacher bought a Ford truck to be all-American, and it had a Toyota engine), and foreign models (Toyota, others) that are made in the US, German cars (like VW's) that are made in Mexico, and German car companies that are married to American car companies (Daimler-Chrysler). So buy something that you enjoy driving, and tell everyone else to shove it. :-)

Regarding the VW's specifically, when you go to test drive or buy one, don't bother with the low-end engine. The 1.8T, V6, or VR6 (or W8 if you want to buy the super-fanciest Passat) have the happy go-go juice that will make driving fun. By contrast, while the loaner Jetta that I am driving today handles fine, the engine is sorely lacking on the freeways.
Aug. 20th, 2003 07:23 am (UTC)
Sounds like a nice car. ^_^
Aug. 7th, 2007 08:34 am (UTC)
I can relate somehow on your experience. I've worked before in a luxury car company and those experience like yours is very ordinary for us. Car company really gets mess at times, most especially selling auto parts and that's the reality.
Sep. 16th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
You have to love the timing of things. Hope you get the money back that you spent to get the window fixed on your car
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
If there's a bright center of the Internet, you're on the blog that it's furthest from. Rants, raves, and assorted ramblings from my little patch of the periphery of known space.

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