I will never buy another Dodge


My father may well disown me if he hears about this but I think he’s been looking for a reason to do that for years. (Note to my mother: don’t give him the satisfaction. In other words, ix-nay on the elling-tay).
I will admit; the first problem we had with this van was not the van’s fault. (I ran over an object in the road which bounced up, puncturing the gas tank.) Nonetheless, it was out of my possession for two weeks while being repaired, which most definitely falls under the heading of Not Convenient. Plus I wonder if the problem would’ve occurred at all if it had been another make of car. After all, they can’t ALL have the gas tanks located in a place where they can easily be punctured. And it’s not like a ran over a water buffalo or something. It was a flat object that I just happened to tick with the tire and, presto, burst gas tank.
There then followed some relatively minor issues that were still a pain in the butt to have fixed (i.e. seatbelt coming unscrewed from mooring, bad battery cable, etc.) Very soon after that I went out one day, inserted the key, and it wouldn’t turn. I tried; Robert tried. The key would not turn for love or money. It was late at night and I was facing the prospect of having to call first thing in the a.m. to have it towed.
In desperation I came in and Googled the problem. Come to find out this is a known issue with Daimler-Chrysler vehicles. In nearly all cases the key can be made to function again properly by giving it a shot with your hand, a screwdriver, or the like, punching it deeper into the keyhole. I tried this and, sure enough, the key turned. Apparently for some people this is all the further the problem ever goes but for others it quits working entirely, forcing them to replace some expensive part in the steering wheel which isn’t even guaranteed not to have the same problem. So far (knock wood) my problem is limited to the occasional sticky key. I whack it and we are good to go. But still. The company knows about this issue but can’t be bothered to do anything about it. They’d rather sell you the car and let it be your problem.
So, fine, I can live with all of this, questionable business ethics aside. Then came Sunday. We tried to start the van for church. It turned over but would not catch. We noticed the gauges weren’t working. Then we got a “no bus” message in the odometer readout. We left it alone for a while. Later that afternoon Robert got it started. I took it to Walmart, where it died on me in the parking lot as I was coasting to a stop — but it started right back up again. Once again I turned to Dr. Google and read all sorts of horror stories about expensive computer problems and Dodge mechanics who’d never even seen the “no bus” message before. So I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when I stopped by the Dodge dealership yesterday and the guy in the repair shop told me it sounded like I needed a new battery. Uh, yeah, sure….that makes sense. Oh, and they couldn’t get me in till next week, either. So there I went, on my merry way, hoping my car didn’t stall out in the middle of an intersection.
When we left for Madalyn’s soccer practice last night it didn’t start on the first try but did on the second. Ditto that when we headed to school this morning. But then afternoon rolled around and I tried to leave with Eliza for her doctor’s appointment. Zero, zip, zilch. Nada. I tried for twenty minutes before throwing in the towel and calling AAA. The beast has now been towed to the local repair shop (NOT the Dodge dealership). Oh yeah, and the tow truck driver? He diagnosed it as a computer problem within five minutes, just by testing the fuses under the hood. Those are some well-trained experts down there at the Dodge dealership, let me tell you.
Now, yes, this is all going to be fixed, so what am I complaining about? Well, how about the cost, for one. New computers, I read, cost upwards of a thousand bucks. Then there’s the labor, not to mention the fact that I’m probably going to have to rent a frigging car because my husband (possessor of our second vehicle) is gone until Thursday night and then will be gone again as of Monday morning, long before, I’m sure, the van will be fixed. And then there’s the principle of the whole thing. Dodge, from what I read online, knows of this problem. Dodge Durangos suffering this problem have a history of dying as they are being driven down the highway. But Dodge will not issue a recall. Apparently they are waiting for an entire family to be killed to take this seriously. I just can’t be okay with those kinds of ethical deficiencies. Yes, all big corporations are bastards. I know that. But I’m dealing with this particular bastard and I’m not enjoying it. I see no reason to continue to do so in the future if I don’t have to. Perhaps I can find another company whose crap business practices don’t affect me quite as much.
So, if anyone from Dodge is reading and you can’t figure out why your company is going bankrupt? This would be it. Make a shitty product and people eventually catch on and quit buying. You’d think after all this time someone would’ve figured that out. In closing I have one piece of advice for my readers: buy imports.
I only wish Toyota made a conversion van.


About msmaryb

I'm a native Californian who lives in Oklahoma. I'm a full-time student, pursuing a Bachelors in Anthropology, following which I hope to attain a Masters in Archaeology. I have three kids, one husband, no pets, and a lot of friends - most of whom live inside my computer. I love to read, write, watch tv (shut up, we can't all be brain surgeons), shop, and travel. I'm trying to set foot in all 50 states before I die. I have 38, so far. I love the Beatles and Maroon 5, and if you think those two things are incongruous, well, they are. But that's me. When I love something, I love it 100%. I don't do anything halfway. I want to know everything there is to know, so I'm trying to cram as much into my brain as I can in the short amount of time I'm allotted in this dimension.

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