Thursday, June 18, 2009
They see me rollin'
We here a Casa de Silence have a new vehicular member. I normally wouldn't broadcast this (I mean really, who cares?) but there's a bit of drama leading up to why we need another car.
I extolled the virtues of my favorite vehicle here. I never did convince myself to give it up, even after deciding I couldn't afford to feed it anymore. After going through a particularly rough jobsite, it developed a thump in the front driver's side wheel. I took it to the dealer, who diagnosed a problem with the wheel assembly. They ordered the replacement parts and scheduled me to come back the next week for repairs. They told me that the parts and the repair were under warranty. They assured me that it was safe to drive and sent me on my merry way.
I finished up my errands and Silas and I headed home. At no time during our ride did the truck do anything different than it had been since it started the thump thing. I pulled into my driveway, got out and opened Silas' door for him. As I was helping him down from the truck, it shifted. Kind of like a manual transmission will if you don't quite have it all the way in gear when you park it. Then it creaked. Then it groaned. I'm creaking and groaning myself trying to get the boy's seatbelt unhooked and get him out of the mouth of this suddenly moving and groovin beast. I got it free and pulled him down just as the front tire fell off of the truck! Yes, yes it did. Fell right the fack off. Plop.
I stood there in utter shock and horror, staring at my now Dali-esque, twisted truck. Silas and I looked at each other, then back at the truck, then each other. I was truly at a loss for words or action. It didn't seem quite like a 911 incident, but perhaps a AAA call wouldn't be unwarranted? I pondered for a few moments. But then I came to my senses. And then I got mad. Mama Bear got up on her hind legs and roared. My child had just been in that truck. The one that not three hours ago I had been assured was safe. What if that wheel had come off while we were cruising down the interstate at 70mph? (which is the speed limit, btw) We could have wiped out an entire family if we had been thrown into oncoming traffic, not to mention ourselves.
My first call wasn't to 911 or AAA. It was to the dealer who sent me away in an unsafe vehicle. The next was to the corporate office of the automaker. The third was to my secretary. I sent him directly to the law library to start research on which jurisdiction to file the suit in. I'm not normally a litigious person (so says she who once made her living off litigious peoples), mostly because I know how loooong it can take and that no one ever wins these types of cases even if they do get a settlement because legal fees eat it all up. But wait! I have no legal fees. The benefit to representing ones self (other than having a fool for a client) is that I can wait it out as long as they can.
My decision to file suit was based on one thing the automaker told me. They decided that somewhere between my leaving the dealer and getting home several hours later that the defective part was a wear item and therefore not covered under the warranty. This is despite the documentation that I have that clearly stated otherwise. If they had fixed the truck, I probably wouldn't have sued them. (The reason I'm being very careful not to mention Henry's last name is because we're currently in litigation.)
Aaaaaannnnnnyyyywaaaaay, sheesh, what a lead in just to tell you that this is my new car: