Thursday, August 16, 2007

Important Enough To Tell The World

To me, most vanity license plates are just about the silliest and most self-absorbed thing you waste their money on. Oh sure, there are some clever and cute ones. A newlywed friend of my little brother has one that says TEACH4U (Mitsubishi Eclipse). She’s yet to find a job, but her exuberance is adorable.

Then there’s the minivan that says BILLPAYR. Ironically, they now have one extra bill to pay with the personalized plate. HAVEFUN or SUNGODSS on a convertible makes me smile (and my wife jealous for a drop-top). My favorite one donned STOP EPA on a rebuilt 1978 F-150 in response to Ohio’s mandatory emissions check (he had to write his congressman and present the letter to the BMV for that one.)

But it really annoys me when a vanity plate redundantly brags about the car.

MYPRSCHE from the movie “Office Space” epitomizes this redundancy quite well. If you drive a car, we already know the model and probably that it’s yours (even if your daddy bought it for you). LEXUS and S CLASS (Mercedes) are some of the least original. And it’s hard to go a day without seeing PONYGT or MSTNG on a … well, you know what. Why don’t you ever see FOCUS or TAURUS on other Fords? (Side note: What genius named the Aspire? Does it aspire to be a better car?)

So now it’s your turn to let me have it. How many out there have TRFGURU, GRNSPEED or TURFGUY? What are the coolest or lamest vanity plates that you see around town? I bet each state has a HOT2TROT and an ALLTHAT with a bag of chips magnet on the bumper.

— David Frabotta

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Chrysler Steps Up Warranty

With so many car manufacturers claiming to be the industry leader in something, Chrysler is trying to shed its dubious distinction of recall leader (2006) by offering a lifetime powertrain warranty.

Chrysler has had a tumultuous few years. It overhauled most of its products following the buyout by Daimler-Benz, and now a new owner appears to be restoring drivers’ confidence with the industry’s first lifetime powertrain guarantee.

The warranty covers all parts and labor as long as the owner brings the car to a Chrysler dealer at least once every five years for a free powertrain inspection. Another caveat is that the new warranty applies to the original owner and is not transferable. If the car is sold within the first three years, the warranty reverts to the previous three-year/36,000 mile coverage for subsequent owners.

Will this automotive milestone coax other car companies to follow suit? Will you be more likely to buy a Chrysler because of the new guarantee?

— David Frabotta