If a jobbing journo discovers a glaring deficiency on a pre-production test car, they usually ask the automaker if they're gonna sort this shit out (I'm paraphrasing), mention the PR person's solemn oath and move on. If the car's been on the showroom floor for, oh, eight months, like, say, the Dodge Avenger, it's time for the excuses to stop– unless you're James Healey of USA Today. In that case, you let Chrysler answer each and every complaint. Healey: "Suspension: Lots of clunk-thunk and rumble delivered directly from the road outside to your ears inside as well as rippling through your hands on the steering wheel." Chrysler" "Shock absorber bushings were changed beginning with Sept. 27 production. Shock and strut tuning is to be changed beginning with Oct. 15 production. Dealers will perform the upgrades free for any customer whose vehicle has the suspension issues." Healey: "The four-speed automatic… shuddered, shook and stuttered trying to change gears, up or down, under light and moderate throttle." Chrysler: "The problem was fixed beginning with July production…. Dealers should update vehicles free for customers who complain." I'm not sure who should be more embarrassed by this "He said, they promised" exchange. And is that the sound of ripping paper I hear from disgruntled customers heading for their local dealer with clip in hand?
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