Welcome to Tinfoil Time. A public service for paranoids and their enemies. When the NHTSA went after Toyota for their runaway cars, some people (me, included) saw this as a transparent attempt to undermine Toyota in order to make GM and Chrysler (A.K.A new arms of the US government) more attractive both in terms of purchasing their products and the IPO’s. But now that the circus is leaving town, is the NHTSA looking for a new victim? Whilst searching the net, I saw (part of) an article (sub) which mentions how Ford’s North American market share is on the rise. Sure, Toyota’s market share in the U.S. dropped by 1.5 percent compared to September 2009. But GM did not pick up those sales. They lost 2.8 percent. The winners were Ford (+ 1.4 percent), and Chrysler (+2.1 percent).I also remember a poll that was taken which claimed that how 54 percent of people were less likely to buy a GM car because of their bailout. Rising sales at Ford and bad will towards GM? I’ve seen this scenario before! The next stage is now the NHTSA will tell us to stop driving our Fords. Trouble is, Ford doesn’t have any recalls of recent. So what can the NHTSA do? You recycle a recall.
The Detroit News reports that the NHTSA is urging owners of Fords to have their vehicle checked out over the infamous cruise control fire hazard. The NHTSA claims that only 40 percent of the 14 million+ vehicles which were affected, have come in for service. The industry standard is 70 percent after 18 months. “It appears that there are still far too many people who have ignored the company’s notification to bring their vehicles in for the free repair,” NHTSA administrator David Strickland said, “We’re urging owners of these previously recalled Ford vehicles to take them in to their Ford dealers for this vital repair if they haven’t already done so.” Ford was nothing but supportive. “We support NHTSA in this effort and have communicated extensively with customers in an effort to encourage higher repair rates,” said Wes Sherwood, Ford spokesperson, “We have notified all owners multiple times and continue to notify affected customers of the recall.”
I just find the timing of this “reminder” slightly suspect. This recall has been going on for significantly longer than 18 months. Why is the NHTSA only now reminding people? Why wasn’t Ford in the crosshairs of the NHTSA back when, when the dubious complaint database contained pretty much the same amount of unsubstantiated sudden acceleration allegations against Ford? Is this just a surreptitious way of containing Ford so they don’t get so big they encroach on GM? Yes, I know this is Tinfoil Hat territory, but this just runs too close to the Toyota scenario. Bertel, you got any lithium? My head is aching…. [ED: Sorry, no can do. The Japanese cornered the market. They’ll probably trade it for rare earth …]