USA Today Pans Avenger – Allows Chrysler to Explain

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

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?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Shaker Shaker on Oct 08, 2007

    Sorry, thought the sarcasm would be more evident in my post... I ride a Kawasaki Z750S; a fine running, fine handling MC; but looked upon with disdain by Harley riders. The "kinder" term these days is "rice-burner". Think of the 300/Charger and their "little brothers"; their styling thumbs their noses at the styling of imports, and are on technolgically inferior running gear -- what audience do you think they're going for?

  • GS650G GS650G on Oct 08, 2007

    I'm surprised the general population wastes money on these cars. Cry-sler should become a rental car company, like checker was to cabs, and then everyone gets to turn their cars in at the end of the week. We can put up with anything if it's only for a few days.

  • Ryan Knuckles Ryan Knuckles on Oct 08, 2007

    shaker: I noticed the tongue in cheek. My uncle just did a bunch of research before he bought a new Suzuki M109R Limited Edition. It will out-everything a Harley (unless skull-clattering noise is a desirable trait), cost $10K (US) less and still gets looked down on by H-D riders. I understand that cruisers are not meant to be fast, but H-D can't even compete. Their only competitive bike of late was the Vrod, and they sourced those motors from Porsche.

  • Shaker Shaker on Oct 08, 2007

    And the V-Rod is looked down on by "traditionalist" Harley riders - because it's quiet, sophisticated powerplant is much too "Japanese". I was contemplating renting a V-Rod once; the girl at the rental counter said "We don't get much call for them, 'cause they sound like the "Jetson's Car".