A local look at the bailout | AspenTimes.com

A local look at the bailout

Dear Editor:

Contemplating the proposed bailout of the auto industry, I can only think of my recent experience with one of the “Big Three.” About three weeks ago I had a small fire in my engine compartment due to some rodent making a nest. Fortunately, a good Samaritan spotted the smoke, pulled us over, and got a fire extinguisher quickly to the problem. The rapid and professional response by the Aspen Fire Department got us back on the road after an evaluation that the car was still operable ” with the

suggestion that we have it looked at by professionals sooner than later.

The next day we took it to the dealer in Glenwood. They said they could not get to it for several days. Fine, we dropped it off, rented a car, returned home to await their prognosis. Two days later, they called to say the damage was such that the whole electrical harness needed to be replaced at a cost of $3,000. The following week I called to inquire about the progress. After repeated attempts to contact someone, I finally got through to find that Ford had sent the wrong part. The next excuse was that they no longer made that part, that a custom part would have to be constructed.

Without all the painful interim details, two weeks after their initial diagnosis the manager indicated that his mechanics were too “green” to handle this type of problem. My frustration and anger was furthered heightened when I took a friend along to pick up the car and we were thrown out of the manager’s office when we asked for a simple explanation for why it had taken this long to basically do nothing.

I was able to find an independent who specialized in auto electrics who agreed to take on the problem. He was refreshingly professional, communicating with me as promised and as needed. He replaced the damaged wires, needing the vehicle for a little over 24 hours from the time I dropped it off. The final bill for his services and parts ” $207. Needless to say I do not have a warm and fuzzy feeling about the dealership; in fact, I question whether I really needed the $3,000 transmission they replaced earlier this summer. Perhaps some of this “culture” explains why their other dealership is shuttering this month.

I feel for the many individuals who may be effected by forced restructuring should the government not provide funding. But, the failings of management should not be rewarded as it seems to be endemic all the way to the local level.

Aggie Skirball


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