Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Class Action

I had a cute little Jetta awhile back.  I loved it.  It was like I never had to go to the gas station.  It had electrical issues, sure, but nothing more than your usual VW.  Considering all the abuse I put it through, I'd say it held up just fine.

The one complaint I had at the time was the clearance level, or lack thereof.  The oil pan met quite a few speed bumps throughout our time together.  I soon learned which ones I needed to slow down for and which ones to conquer at an angle.  The only other time I had a problem with it was catching the front bumper on stuff when I parked it.

I bring this up because a letter came in the mail yesterday that brought back memories of my Jetta days.  It was a notice of a class action settlement VW was made with Jetta owners.  Enough people complained about catching the front bumper that VW agreed it was their problem and was paying for repairs from such incidents.

No, I didn't join in.  But I did laugh.

I've always had SUVs of some sort since I started driving.  There is a big difference between maneuvering a car and an SUV.  At least there is for me.  It grew to be a bit of a joke, me learning to adjust to the car's capacity to handle obstacles in the road.  My favorite (because it happened too often) was parking without catching the front fascia.  I usually just grumbled about it when it would happen, but there was this one time...

I was grounded from Pier1 imports.  It was well deserved.  But I decided to sneak by there one afternoon when I got out a little early.  I didn't buy anything.  It was a mean tease.  With a mental note to come back on payday, I left.

There was an older woman parking beside me in a landboat of a car.  I waited awhile for her to get situated before I tried to back out of my space.  When she gave up, got out of her car, and stepped up on the sidewalk, I put the Jetta in reverse.  I knew I parked too far forward, but I thought I corrected that well enough.  Then came a disturbing crunch and snap.  I heard it more than felt it.  I knew what it was before seeing it, so I put the car back in park and got out to check the damage.

I did a good number on it this time.  Instead of the usual bowing from tugging too much on the fascia, I pulled it clean off on the passenger side.  It was still stuck on the parking divider.  I had to coax that loose before having to back up more to try to reassemble the front end of my car.

It took me longer than I'd like to admit to recover from my poor parking job.  Well embarrassed, I kept my head down and worked as quietly and quickly as the maimed bumper would allow.  All the while, the lady whom I inwardly criticized while waiting for her to park stood behind me on the sidewalk and jabbed a wobbly finger at my car, declaring loud enough for the entire parking area to hear, "Lady!  Hey Lady!  Your bumper!"  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  She seemed more upset about it than I was.  I ended up wedging the bumper back in place and leaving with her still standing there drop-jawed.

When I got home, I figured I'd have to work a little more on the bumper to get it fixed.  I didn't mention it to the hubby, at first.  But after admitting defeat, I went in and asked for help.  He looked it over and messed with it for awhile before deciding it needed professional help.  Thank goodness his dad works in auto body repair.  He put it back together in no time at all, and it looked even better than it originally did when I bought it.

The best part was having to admit what happened.  And I ended up having to explain myself to both the hubby and the father-in-law.  Neither were surprised or frustrated about it, but laughed because they both had warned me about catching the front fascia on parking dividers, and mentioned my addiction to Pier1.  They haven't let me forget down to this day.  I'd like to say it wasn't a problem again, but I'd be lying.  Thus, when the letter came yesterday, and Colt opened it, he was sure to pass it on to me.  I tried to ignore it, so Colt took the time to read it out loud to me.  Thanks, Dear.

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