Drive = Love?
Perhaps not.

NOTICE: This is a PARODY of a letter my mother wrote to Chrysler Corporation. It is not real and has not actually been sent to them. I found the original letter on my file server and decided to have some fun with it. And as if that were not enough of a disclaimer, this does contain factual errors and many, many exaggerations of fact or downright impossibilities.

The bits about the "Yugo" car are totally fictional. I've only ever seen one of these things, have no idea what features they may have had and just needed a reference to an obvious piece of junk car for reference purposes.

And to be honest, I don't hate Chrysler products. I think their K-Cars and Dodge trucks prior to the exaggerated and goofy looking front end were pretty decent pieces of equipment. I also know many people who have Chrysler minivans and they have been completely happy. But ours has not exactly held together like it should.... and so begins the story...

To Whom It May Concern:


This is the first letter that I have ever written like this and I wish to be impolite. To be brief, I believe that I have purchased a "lemon" automobile and to say the least I am disappointed. That's kind of like saying the ocean is wet though.

In September of 2000 I purchased a Chrysler Grand Voyager-brand new. It currently has 42,000 miles on it. I had not had a new car for 15 years. I did my homework and tried to shop wisely before purchasing.

My first problem with this incredibly finely engineered pile of crap was with the sliding door. It wouldn't shut correctly. As if that weren't bad enough, the stinkin' door also had to LEAK. That's right….leak….as in get the whole frigging carpet absolutely sopping wet. With the weather we have around here it was only a matter of time before the wet carpet sat in the sun--in an enclosed vehicle. Naturally it got to stinkin' worse than my hog barn does. So under your excellent new vehicle warranty I had this problem addressed. Sorry to say I can only say "addressed". It took two trips when all was said and done to get the vehicle properly fixed. Of course, after so much water had entered the vehicle the carpeting was absolutely ruined. It had to be replaced, which was OK with me. But why is it that STILL the door will not shut correctly?? I swear--I could shut that door with an earthquake's force and it still wouldn't latch correctly. And while we're on the subject of things that don't shut correctly, why don't I bring up the rear hatch? Now this has been a real fine example in engineering history. It won't shut properly and the "ajar" light will come on even if you shut the door using a bulldozer's force. The trunk brake light cover falls off all the time. Naturally this compromises the appearance of my new carpet by making the interior simply look like crap. Martha Stewart wouldn't take this and I don't plan to either.

Now it isn't like anyone would steal this piece of junk, but you just never really know what kind of loonies are out there today. That's why I have tried to have the rear sliding door lock fixed. It cannot be unlocked from the outside…never mind that it was in the shop TWICE for that. Of course, if this thing does somehow end up stolen, I'll have to drive my 15-year-old Yugo…and by compare it's a luxury automobile. Well, maybe not a luxury automobile, but at least it has dry carpet, wipers, brakes and a complete interior that stays together. Oh, and did I mention that its doors stay shut and can be locked or unlocked from outside?

Also worth noting is the replacement of the brake master cylinder at 10,000 miles or so. It was leaking! Can you believe that? I sure can't. I've driven vehicles that barely had the wheels left to stop with but they did…and most of them didn't leak one little drop of brake fluid.

Last winter I had the misfortune of being forced to use your "van" on the Interstate. I only had the guts to drive 65, fearing that more speed might result in the engine falling out or perhaps loss of an entire axle. But that's life--my Yugo needed a battery and I had to get out and buy one somehow so I wasn't risking life and limb driving this damn van more than I absolutely had to. (You might ask why I didn't jump start the Yugo from your van, and to that I say I didn't want cross-contamination to ruin my fine Yugo automobile.) Anyway, a windshield wiper blade actually twisted off and blew away. Thank the Lord above it was the passenger's side…had it been on the drivers side I probably would have had an accident.

Actually--maybe that's only a mixed blessing. Had I clobbered some large immovable interstate object the front end alignment might have stayed correct or maybe even better yet--I could have been rid of the van for sure and gotten paid for it!

Another little problem has been with front end alignment. Due to reasons already outlined I seldom leave town with this vehicle and I sure don't "pole vault" stationary objects with the front axle. That's why I can't understand how I have been through two sets of front tires already. I will make mention of the superior quality of my beloved Yugo once again. I routinely go off-roading and from time to time I am a curb-vaulter with the occasional tendency to rearrange other larger objects in landscapes I drive by--usually because I was driving without my glasses. But I wouldn't dare do any of that in your vehicle for fear losing a major part of the body, engine or frame.

The two sliding doors which have already been noted not to shut correctly or at all also have (had?) rubber bumpers with which to make them a little quieter I presume. However, both of these have been replaced and fallen off-twice. I'm getting a little bored with the whole vehicle making violent crashing sounds when the doors are shut.

The rubber gasket around my driver's side door has come and gone only to be replaced. Thank goodness it is holding. It must be one of the few things on the vehicle to actually remain in working order after it has been fixed.

Now the warranty has expired and I suppose I'm really screwed anyway, but I'm writing this letter to voice my general displeasure with having bought a Chrysler product. I'm also going to mail you-truck freight collect-about 1,000 K-cars in order to make sure my message gets through.

To be fair, I must admit that since the warranty has run out, there have been very few problems. But you aren't off the hook for those either. My engine has a noisy lifter and the transmission seems to have a chronic desire for bloodletting all over my driveway. Geeze, people…my beloved Yugo could show you a thing or two once again. It's got noise in all the lifters and a whole lot more…which is good, because when you get to moving down the road, you really don't notice the engine over the dragging muffler and spare tire. It just runs. However, it would appear you have Yugo beat in transmissions. I don't have 2 of the 5 speeds in my Yugo any more, perhaps because it's a manual but I drive it like an automatic. (I didn't even know it had a clutch until someone told me…I thought there were two emergency brakes just in case you had a really bad day at some point…)

Well, no…I guess you don't have Yugo beat there either. Drat. Just when I was hoping I could find a reason to recommend a Chrapsler over my Yugo. You see, the van's transmission loves to leak out its insides on the ground. Kind of nasty…all that red glop all over the driveway. When all that runs out…that van doesn't even move!

Guess I'd better quit this letter and just let whomever happens to be reading this that I'm really disappointed in my purchase decision. It will be the last one that's a Chrysler--that is for darn sure.