Unveiling the Government Car Warranty

posted at 9:26 am on March 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Good news, American auto owners!  If you’ve been eyeballing a Lexus or a CRV because you want to own a car whose maker will be around long enough to honor the warranty, take another look at Detroit.  Instead of handling their own warranties, Uncle Barack and his dog Spot will handle your warranty — along with a hefty new bureaucracy:

Obama will make two other announcements Monday.

One, the president will announce a new government-backed warranty program for all new GM and Chrysler vehicles purchased during this restructuring period. A fund will be set up equal to 125 percent of the total cost to pay for warranty service.  The auto makers will contribute 15 percent while the government will provide 110 percent, with the money coming from the economic stabilization funds, the gift that keeps on giving. A separate company will hold the funds and pay the claims even if one of the auto manufacturers goes into bankruptcy or out of business.

The president will also name a Director of Recovery for Auto Workers and Communities. Edward Montgomery, labor economist and former Deputy Secretary of Labor, will serve in the role, helping autoworkers, communities, and regions adversely impacted by the failure of the automakers find new jobs, businesses, and industries.

This is great news — for fans of the DMV.  Vehicle owners can expect the same kind of efficiency and expertise they receive there in handling warranty issues with their vehicles.  Instead of working with dealers on the warranties, the government will now have to get involved, which will mean extensive paperwork for every warranty claim as the Directorate of Auto Warranties will have to account for every single penny, or at least those pennies that don’t get earmarked for Auto Warranty Bike Paths by Rep. Jim Oberstar.

And let’s not forget what this will do for Detroit’s competitiveness.  Now that warranties will get funded by Uncle Sam, what do you suppose will happen to them?  They’ll get shortened, and if they become uncompetitive, it will literally take an act of Congress to get longer warranties offered by Detroit.  But that’s not what will really happen.  If the Directorate of Auto Warranties discovers that the competition offers longer and more robust warranties, the Directorate will simply get Congress to pass laws outlawing them.  After all, we can’t have a bunch of furriners undercutting Uncle Sam, can we?   Why, that would be downright unpatriotic!

Government does not belong in the business of offering auto warranties.  Two years ago, that would have been so obvious as to elicit derisive laughter for even mentioning it.  But when we get a bunch of used-car salesmen in the White House and Congress, this is the result.


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Dear GM workers:

Congratulations to you and your union on your newfound government-controlled company. It’s always good to know one’s master, so you can all probably sleep like babies tonight.

As for me — and, more importantly, pretty much every friend and family member I know — the chances of any of us purchasing a GM (or Chrysler) vehicle are less than zero.

I’m quite confident we are not an anomaly.

Have a day.

Dion

Dion on March 30, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Dion:

Thanks so much for your words of appreciation! We here at National Socialist Motors (formerly known as General Motors) are always glad to have feedback from our vast family of loyal and satisified customers!

In response to your specific suggestion for how we can improve our enormously popular product line, which was:

[the chances of any of us purchasing a GM (or Chrysler) vehicle are less than zero]

We’d just like to let you know that our partners in the Obama Administration are working hard to address your complaint, by creating an exciting new range of tarriffs and trade barriers that will eliminate all competition for our products. After all, there’s no reason our ridiculous business model and outrageous union-dictated labor costs would suddenly start turning a profit, just because we were nationalized… unless, of course, our partners in the Administration help us out in the only way they can! And I’m sure you’ll agree this is a better solution than continuing to suck hundreds of billions of dollars out of the taxpayers in bailouts to keep our unsustainable business model afloat.

So, we just wanted you to rest assured that when you’re finished with whatever you’re driving now, you won’t have any choice but to choose one of our great, environmentally-sensitive automobiles for your next car. Remember to present your current National Health Care Bio-ID and Democrat Party registration card for a 10% “America Back On Track” discount!

Sincerely,

GM Workers

Doctor Zero on March 30, 2009 at 2:21 PM

If the Government is paying for the American car warranties, GM and Chrysler have just lost all motivation for quality control. That knowledge should really encourage people to buy GM and Chrysler. Not!

Ordinary American on March 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Sheer buffoonery.

I’m never buying another GM, so this is all a wash as far as I’m concerned.

Otis B on March 30, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Forgetting for the moment the unconstitutionality and the sheer idiocy of this plan……

After re-reading the details, I have come to the conclusion that structurally, what 0bama is doing is creating a ‘Social Security’ ponzi scheme for cars.

LegendHasIt on March 30, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Cute pic of the coke-head in chief and the kids…just wonder why the secret service shaved down Chewbacca and stuffed him in that green dress.

Alden Pyle on March 30, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Cute pic of the coke-head in chief and the kids…just wonder why the secret service shaved down Chewbacca and stuffed him in that green dress.

Alden Pyle on March 30, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Ogabe must be taking his worf to flyover country where illegal (genuine) aliens don’t play…

sven10077 on March 30, 2009 at 2:55 PM

America will be completely unrecognizable after Obama and the Dems are done. The transformation is happening incredibly fast and there is no effective voice of opposition to speak of.

neuquenguy on March 30, 2009 at 2:56 PM

“Let me be clear. The United States government has no interest in running GM. We have no intention of running GM,” Obama said.

Other than firing the CEO, backing the warranty plans, and mandating what kinds of cars GM builds, we have no interest in running GM. Other than that…uhm, yeah.

Wyznowski on March 30, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Tomorrow morning GM will start ads for their new Warranty program…..the One Million Mile Warranty! Top that Toyota!

Youngs98 on March 30, 2009 at 3:04 PM

As Fiat has prospered, the value of Libya’s stock in the company has multiplied to an estimated $2.5 billion. Not surprisingly, Libya has no interest in ridding itself of what has proved to be a very good investment. Says Agnelli: “We have offered to buy, but they won’t sell.” Adds Roberto Nicolello, Fiat’s chief of public affairs: “We’re handcuffed. The Libyans are not interested in selling for one simple reason: Where can they put this money? No one will accept $1 from Gaddafi these days.”

Time magazine

seven on March 30, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Like all government run programs get in line for service.

regmgr on March 30, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Obama needs to sacrifice his limousines, big SUVs, Airforce One and helicopter entourages before he has any moral authority to make suggestions or requests of anyone.

He has no legal authority to do what he is doing. Those industries being raided by Obama need to take him to court.

Much better to go through bankruptcy court than to succumb to Obama’s quicksand deals.

These headstrong unions think that Obama is working for them. THEY ARE ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK. Obama is replacing the unions that exist with his own, loyal to Obama, not the workers.

maverick muse on March 30, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Tomorrow morning GM will start ads for their new Warranty program…..the One Million Mile Warranty! Top that Toyota!

Youngs98 on March 30, 2009 at 3:04 PM

“a million miles is as accurate a measure as the million man march was…your results may vary.”

sven10077 on March 30, 2009 at 3:08 PM

No one will accept $1 from Gaddafi these days.”–Time magazine

seven

Amplify, please.

maverick muse on March 30, 2009 at 3:09 PM

So the GM truck commercial was setting the stage: “you can’t rebuild your country on your own.”

maverick muse on March 30, 2009 at 3:10 PM

You do know that part of the ‘stimulus’ package has an $8000 cash-back allowance toward a new car purchase, don’t you?

I wonder when the fine print will be added to dictate which brand car qualifies?

cntrlfrk on March 30, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Don’t think about the DMV for warranty service (each states DMV is different. Think about the post office. I always appreciate our local post office when there is a line of customers that extend out the door, and two of three windows close — break times can not be shifted (except in private businesses)

Worse are the customers who come in and want the postal clerk wrap their packages. Arrg — Send them out the door.

Dasher on March 30, 2009 at 3:19 PM

This will be the final few nails in the coffin of the U.S. auto industry. Good job morons!

TrickyDick on March 30, 2009 at 3:26 PM

So, will all the dealerships that do warranty repairs be deemed “government contractors?” Or will the government control the individual shops that do warranty repairs? Will warranty repair facilities be forced to bid on repair contracts? And what will happen when most of the dealerships close, and there are a very limited number of places that do GM warranty repairs? Will those sites give you a Toyota loaner when you have to wait six months+ to get someone to look at your Chevy that has crapped out and won’t work any more?

shibumi on March 30, 2009 at 3:35 PM

So, will all the dealerships that do warranty repairs be deemed “government contractors?” Or will the government control the individual shops that do warranty repairs? Will warranty repair facilities be forced to bid on repair contracts? And what will happen when most of the dealerships close, and there are a very limited number of places that do GM warranty repairs? Will those sites give you a Toyota loaner when you have to wait six months+ to get someone to look at your Chevy that has crapped out and won’t work any more?

shibumi on March 30, 2009 at 3:35 PM

You can be sure they will charge “prevailing wages” i.e. union wages.

Dasher on March 30, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Sorry, but I’ll never buy an American car.

Right now I want to look through everything I own and make sure that it wasn’t built by a union.

John_Locke on March 30, 2009 at 3:45 PM

So now Obama is (de facto) going to run GM. I wonder if he even knows how to change a tire. The UAW should be happy but I doubt if anyone else is (thank you UAW). There was no other way for this to come out. The dems don’t care about GM but they have to protect their UAW votes and contributions. If Obama can do this much damage in less than three months just think what he can accomplish in four years. Ford sure dodged a bullet (at least for a while) when they didn’t take any of the government money.

duff65 on March 30, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Barry Motors, 1900 Pennsylvania Ave, just two blocks from that big skinny pointy building in beautiful downtown DC.

See ya there!

Limerick on March 30, 2009 at 11:59 AM

LOL!

Something I forgot about (as I try to put the image out of my memory) is a bunch of ads from the local Kia dealership (in Dallas) that features an Obama look-alike as a cheesy used car salesman. I guess the ads were prophetic.

JonPrichard on March 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

DEAR GAAAAAAAAAAWD<

PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ stop subjecting me to that fat assed FirstLady. Pictures of her and her spoiled little brats make me gag.

IIf its a story about The One, trust me, one SICSAC is all I can spare.

seejanemom on March 30, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Director of Recovery for Auto Workers and Communities

??? After buying Chryslers & Jeeps for the past 45 years I am through. My next car, if I can ever hope to afford one, will be a used Kia, Hundai, Toyota or Nissan. I’m not going to the Government Bank to buy from Government Motors — Ever.

CaptSteve on March 30, 2009 at 4:08 PM

will be a used Kia, Hundai, Toyota or Nissan. I’m not going to the Government Bank to buy from Government Motors — Ever.

CaptSteve on March 30, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Mind the KIAS…they are FAMOUS for being SO cheap to buy and HORRENDOUSLY EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN…..a $489 alternator, anyone?

And old Honda or Toyota will last you until The Depression is over. Yeah— THAT long.

seejanemom on March 30, 2009 at 4:18 PM

He’s naming a Director – but will he actually fill that job? Or will it just be another empty seat?

hawksruleva on March 30, 2009 at 4:23 PM

And so it begins.

skydaddy on March 30, 2009 at 4:28 PM

And old Honda or Toyota will last you until The Depression is over. Yeah— THAT long.

seejanemom on March 30, 2009 at 4:18 PM

…just not as a functioning car, but as a rustbucket.

CaptSteve on March 30, 2009 at 4:08 PM

More cars for us faithful buyers of Detroit metal. When I drop the pedal to the floor, I’m not left wanting.

sethstorm on March 30, 2009 at 4:28 PM

John_Locke on March 30, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Then get rid of your Chinese and Japanese designed stuff as well. Unions there, too.

sethstorm on March 30, 2009 at 4:29 PM

This is downright embarrassing. What about retail returns?

ronsfi on March 30, 2009 at 4:44 PM

“Let me be clear. The United States government has no interest in running GM. We have no intention of running GM,” Obama said.

Obama always says the complete opposite of reality. How long will we suffer this fool!!!

petunia on March 30, 2009 at 4:59 PM

will be a used Kia, Hundai, Toyota or Nissan. I’m not going to the Government Bank to buy from Government Motors — Ever.

CaptSteve on March 30, 2009 at 4:08 PM
Mind the KIAS…they are FAMOUS for being SO cheap to buy and HORRENDOUSLY EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN…..a $489 alternator, anyone?

And old Honda or Toyota will last you until The Depression is over. Yeah— THAT long.

seejanemom on March 30, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Did you ever think buying a GM car would be UNPATRIOTIC?

petunia on March 30, 2009 at 5:01 PM

I have to keep looking out my window to make sure I still live in the United States of America. Someone please stop me from jumping out – I can’t believe what I’m reading about this administration.

redfoxbluestate on March 30, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Yee Haw! When you’re looking for a car
Go see Barry
When you’re looking for a car
Go see Barry
When you’re looking for a car
Though you’re debt has got you buried
Go see Barry, Go See Barry!!!!

Howdy folks! It’s me Bargainin’ Barry O’bama and I got lots of inventory down here! I’m wheelin’, I’m dealin’ and I’ll get you into a brand new car whether you can afford it or not. No money to put down? No Problem! Can’t afford that thar warranty? No problem!

And if you buy at our Super Sunday Sales Event I’ll throw in a mortgage principle reduction! We’ve partnered with BBofA (Barack’s Bank of America) to get you a deal by covering the cost with money from your neighbor! Ya know cuz we know you need it more!

Not only that, but if you upgrade the purchase of your new GM car with GS-GPS Everywhere Tracking System (Gov’t Spy-Global Positioning System) so you can find the nearest juice bar (and I can track your every move) I’ll throw in healthcare coverage for you and the whole family! FREE! That’s right it covers you, your spouse, your children, their cousins, your aunt, your uncle and even your dog (cuz pets are human too)! ALL FREE ALL THE TIME!! And the best part is you don’t even have to be an American citizen!

And, if you can’t make on Super Sunday, I’ll be having another Summer Sales Bonanza with all this AND I’ll eliminate your credit card debt and student loans!! FREE!! Cuz I know there’s a bunch of y’all that are in too deep and how can you buy one of my cars if your debt is too BIG. Ole Bargainin’ Barry is gonna take care of you!

So I’ll see you Soon! and don’t forget Vote Democrat(socialist)! The FREE Party! Ya know cuz America is the land of the FREE, it’s all Free all the time!!! FREE FREE FREE!!! Say it with me FREE FREE FREE!!! Aint Freedom Grand??!!

This advertisement, car sales incentives, principle reductions and healthcare paid for by responsible American citizens with jobs living reasonably within their means.

timajin on March 30, 2009 at 5:29 PM

there seem to be some people who think they will never buy a GM car again. Ha. I think this version of the Stim bill already has $$ for 600,000 cars (as a recall), so you will be buying a GM car soon. Sorry.

r keller on March 30, 2009 at 5:33 PM

guy : Hi, I have a 2010 congressional sedan with a obama ” bumper to bumper warranty “.

My transmission is slipping and its only 5…ring….

government agent : excuse me,…

dmv, medicalcenter, car company and daycare, how can i help you?

OK?

You have an appointment for your yearly check up 13 months from tomorrow, bye.

Im afraid thats an obama ” bumper or bumper warranty “, sorry…

Seriously, comedians say they dont have material for this fool?

This guy is comedy gold.

On another note, cant say I remember a president guaranteeing cars…

WOW!!!

Sonosam on March 30, 2009 at 5:45 PM

How long before we have a ” peoples transporter ” or

” workers transporter ”

This has been a funny day

Sonosam on March 30, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Hey, you know, I could have bought a Japanese car but the tariffs were 500%

Besides, you get this free tire guage…

Sonosam on March 30, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Sorry, but I’ll never buy an American car.

Right now I want to look through everything I own and make sure that it wasn’t built by a union.

John_Locke on March 30, 2009

Yep. Buy used or buy foreign.
Listen,,, I have to ask,,, where are the men??? You know? Men??
Do these CEO’s and other workers have no other choice but to lay down and just hand over their corporations to Obama???
I would think some of them might want to take out some adds in the paper,, maybe make a commercial or two,, refuse to cooperate with the Nazis!
Never in my freaking wildest dreams would I have thought I would ever live to see the freaking government just take over something like GM!! Just take it over!! And none of these CEO’s have the guts to put up a little fight??? None of them???
Everyone is just going to give the man child Obama whatever he wants???? What is next???
The freaking stinking congress is in the process of creating a national security force complete with uniforms and possible mandated service!!!! They are seizing private businesses,, taking over everything they think they can take over,, pushing our nation into historical new debts,,
this is insane!!! Absolutely freaking insane!!!

JellyToast on March 30, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Besides, you get this free tire guage…

Sonosam on March 30, 2009 at 5:56 PM

And it’s going to be made of pressed hemp and tofu!!

Ann NY on March 30, 2009 at 7:30 PM

While America burns MSM continues its hard edge, provocative news:

Ex-GM CEO Blames Bush
Fashion World Goes GaGa over Michelle Obama
Dodd Blames Bush for Bonus Wording Put into Stimulus
Barack Hits a Homer in his Late Night Interview
Pelosi/Reid Blame Bush for Flooding in Minnesota Say More Should have been done to stop global warming

And UN scientists and humanitarians have definitively discovered the cause of all ills in the world are Bush’s fault, even the ones that were there before he was President, cuz it pre-de-ordained…or something.

timajin on March 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM

there seem to be some people who think they will never buy a GM car again. Ha. I think this version of the Stim bill already has $$ for 600,000 cars (as a recall), so you will be buying a GM car soon. Sorry.

r keller on March 30, 2009 at 5:33 PM

I haven’t watched a baseball game since Pete Rose was barred for life from the Hall of Fame.

I haven’t watched CNN since they aired the sniper killing an American solider in the turret of his HMMVV.

So, though I can’t speak for the other people on this blog, I can guarantee I will never buy another GM product. My principals are worth a little more than the money The One is going to offer.

Regards

SPIFF1669 on March 30, 2009 at 7:58 PM

cool, now I can get my oil changed at the same place I get my cardio gram.

Alden Pyle on March 30, 2009 at 8:34 PM

Obama is turning this country into a utopia.

Wait… I meant dystopia. I knew it was one of those opias.

Daggett on March 30, 2009 at 9:44 PM

For months I’ve heard bloggers, pundits and message board types put forward the idea that bankruptcy is the best course for GM.
Dreadnought on March 30, 2009 at 12:59 PM

I don’t know, nor much care, but it would have been the best course for America,

MB4 on March 30, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Be careful what you wish for…..

Coincidentally I’ve noticed that most of these same people have an amazingly visceral hatred of GM (for reasons I don’t always understand)

Dreadnought on March 30, 2009 at 12:59 PM

You never had my 68 Camero, the super lemon from the deepest pits of Hell.

MB4 on March 30, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Yeah and my Uncle’s 1970 2 cylinder Honda (one of the first sold in the USA) used to fry its valves at 5,000 mile intervals. So I guess no one should buy a Honda either. Is either one of those experiences really relevant today?

I notice a lot of people are assuming that the government is going to take over warranty service on GM vehicles tomorrow-in fact the whole thing only kicks in if the company goes under.

Look I don’t think it’s a great idea either, but I haven’t seen any better ideas come from anyone on this board or elsewhere-other than the rather nihilistic idea of flushing GM down the toilet-which is going to leave the US government legally liable for BILLIONS of dollars of pensions that will have to be paid for through the PBGC – which means everybody’s premiums will go up. A further drag on the economy, and guess who effectively pays for that? There ain’t no free lunch either way.

If GM goes down the effects ripple through the economy-for example, dealerships go under that presently pay a large chunk of many localities sales taxes, taxes that pay for police, fire protection, roads, etc. etc. Yes, eventually other dealerships expand or open to supply vehicles to the public, but that takes time and in the meantime you have a financial crisis in many municipalities.

If you want something to complain about, I would suggest a better target would be the “Cash for Clunkers” legislation proposed by Chuckie Schumer. The idea here is to give people cash vouchers to turn in their old “gas guzzling” vehicles in order to buy new, more fuel efficient cars.

Of course, if you already own a more fuel efficient car you get nothing. Furthermore, this subsidy will act on the market to raise prices on those more fuel efficient cars, making them more expensive for the rest of us. So, like with the mortgage bailout, irresponsible behavior gets rewarded at the expense of those who acted more responsibly.

Dreadnought on March 30, 2009 at 9:58 PM

Cute pic of the coke-head in chief and the kids…just wonder why the secret service shaved down Chewbacca and stuffed him in that green dress.

Alden Pyle on March 30, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Now that’s a nasty image! But look at those biceps…

2ipa on March 30, 2009 at 11:20 PM

I’m hanging on to my four year old Toyota Highlander for dear life. God forbid I need to buy a new car anytime soon. Our country is going down the toilet so rapidly it’s difficult to believe it’s really happening.

UnEasyRider on March 31, 2009 at 12:26 AM

Alden Pyle that Chewbacca remark is the best thing I’ve seen in here in a while. Thanks for the laugh.

UnEasyRider on March 31, 2009 at 12:27 AM

Remember that 110% cost only gets you repairs ‘close enough for government work’.

I used to work for one of the most efficient parts of the federal government and we only had 35% non-productive rate for work, or a 65% efficiency if you go by industrial amounts. Standard industrial efficiency for that sort of labor was 80%. Got to dig into those numbers back in the late ’90s with the TQM/right sizing/re-engineering fads sweeping through the landscape one right after another and was on multiple groups/councils/boards trying to figure out just what to do with new ‘labor efficient’ technology.

Because we were also moving to Commercial Off-The Shelf (COTS) based contracting and towards ‘best value’ instead of ‘lowest cost’ pricing, we could justify better value for a higher cost if more was obtained in areas pertinent to the work being done. The real shocker is that even as this was rolling through the government kept the same work length requirements per job, so that no matter how much efficiency you could pack in at the front end in better processing techniques, it was lost to back-end management.

Yes 65% efficiency was the best government could do at the federal level. Average was 55%. Lowest sat in HHS and a few other nether realms at 35%-45%, and they were far behind on getting the efficiency calculations done years after the mandate had been put in place… so you couldn’t trust the numbers.

Your local DMV is likely to be splendid compared to that.

You should be so lucky that you will get DMV level attention and service.

Anyone who tries to tell you that government will do a job even passably well compared to private sector standards clearly has not served inside the federal government and looked at performance standards. That 15% efficiency delta is a huge difference in terms of cost and work hours… and that will be if you are lucky. And it will still only be ‘good enough for government work’, which means rework… more time lost… more hassle… its amazing that a mere 10% of items needing rework can bog down an entire system’s jobs no end and it is usually prioritized to the end of the line meaning ‘new work’ comes first as it pays. Even putting in harsh deductions and penalties doesn’t change that and some contractors were more than willing to eat losses on that fraction so long as they had steady payment from new work coming in.

Take a look at the Federal Acquisition Regulations on what you have to go through for something like this.

I dare you.

I double dare you.

And if you want to learn it prepare to spend a year or two and then get the monthly updates to the FAR. You need to learn those, too.

ajacksonian on March 31, 2009 at 7:21 AM

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