ABS hasn't failed; education has
I'm responding to Darrel R. Sand, the foe of antilock brakes (Letters, May 5).
ABS isn't the failure. The failure is - and has been - education.
What does ABS do?
It's not a parachute. It doesn't stop you on a dime. It gives you the opportunity to steer clear of many situations. That's it!
Mr. Sand seems bitter. I think he should take a car onto a wet and dry skid pad and relax. Have fun and learn.
Infiniti of Natick
ABS works, and he can prove it
In his May 5 letter, Darrel R. Sand talked about antilock brakes and the insurance industry's claim that ABS doesn't work. I'm not an engineer, but I test cars for General Motors, and I drive on the highways of Ohio every day.
From personal experience, I know ABS works. It prevented an accident on an icy road one cold, wet winter night. There was no accident for me to report to my insurance company. Perhaps the insurance companies are just trying to increase revenue by dropping the discounts on cars with ABS.
Yes, it is possible that the insurance industry would lie. It is also possible that some accidents don't happen because of ABS.
NVLA director pens a defense
Thomas Phillips (Letters, April 21) believes that dealers are caught in the cross fire between customers and leasing companies when it comes to charges for excess wear and tear. He believes that such charges make up for overstated residual values.
He has, unfortunately, painted the leasing industry with a rather broad brush. Overstated residuals are mostly a product of the manufacturers' captive finance companies and a few of the larger financial institutions.
Overstated residuals help reduce monthly lease payments, but they bear a risk that market conditions may not support the inflated estimates. Many of the financial institutions have done a commendable job in managing that risk. Some have not.
Several thousand independent leasing companies have refused to roll dice with residuals. By following this more conservative approach, they do their customers a favor by shielding them from the financial pitfalls that can flow from leases offering unrealistically low payments.
Phillips is right in saying that the discussion of excess wear and tear should receive greater attention. The reality is that many leases are sold on the showroom floor by the salesperson. About the last thing the salesperson wants to sell is the potential downside. Dealerships must address that issue.
Finally, Phillips asks if it would be all bad if all customers purchased their vehicles instead of leasing them. Consider this: CNW Marketing/Research concluded that if not for leasing in 1995, the industry would have sold 3.5 million fewer cars, the dealer count would have fallen 15 percent, and nearly $70 million would have been stripped from the U.S. economy.
RODNEY J. COUTS
Chrysler slapped for pulling ads
On his April 8 TV show, Larry King read a letter that said Chrysler Corp. had pulled its advertising from the April 30 'coming-out' episode of 'Ellen' because of the magnitude of the controversy.
I am a gay man, and I love America and American cars and trucks. I have risked my financial well-being and even my life (as millions of American men have done before me) to defend the freedoms that ensure that all Americans, including fundamentalist Christians, bigots and reactionaries, can speak their piece.
It is a moral shame and an American tragedy that Vice Chairman Robert Lutz and other presumably heterosexual Chrysler executives lack the true masculinity it takes to make a real stand for freedom.
The writer is a self-employed marketing consultant.