If a Florida man had read the owner's manual in his Cadillac Escalade, he would have known how the OnStar system works. If, after the OnStar button is pressed, the OnStar operator doesn't get a response, the operator assumes there's an emergency and calls police with the vehicle's location. According to press reports, the man was showing off the OnStar system to his girlfriend in St. Augustine, Fla., but the volume was so low that he couldn't hear the operator. Police arrived minutes later and saw what appeared to be cocaine on the center console. The man was arrested and charged with possession of an illegal narcotic.
Hey, thanks a lot, OnStar
DRAWN TO SUCCESS -- Ralph Gilles and Vicki Vlachakis work for rival automakers but have something in common. Gilles, of DaimlerChrysler, and Vlachakis, of General Motors, are on House & Garden magazine's list of America's Top 50 Tastemakers. That's the title House & Garden gives designers who create hot products or influence the way people live. Gilles has won awards as the designer of the Chrysler 300. Vlachakis led the team that designed the interior for the Saturn Sky. The two are cited in the April issue.
THE SALE IS OFF -- Autobytel Inc. has decided it's not for sale after all. Last week the California online marketing company said that while it has taken itself off the block, it will continue to explore possible acquisitions and partnerships. Late last year Autobytel hired Merrill Lynch & Co. to explore "strategic alternatives" after an internal accounting review, explaining that options could include a sale. Also last week, Autobytel said it will have a new CEO on March 20. James Riesenbach, a senior vice president at AOL, will take over for Rick Post, Autobytel's chief exec since last April. Post will remain on the Autobytel board.
A lot of people were peddling cars at the Geneva auto show last week. But only two were pedaling. Chrysler group CEO Tom LaSorda, left, and DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche tooled around on a bicycle built for two during the Mercedes-Benz press conference.
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