Now officially an octogenarian, Bob Lutz is still in the media mainstream. The former General Motors product honcho has become a blogger on forbes.com, and his first missive was a pugnacious defense of the Chevrolet Volt and a whack at Fox News.
He was responding to broadsides from right-leaning commentators who have closely followed, and reveled in, the Volt's setbacks, including the federal investigation into whether the car's battery pack poses a fire risk. (It doesn't, the investigation concluded.)
"The Chevrolet Volt is again cast in its familiar role as the poster child of President Obama's socialist meddling in the free automotive market," wrote Lutz acerbically.
The latest attacks from what Lutz called "the rabid, sadly misinformed right" stemmed from the announcement that five weeks of Volt production was canceled to balance inventories.
"This is pretty much what I said would happen in the aftermath of deliberately misinterpreted NHTSA crash test results and the attendant right-wing furor over this four-wheeled menace to all we hold dear in America: U.S. jobs are in jeopardy because major portions of the American public believe, as Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly claimed, that they 'catch fire.' "
Lutz called O'Reilly "imperious, self-glorifying" and took issue with his claim that "several have caught fire."
"No Volt in service has ever shown as much as a wisp of smoke," he wrote. "Not in normal service, and not in crashes. The three Volt battery fires all occurred under extremely destructive experimental conditions. Two of the fires were induced in batteries not mounted in cars."
Is Bob Lutz, famed right-winger, now a lefty?
"Those who know me will vouch for my credentials as a conservative and vocal global warming skeptic. I spent 11 years as a Marine attack aviator trained and ready to take out communists during the Cold War."
But, he said, "the loony right has its jaws sunk into the Volt with all the stupid determination of a terrier who has locked his teeth into the mailman's butt. And with the same result: painful, but without any useful purpose."