Execution by a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan?

2014 dodge grand caravan death trap part 1 web

I may not be Charlie Hebdo, but I do understand where they are coming from and the appeal of the medium. It is amazing the original pieces that one can create in very little time. I quite like this little diversion into the world of satirical comics, and in fact I have 8 more concepts on tap based on Dodge/Chrysler alone. Creativity is a wonderful thing, and being a creative person I don’t tend to have the same social limits.

(Remember “Chrysler” when I told you the more I post the higher up my links go in search engines? Remember? Yeah  sweeties, here we go, hold on for the ride…….oh forgive me, yes we are talking Chrysler…..ahem….that would mean a working vehicle…my bad!)

What’s coming up next??????? Perhaps some performance art…in a public place….or perhaps in front of a Dodge/Chrysler dealership (on “public” land of course). I am going to take this experience and RUN with it……….FLY with it…..because they asked for it, they got it.……ummm…..crap….that was Toyota……flipping heck, if I’d bought one of those I wouldn’t HAVE a deathtrap of a vehicle.

Anyways, back with a new cartoon soon. I now have to go post this on my son’s Facebook page……did you know teenagers have a TON of followers…..who tell a TON of followers? Who’d have known. Networking, networking, networking….makes the world go round!

For fun grab a BIG cup of coffee and check out the links bellow that tell the whole story about our DODGE PROBLEMS with the 2014 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN. It’s a heck of a read.

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/we-need-to-replicate-the-problem-dont-buy-dodge-it-will-potentially-kill-you/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/why-i-blog-issues-plus-a-letter-to-transport-canada-regarding-dodge-safety/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/dodge-less-in-red-deer/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/dodge-intends-to-release-unsafe-vehicle-onto-road/

 

(and now I will sit back and watch my stats!)

XOXOXOXO

 

Cartoon by Debra Hunter (yep, that’s me!)

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Dodge Intends To “RELEASE” UNSAFE Vehicle Onto Road

blog van

Dodge intends to “release” unsafe vehicle onto road as they are incapable of diagnosing problems.

Yes indeed, we got that from the horses mouth today….from “CARE” service rep W.. Yes, that is Chrysler’s intention we were told. If they can’t “replicate the problem”  their protocol is just to send a faulty vehicle out on to the road.

Doesn’t matter that the vehicle lost power. Or that the MIL light went on. Or that the dashboard flashed. Company policy is if they “can’t replicate the problem” (or choose not to….it is pretty easy to not look in the right places), lets indicate, “with no disrespect”  (to quote W.) that the customer is a LIAR…..and ship the faulty vehicle back out on the road.

If you like to have indications made that you are LYING and if you want to buy a FAULTY vehicle…..buy Dodge Chrysler…they will give you all the problems you can possibly imagine and be left WALKING after paying out tons of cash.

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Why keep blogging this? Good question. See, here’s the thing, if I keep blogging about this it raises the issue of Chrysler safety concerns in internet searches. The Chrysler rep. says that the internet is just full of garbage. Doesn’t matter does it Wxxxxxxx? Every little piece of information affects a person’s purchase. The seed of doubt is all it takes to shift a sale away from Dodge. As I always say, eventually it doesn’t come down to what “I get”……..it comes down to what “I can take out of their (Chrysler’s) pocket”. And take I will, just because I can. You see I am going to get something out of this situation. A smart person never leaves their opponent with nothing to lose, but that is where Chrysler has left us….with nothing to lose. But I have something to gain, I can gain by spreading the word EVERYWHERE as to how PATHETIC both their vehicles and SERVICE are. And spread I will, and enjoy it, for years, with a smile on my face and tales to tell. Such tales………soon to become urban myth…..I’m a creative person you know. Creative tales…..ahhhh.

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Now speaking of the sales rep, Ford drivers are going to love this. We were talking about how streaming on my husband’s Ford 150 works and on the Dodge product it doesn’t. The rep tried to, in this light, say that the Ford’s aren’t as good a vehicle as the Dodge. Huh? Case and point, one works and the other doesn’t, yet he can’t even see that. By the way Wxxxxxx (Chrysler rep.), the Ford F150 is THE top seller ….so ummm…..yeah I think it “works” (we wish that a three row version of this truck existed; that we would buy!)

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Of course this same rep told me Chrysler has “endless resources” if they found a fault and there had to be a recall. “Endless resources”. Line up people…..Chrysler has a money tree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Credible rep? Not.

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By the way the Chrysler rep admitted to us on the phone that he DOESN’T DRIVE A CHRYSLER. Yep….that shows faith in the company. That says everything you ever need to know about how safe or reliable a Chrysler product is….Chrysler’s  own customer service rep REFUSES TO DRIVE A CHRYSLER!!!!!!! Yet he thinks we should just put this defective Chrysler back on the road, put an unsafe vehicle back on the road………what does he care…..he doesn’t even drive a Chrysler. If anything ever told the story, this is it.

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My mini van is a crappy hunk of metal, I get that, Chrysler gets that, after all if it wasn’t a crappy hunk of metal they’d have fixed it by now. It, the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan,  is such a crappy hunk of metal that they are INCAPABLE of fixing it. Chrysler can’t fix it. They are incapable.

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The internet is actually a powerful thing, and I think big corp., like Chrysler need to wake up to modern times and realize the impact. I actually ran some numbers based on a “mom’s internet board” I frequent on occasion. Check this out:
– if one was to post about our min-van problem (which I did)
– take the number of members
– divide by a guestimate of what percentage read posts on a given day
– then times word of mouth by the number of moms they chat to during a soccer game
The total number of people reached is 2.8 million.

Yep. In posting in just ONE place….and I never do that……and I never stop……I just keep trolling the internet looking for vaguely linked topics…..travel, families, home, vehicles…….you can fit it in anywhere….and you can do it for months or years …..and it is no problem at all as it is just copying and pasting a file name…….last night it was CNN….so easy….so quick……so important.

…..and then I sit back, watch my stats, and know it has worked.

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It’s interesting, Dodge/Chrysler won’t even tell me where my vehicle was manufactured. There must be so many problems with the line of vehicles that they are even afraid to release that information. I wonder what the plant workers could tell me? I wonder what the union could tell me? I wonder if there are stories of cost cutting measures and defective parts and safety issues? Perhaps it is time to dig. Perhaps I will.

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Previous blogs about this never ending issue:

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/we-need-to-replicate-the-problem-dont-buy-dodge-it-will-potentially-kill-you/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/why-i-blog-issues-plus-a-letter-to-transport-canada-regarding-dodge-safety/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/dodge-less-in-red-deer/

 

Below are emails, feel free to read or not. I like to put things out in the public so that when they say an email “didn’t exist” there it is in all it’s shining glory.

Be back tomorrow with more 2014 Dodge Caravan PROBLEMS posts!!!!!!

PS. My husband stood up and announced to all the parents and teachers at the school this afternoon not to buy a Dodge and explained the disrespect we have encountered!!! Yes he gathered them around and told the tale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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So just to let you inside of this lovely episode, here are some emails:

This one is to Chrysler today:

Please forward this to Wxxxxx’.s superior.

This situation is impossible and Wxxxxxxx has indicated through the phone call this afternoon that Chrysler has every intention, that at some point in time, of just releasing an unsafe vehicle as they “cannot duplicate the problem” and having our family die in an accident when it loses power again.

Wxxxxx has chosen from the first discussion regarding power loss that they were not going to find a problem. We phone trying to get the faults taken care of, he responds with “we aren’t in the business of buying cars back”. All we want is our car to work. We of course will be notifying Transport Canada as to their intent. This is a tactic to keep faulty vehicles on the road.

He gets offended when we refer to the car as a lemon….but it has had EIGHT defects in five months.

Wxxxxx has through tone indicated that I am a liar because they “can’t replicate the problem”. The problem happened, but the car is so faulty it’s computer doesn’t even show the problem.

Wxxxxxxx has used every tactic in the training course designed for “difficult customers”. He will not give us a straight answer on anything.

Wxxxxxxxxx refuses to put us in contact with his superiors, he has decided that it is fine for us to be weeks upon weeks without a vehicle and then we should just submit to the abuse Chrysler deals out and drive a very faulty mini van.

Perhaps someone will actually call us back.

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This one is from March 16th, 2015

Case #26530081

From: xxxxx
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 1:17 AM
To: fcacanadacares@fcagroup.com
Cc: xxxxx
Subject: Att. Wxxxxxxxx – Case #26530081

Hi Wxxxxxx,

I thought we should touch base as we have now been without a vehicle for three full weekends and the vehicle has been in the service department for 10 full working days. I also feel we need to push to resolve the situation, I am now having to turn away any “on location” photography due to not having our vehicle, plus I can’t even book appointments such as parent/teacher interviews as I don’t know if I will have transportation. My husband is having to constantly leave work to drive our children to and from school and work. The kids are so depressed being stuck at home every weekend, and they are stressed that we won’t be able to go on our Easter vacation because of the situation with the “new” van; this situation is not just a transportation issue, it is affecting every aspect of life for every member of our family.

If you could perhaps phone my husband Mxxxxxx on Monday morning at 9:30 am (MST) to touch base as to the progress on the situation that would be appreciated. I apologize regarding specifying a time, but he has a safety meeting at 7:00 am, then he has to leave the meeting early to drive our kids to school, then he sneaks in some work before having to pick some children up from school at 2:00 pm and another one up at another school at 2:30 pm and then will have to go back to work only to leave work again to drive our oldest to work for 5:00pm . He thinks 9:30 am will be the best chance of having an opportunity to take a call as he will be driving back to work at that time.

We did contact the service department part way through last week to see what progress has been made, our take is that all they are doing is driving around waiting for the car to lose power. It feels like they are not looking at the whole picture of ALL the problems that are happening. Can you get a detailed day by day list of what they are actually doing? I realize you do not email from your office, perhaps this information can be conveyed by email through the dealer’s service department.

I have been going over all the problems over and over in my mind as I really need to find a solution to this vehicle problem, and ignoring that there are problems and just putting the vehicle back on the road is a recipe for disaster. I am going to list my most recent thoughts and finds, I apologize if I am repeating myself in case you have read my most recent blog post. Here are the thoughts.

1) First I did some internet research. I discovered two interesting pieces of information with regards to 2014 Grand Caravans in the U.S.. There is one recall that is a relevant recall and one relevant investigation.
U.S.A. recall – NHTSA Campaign #14V632000 – issued October 8, 2014 – 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan Tires: Pressure Monitoring and Regulating Systems
U.S.A. defect investigation – NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP14004 – date opened September 25, 2014 (currently pending) – Electrical System
2) Now I am going to go through recent thoughts on the ongoing problems:
Van’s Computer Not Registering Error – we are getting shoulder shrugs. No one is taking this seriously. If the system is supposed to register an error, as in when the MIL light came on and the van lost power, and the system doesn’t, this is actually a DEFECT. This is yet another huge problem. Even though I am not a technician, common sense tells me we either have an electrical problem or a computer problem. This would make sense when you look at the never ending issues this vehicle has had (including the repaired heating defect and U-Connect mic issue).
The Flashing Dashboard/Control Panel – After we started up the vehicle the second time after the power loss, every single light on the dashboard started flashing including indicators making the audible noise. I turned the key off, removed the key. Tried to start the vehicle a minute or so later and it started normally. Dashboards/Control Panels should not flash like that. It is another sign of a defect. Again common sense points to electrical or computer.

Burning Rubber Smell – No one is listening to us. No one has addressed the burning rubber smell. Wouldn’t it make sense to start by looking for wires where the insulation is burned off. It is not right for a vehicle to emit a burning rubber smell. Wouldn’t that be an indicator of potential fire? Is this again linked to a potential electrical issue?

Car Losing Power – it seems the only step forward is to drive around waiting for the problem to “replicate”. I can’t help but feel they are looking in the wrong place as the van’s computer doesn’t register that an error light came on. That is the starting point. We’ve told Dodge and the service department that that is the starting point, but they are still driving the vehicle around trying to replicate the problem. Why won’t they start with the obvious problem? I have also been reading various car forums and it is a disturbingly common problem for Dodge/Chrysler service departments to give the “can not replicate” line and then the defect happens on highways and in busy traffic. I am not sure just having a technician go out for an occasional spin is really a verification of the safety of the vehicle, especially when the vehicle has had so many problems. I must again remind you that the last time we drove the vehicle (weeks ago) it was only 4.5 MONTHS old.

Low Tire Pressure Indicator Going On And Off – our service department blames “weather” and says it is “normal” (which we actually bought until I started researching on the internet), however in the U.S. it is actually a RECALL. This is REALLY disturbing and leads me to doubt that Dodge/Chrysler have any concern for safety. It leaves me thinking “This is how they avoid recalls, the service departments try to make the customer out to be “over reacting” or “picky” or “crazy” so that they can avoid expensive recalls. If the service departments brush you off there is no evidence of an issue. They are avoiding recalls at the front desk or on the phone. These issues will never reach Transport Canada as Dodge/Chrysler have found a tactic around the situation. It is all about PROFIT with few concerns as to SAFETY.” Did you know not once did anyone look for a recall in front of us.

On that note, two weeks ago we asked our dealership to look into the origins of our van, where it has been, where it was built, etc.. We have heard nothing. We had asked as even before Christmas, way before the power loss situation, we were starting to really wonder what was going on with the vehicle, it drove like a used vehicle. It drove like a vehicle does just before we trade it in, which is crazy when a vehicle is only months old. So we are wondering what sort of past did this van have, and perhaps does it have any link to the U.S. recall. Can you check this out for us, we really need to know and have a right to know seeing as we own the vehicle.

U-Connect Cutting Out- This is still driving me crazy, especially seeing as when I get a lift in my husband’s work truck (Ford F150) the streaming works perfectly. You are going to think my last thought is a bit “out there”, but is the “interference” that makes the streaming with the U-connect not work properly actually being created by the vehicle? Is it the electrical system creating the interference? The hotter the vehicle gets the less the U-connect works properly. A valid thought that would also make sense with the burning rubber smell. No one is listening to us when we repeatedly tell them the pattern of when the U-connect is having huge problems in working properly. The other thought is could a computer defect be causing interference? Another valid thought as there is obviously a computer defect as the computer did not detect the MIL going off or the power loss.
I cannot stress enough that all of these issues need to be looked at. Six issues, and that doesn’t include the mic and heating that have already been repaired.
When I have to explain to people as to why we have no transport and why we aren’t driving our “new van” their mouths literally hang open in shock. They can’t believe a vehicle like that could be sold legally, let alone be on the road. No one has ever heard of such a disaster, it is unprecedented. I guess all I can do is thank Dodge/Chrysler for such a fantastic conversation piece, especially since the demographic of people we know are big mini van drivers. This is becoming a memorable situation not only for us, but the families we know.
I can’t believe I am having to turn away work because I bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe my husband is having to compromise being able to work because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe we are stranded at home because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe we can’t make appointments because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe our children can’t attend events because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe my husband has to take a roofing truck to pick up groceries because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe my husband has to come rescue us because our “new” vehicle loses power.
I can’t believe we will probably have to cancel our Easter vacation because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe how many times even prior to this I have been without transport as my “new” vehicle has been in the service department.
This vehicle is destroying our lives. It has made both family life and our employment impossible.
I realize what Dodge/Chrysler is doing, they are trying to force us to just take the vehicle and drive it. Their goal is to inconvenience us enough that we will risk our lives, the lives of seven people, and drive a very unsafe vehicle. My guess is that you know I don’t operate that way, I will not risk my family, and I will not give up….ever. This is not a vehicle with one teeny problem, the total number of problems is now at EIGHT.
We need to solve every single problem this vehicle has. We bought a new vehicle. We bought a new vehicle so that EVERY SINGLE ITEM ON THE VAN WOULD WORK. Every item needs to work before we drive this vehicle again. We need to know:
1) Why the computer didn’t register the error.
2) Why the control panel flashed.
3) What is causing the burning rubber smell.
4) Why the car lost power.
5) Why the Low Tire Pressure goes on and off.
6) Why the U-Connect still doesn’t work properly.
7) The origin of our vehicle.
8) The relevance of the recall and investigation in the U.S.. How many components do the U.S. sold vans share with the Canadian sold vans?
9) When will we have our “new” van back and fixed so that we can get on with our jobs and our lives?
If Dodge/Chrysler is going to operate in good faith, perhaps they need to change their advertising campaign. Dodge/Chrysler needs to have their advertising accurately reflect the product they are selling. The Dodge Grand Caravan ad campaign should indicate that the vans “may work” and will have “some problems” and are “sometimes safe but may have a burning rubber smell and lose power while driving with flashing error lights and ringing bells”. If this had been the ad campaign at least I would have known the truth.
Please call my husband, xxxxxxxx, at 9:30am (MST). His number is xxxxxxxx. We need this sorted.

 

Friday Night Painting

I thought I would share a little “in progress” of last nights watercolor and ink paintings.

blog painting 1I have been recently been working on small (5″x 7″) paintings on paper. It is fun to work on pieces that take only a short time to complete, and use inexpensive materials. There is also the added bonus that you don’t need a lot of room to work, so there is room at the end of the table for my husband to play board games with our sons while I paint.

I am working from images on the iPad; it works well having multiple images to flick through in search of inspiration.

blog painting 2I’ve taken to working on two images at a time, but using different approaches. I think it helps to expand how you see, paint and draw, especially when you are consciously trying to “not” do the same thing.

blog painting 3My choice was to do color on top in watercolor and ink only on the bottom piece.

blog painting 4Then the pieces made a quick trip down to the studio to be photographed.

The final pieces can be viewed by clicking here, they are on my website and blog www.debra-hunter.com . If you click on the images on the other site they tend to look the best.

 

Art by Debra Hunter
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Dodge-less in Red Deer ……

A scooter....better than a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan....the only reliable wheels we own!

A scooter….better than a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan….the only reliable wheels we own!

“Sleepless in Seattle” may have been a hit, “Dodge-less in Red Deer”, not so much…..but here is how the story for this week goes.

Friday night. Lovely weather. Stuck at home. Again….or still….you choose. You see it is my THIRD weekend…and two full weeks…. without a vehicle as our new vehicle is again/still/perpetually in the shop. Now I do realize I am doing wonders for the environment by not driving (A.K.A. the new vehicle sitting in the lot of the car dealership as they try to replicate the problem), but the last two plus weeks (plus all the other 6, 7 or 8 times the car has been in for service) are feeling like a cross between house arrest (no, I don’t have personal experience!) and quarantine (yes, the family is all immunized!).

Originally this post was going to  be a painting post but I can’t help myself, this situation of having a new car, with endless problems, and being reduced to walking is….well….preposterous. Yes walking to do errands is just lovely, but a 15 minute return trip by car is a good hour and a half trip on foot. Okay, more like two and a half hours as I have to explain to anyone we meet “why” we aren’t driving our new van, plus go through all the problems the van has, which takes a very, very long time……I should just record the story on my phone and hit “play ” really.  And did you know that carrying groceries for 7 people while walking isn’t feasible; we go through 8 litres of milk alone on some days (that is two hands taken up with milk alone!)…..lets just say the kids are starting to notice food that used to be in the cupboard isn’t. And did you know now I can’t take on location shoots, yep, I can’t work unless it is in the studio, as hauling tripods and lighting and cameras on a two or three hour walk doesn’t quite work…..and using my preschooler’s wagon to carry my gear just crosses the “stupid” line. My four year old is bored, the other day he wanted to go somewhere, I reminded him we didn’t have the car, he huffed and let his head thump down on the table. We…are…stuck.

So for the record…stuck at home…….running out of groceries……can’t work……….new van still in the shop…………..

…..and of course they still haven’t been able to replicate the problem on the vehicle. It is kind of like buying a new house, the roof leaks once, but they have to wait until it rains again, destroying all your interior and belongings, in the aim to replicate the problem before they will look to fix it. Unfortunately in the case of an unsafe vehicle it isn’t carpet getting wet, it is people getting killed if the issue “replicates” at an inopportune time.

To make matters worse, in an act of desperation, last night I started to search the internet to see if there were any indications of others facing the same vehicle problem. I thought “well if the technicians can’t figure it out at least I am going to give it a shot!”.  I suspect the outcome was the same as when people Google diseases. Let’s see, well one thing I did find was in the U.S. a group of 2014 Grand Caravan’s had a recall for the tire pressure light going on or off….yep, ours has done that…..we were told that can happen due to weather…..I guess either the U.S. doesn’t have that type of “weather” or they have stricter safety requirements. Hmmmmmmm. The other thing I discovered was endless “can not replicate the problem” situations and then the issue of course replicates itself in dangerous circumstances like on a highway or in busy traffic…one person wrote something to the effect as to “how many people are going to have to be killed before they try to rectify these problems?” It’s a good question.

And so I “try” to be patient……and what will my patience achieve? It is probably going to achieve the first ever Dodge Grand Caravan running out of warranty while sitting in the parking lot of the service department. And then guess what is going to happen, either one day or one kilometer after the warranty is up they’ll find the problem miraculously and charge us for the repair.

It’s going to be a long two years and seven months before that happens.

The joy of 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan problems.

To be continued………….

(for further reading check out this and this!)

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References which may be connected to the van issues:

U.S.A. recall – NHTSA Campaign #14V632000 – issued October 8, 2014 – 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan Tires: Pressure Monitoring and Regulating Systems

U.S.A. defect investigation – NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP14004 – date opened September 25, 2014 (currently pending) – Electrical System

To view ongoing Dodge issues please check out http://www.carcomplaints.com/Dodge/Grand_Caravan/2014/recalls/ or http://www.carcomplaints.com/Dodge/Grand_Caravan/2014/investigations/

I guess I just don’t believe that it is only the U.S.A. vans having the issues; I can’t help but feel it is relevant.

 

March 14, 2015 update (15 straight days without the vehicle and 10 working days at the service department):

U-Connect Cutting Out– One more thought……..is the “interference” that makes the streaming with the U-connect not work properly being actually created by the vehicle heating up? Is it the electrical system creating the interference? The hotter the vehicle gets the less the U-connect works properly. Is something in the vehicle creating interference, perhaps a computer defect? A valid thought that would also make sense with the burning rubber smell. No one is listening to us when we repeatedly tell them the pattern of when the U-connect is having huge problems in working properly.

Low Tire Pressure Indicator Going On And Off – our service department blames “weather” and says it is “normal”, however in the U.S. it is actually a RECALL. How can we have any faith in Dodge/Chrysler Canada being concerned about safety? This is how they avoid recalls, the service departments try to make the customer out to be “over reacting” or “picky” or “crazy” so that they can avoid expensive recalls. If the service departments brush you off there is no evidence of an issue. They are avoiding recalls at the front desk or on the phone. These issues will never reach Transport Canada as Dodge/Chrysler have found a tactic around the situation. It is all about PROFIT with few concerns as to SAFETY.

Burning Rubber SmellNo one is listening to us. No one has addressed the burning rubber smell. Wouldn’t it make sense to start by looking for wires where the insulation is burned off. It is not right for a vehicle to emit a burning rubber smell. Wouldn’t that be an indicator of potential fire? Shouldn’t Dodge be concerned?

Car Losing Power – it seems the only step forward is to drive around waiting for the problem to “replicate”. I can’t help but feel they are looking in the wrong place as the van’s computer doesn’t register that an error light came on. That is the starting point. We’ve told Dodge and the service department that that is the starting point, but they are still driving the vehicle around trying to replicate the problem. Why won’t they start with the obvious problem?

Van’s Computer Not Registering Error – we are getting shoulder shrugs. No one is taking this seriously. If the system is supposed to register an error, as in when the MIL light came on and the van lost power,  and the system doesn’t, this is actually a DEFECT. This is yet another huge problem. Even though I am not a technician, common sense tells me we either have an electrical problem or a computer problem. This would make sense when you look at the never ending issues this vehicle has had (including the repaired heating defect and U-Connect mic issue).

The Flashing Dashboard/Control Panel – After we started up the vehicle the second time after the power loss, every single light on the dashboard started flashing including indicators making the audible noise. I turned the key off, removed the key. Tried to start the vehicle a minute or so later and it started normally. Dashboards/Control Panels should not flash like that. It is another sign of a defect. Again common sense points to electrical or computer.

So here we sit.
It seems that Dodge/Chrysler’s protocol is to just drive around trying to “replicate the problem” but they refuse to look at ALL the problems.
We are pretty sure they just want to “appear” to be trying to solve the situation, which is what all the “driving around to replicate the problem” is. It is a facade.
We are pretty sure they are just trying to drag out the situation until we are so frustrated with having no vehicle that we take back the DEATH TRAP and drive it risking our family and others’ lives.
It’s a tactic……and when we are forced to put this very unsafe vehicle back on the road, and it ends in a fatality, the official statement will be “Dodge only produced .5% (or some other random percentage) of their vehicles with a defect.”……….which means the lives and safety of .5% of their customers are worthless.

If a company is going to produce vehicles, EVERY SINGLE VEHICLE ON THE ROAD NEEDS TO BE SAFE, there should never be ANY margin for error. A margin for error results in deaths.

 PS. We will be emailing Dodge/Chrysler on Monday and requesting a detailed, day by day account of what they have actually done with the vehicle. We have also asked previously about them looking into the origin of the vehicle (it has always driven like a “used” vehicle), but we have yet to receive any information; this request was made at the dealership level. Brush off and ignore seems to be company policy.

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oh yeah, the ads on this site belong to WordPress.

Mountain Views – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Today I am sharing a couple of mountain views from a recent trip to the coast. The images are from Banff National Park, with the most recognizable picture being of Castle Mountain.

blog castle mountain_0293 aWe seem to spend a lot of time driving through the mountains, and very little time stopping,  simply due to time restraints. I am getting better at taking the odd forced stop to take in a mountain view here or there. Hopefully now that we are on Daylight Savings Time and the days are getting longer, I will have more opportunity for photography in the mountains on our trips out west.

blog mountains_0294 a

Photography by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com

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Winter Cabin Visit

Today I am sharing a few more images from our February visit to our cabin. I am focusing on the beautiful rural scenery rather the disaster happening inside the actual cabin. Blue sky and snow make for stunning images.

blog lake isle_3921

Trees in the cabin’s backyard.

Winter roads.

Winter roads.

Footprints and trees.

Footprints and trees.

Blue sky and leafless trees.

Blue sky and leafless trees.

The last picture is one of my favorites. It sums up why it is so great sneaking away to this part of the world.

blog lake isle_3902 aPhotography by Debra Hunter.
www.debra-hunter.com

 

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“Remnants” (2015) – a new fibre art piece

Sharing a finished art piece that I have blogged on my website http://www.debra-hunter.com .

Debra Hunter - Canadian photography, art and handmade

"Remnants" (2015) 10" x 14" ntutally dyed and eco dyed cotton, naturally dyed cotton, silk and wool threads, hand stitching “Remnants”
(2015)
10″ x 14″
naturally dyed and eco dyed cotton, naturally dyed cotton, silk and wool threads, hand stitching, lino cut bull skull

“Remnants” is finally finished. This fibre art piece, started in late October or early November has been a journey. Originally it was to be a small lino cut skull printed on naturally dyed fabric and then embellished by beads. As I worked on the piece the idea grew to a larger piece that incorporated eco printed fabric ( the leaf imprints), took on a landscape concept, and relied on hand stitching to create the image. The idea of beading was completely abandoned; too fancy for this piece.

This piece has a roughness about it. Raw edges. Rough fabric. Lopi tacked down. Fabrics dyed with marigold and tansy; dyes from the earth. It is a rugged piece, rugged like the prairies. Inspired by farms down dirt roads…

View original post 37 more words

40 pounds for $8 – part 2

apples

After reading yesterday’s post about the apples we bought in British Columbia, I imagine everyone is sitting at the edge of their seats wondering “Just what did you do with 40 pounds of apples?” After all 40 pounds is one or two apples. Now we could have just eaten them raw, but when you get such a deal it seems the perfect opportunity to experiment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe other evening I decided that dried apple slices would be worth a try. It sounded like a fun snack, plus something we could pop in the kids lunches.

We started by slicing the apples as thin as we could as we were aiming for crispy apples at the end. As we had read different variations of drying apples some we cored and some we just sliced to test which result we liked best. I also chose to leave the skins on.

After slicing we let the apple slices sit in a bowl filled with 4 cups of water and half a cup of lemon juice for about a half hour. The next time I will use a bigger bowl and twice the liquid measurement…..of course we did dry a lot of apple slices.

apples slices on parchment paperWe then lined the cooking pans with parchment paper and laid out the apple slices.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInto the oven the apple slices went. 200 F for 2 to 4 hours, turning the slices on occasion. The time it takes to dry the apples seems to depend on the thickness they are cut, how many apple slices are in the oven, and how crispy you want the slices to be.

dried apple slices

The result is yummy dried apple slices.

dried apple slicesOne thing we did discover is the texture and taste of the apple sliced we cored were much better than the ones we just sliced. We also discovered coring them after slicing made for less breakage of the apple rings.

dried apple slicesThe apple slices were a big hit. This weekend we will be making more as every single apple slice from the last two batches has been eaten. It is great to find a healthy treat.

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40 pounds for $8 – part 1 – Small Town Rambles

A couple of weeks ago I had an idea to add in a “small town rambles” section to the categories section of the blog. As we are always on the road I thought it would be fun to share so of the smaller places we find off the beaten track. Some of these places we have been stopping at for years, others are new discoveries. This is the first blog post for the new category.

blog apples demilles salmon arm

DeMille’s in Salmon Arm (British Columbia, Canada) is a favorite stopping place for our family. The other week, as we approached the entrance we saw a sign saying “Apples almost free, 40 lbs for $8”. The sign seemed almost too good to be true, so we just had to check it out.

blog apples 1As advertised……..40 pounds of apples for eight dollars! Not only that, but a choice of varieties. I was thrilled. Our family eats a lot of fruit, a huge box of apples for $8 means the kids can just eat and eat and eat. I actually contemplated whether we had room for a second box.

blog apples 3

As my husband lined up to pay for this amazing find, I checked out the rest of the store. They have a range of really interesting food products, many of which are made by small producers in British Columbia. I’m always on the lookout for local products.

blog apples 2DeMille’s in Salmon Arm is definitely a great place to stop to shop and have a break, especially if you are heading to (or from) the coast or the Okanagan. They also have a great little farm area that our kids love to visit.

 

 

In “Part 2” I will share what we did with the apples.

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Why I blog “issues” (plus a letter to Transport Canada Regarding Dodge Safety)

I have had an afternoon and evening of clarity. Sometimes removing yourself from the confines of the box you live in makes you see situations from a different angle.

My first revelation came at my daughter’s basketball game. Watching the girls bump into each other made me think again about our issue with the Dodge Caravan and how if you lose power you will have a chance of being rear ended.  (More on this later into the post.)

The second revelation came during yoga class, an apt environment to achieve clarity, and the revelation that came to me was that I need to share with the readers “Why I Blog Issues”. So I am going to start with that.

And then I also had a third…..

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WHY I BLOG ISSUES

I am sure some people think “loud mouth”, “trouble maker” and “moaner” when they read a post about an issue, and everyone is capable of having their own response and opinions, however in my case that is not why I write about issues.

I write about issues because society has become apathetic. People care more about watching “Breaking Bad” than their municipalities, the environment, fairness or health and safety. Because society is so apathetic, both private sector and government have become absolutely corrupt. Laws, by-laws, zoning, the environment, fairness, safety, honesty, and operating “in good faith” are no longer of any interest to some levels of government and definitely of no interest to “big corp”. Corruption is rampant because no one takes on the corrupt operations of big business. Corruption is never ending because no one makes governments follow their own rules. Yes there are pocket groups and petitions, but the bulk of society is more bothered about playing Candy Crush than making our society fair, honest and just.

So this is why I write on issues such as Dodge selling faulty and dangerous vehicles, Wawanesa having horrific handling of our insurance claim, issues with the school system where children weren’t taught (or were bullied), issues with Land Use By-laws where neighbourhoods and environment would be destroyed, and issues with regards to saving habitat; I write on these topics as both private and public sector are corrupt. I don’t write because I want a “freebee” or to “moan”. I write because someone has to tackle the corruption that surrounds us. I write because we are all being harmed by corrupt “big corp” and corrupt government actions. I write because it is about time someone actually did something and said something. I write because it is time to stop corruption and live in a fair, honest and just world, not the cess-pit it has become .

So that , in a nutshell, is why I blog issues.

I blog issues because it is the right thing to do.

blog van

 

DODGE SAFETY ISSUE

Now for my second revelation. As I was saying, I was watching my daughter’s basketball game, and the girls bumping into each other made me think again about our issue with the Dodge Caravan. I was thinking about the fact that if you are driving a vehicle that  loses power there is a chance of being rear ended, injured or killed. Then it dawned on me that the innocent driver behind you could also be injured or killed. The big picture became apparent to me in one huge technicolor vision of destruction…….this is not just a Dodge Grand Caravan issue , this a a transportation hazard . This is a transportation hazard that has the potential to injure or kill any driver on the road.

The issue was no longer about “my” vehicle, and the fact that it is faulty beyond belief. This is no longer about me being “petty” and thinking a new vehicle should actually work and not be in for constant repair. Yes, every aspect of dealing with this vehicle has been rubbish , from dealing with Chrysler, dealing with the manager at our dealership and dealing with the salesman at our dealership….and all that will come out in another blog post…….but at the moment the issue is safety.

Now here is the scary thought. My vehicle lost power. My vehicle’s MIL light came on. My vehicle dinged and dinged and dinged in warning. I had NO idea what a MIL light even was up until Friday afternoon. As soon as the vehicle limped it’s way into the school parking lot I hunted through the manual to figure out what was up and then called my husband to be rescued. The dealership looked at our vehicle and said first that their computer said the “MIL light didn’t come on”, and secondly that they “could not replicate the problem”. Now the MIL light did come on. The van did lose power. The dealership is missing the “real” problem. The real problem is that Chrysler has a dangerous fault in their vehicles that could cause fatalities that they can’t detect and that they can’t fix. That is a problem. That is a very big problem.

This means that vehicles with the issue are being plopped back out on the road. That means vehicles are ending up in collisions and Chrysler’s service teams can’t even detect the fault in an inquiry in a vehicle fatality. Chrysler are putting out death traps because their computer can’t detect the problem. Chrysler put more faith in their computer than their customers who are actually driving the vehicles. Chrysler is risking lives because they think their computer knows best and never makes a mistake. How many have died because they “couldn’t replicate the problem”?

How can Chrysler even argue with this? They don’t even have the technology in their service departments to detect the issue, let alone fix it…..and definitely not the capacity to care.

Perhaps it is time to look at all the mini van fatalities involving Dodge Grand Caravans. Perhaps it is time to look at the circumstances. Perhaps it is time for Chrysler to both admit they have a huge problem and rectify it.

Picture of my son after being in an accident in a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan

Picture of my son after being in an accident in a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan

 

Revelation #3 – Did this happen before?

This revelation came to me on my way home from yoga (in my husband’s work truck as I will not even touch our “new” 2014 Grand Caravan, it is at the dealership). I never really blogged that much about the accident we had back in September, quite honestly I was happy my children were alive. It was an accident that made no sense, I was making a left turn with lots of time, clear intersection and then “Bam” hit so hard the van was written off. Now up until a couple of hours ago my thought was “the other vehicle must have been flying” , now I am wondering “did I lose power?” I will never know, it happened that fast, but now it will always be at the back of my mind. A 2014 van, 6 months old, an accident that made no sense. In hindsight I am really left wondering.

Dealing With the Big Picture

As I was getting nowhere with Chrysler or our dealership I had to do something. This is a public safety issue. People are going to be killed and Chrysler is going to hide behind either their computer or “we couldn’t replicate the problem”. It may sound dramatic, but lives ARE at risk. In the end my solution was to write to Minister Raitt at Transport Canada. I need the problem on record. The problem needs to be looked into. If the Dodge Grand Caravan is truly “Canada’s best selling mini van” as advertised, there are a lot of potential death traps on the road.

This is my email:

Att. Transport Canada
Minister Raitt

Dear Minister Raitt,

I am finding myself contacting you as we have an issue that could have an impact regards to safety on Canada’s roads and highways.

We have a new 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan purchased in October 2014. Serial number xxxxxx. On Friday we were driving, the van loses power, the MIL light comes on and the van starts dinging. We take it to our dealership as you do with any warranty issue. Their computer doesn’t show the MIL coming on, plus they say they “can’t replicate the problem”.

A car losing power on the road is a hazard for both the driver of the faulty vehicle and the vehicles behind the faulty vehicle. This technical issue is going to result in injuries and deaths. This technical difficulty isn’t being detected by the service departments.

Our dealership seems to think it isn’t a problem as does Dodge. We have been in contact with both. The worry here is it IS happening and they aren’t detecting the technical issue in the service department. This means even in a fatality inquiry the issue won’t be detected.

Once I got over my initial anger of the issue, I realized the broader scope of how dangerous this is. The potential to lose power and thus be rear ended will inevitably end in fatalities. I want to drive in safe vehicles. I want to be on the road with safe vehicles.

I felt I had to formally get on record that this issue is happening. Perhaps you can take this concern in whatever direction necessary to insure we are driving in and with safe vehicles.

By the way I have blogged details of our experience at: https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/we-need-to-replicate-the-problem-dont-buy-dodge-it-will-potentially-kill-you/

Debra Hunter

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So now you know “why” I blog issues, it is not for me, it is for all of us, and it is for the right reasons.

Deb

Please click here to read the previous detailed post of all the problems our Dodge Grand Caravan has had.