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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:55 AM


Seems conservatives are taking their anger out on owners of GM vehicles

General Motors earned considerable enmity in 2009 when it declared bankruptcy and accepted a $51 billion bailout from the U.S. government. Some GM customers have since discovered that they're in the crossfire as well.

A few owners of the Chevrolet Volt, GM's innovative plug-in hybrid, report that they've been booed, heckled and vandalized, presumably because they own a car deemed offensive to fellow taxpayers. These tales of Volt rage were uncovered by the car-research site Edmunds, which runs several online forums where owners swap stories.

A Michigan Volt owner, Dave Muse, told Edmunds that he drew boos when driving his Volt in a famed Detroit automotive parade -- a town, of all places, that gained as much as any city from the auto bailouts. Another time, a stranger insulted his car in a parking lot, then slammed the door shut while Muse was trying to get out. Muse also says his plug-in generates occasional family arguments.

Scott Leapman, a Volt owner in Florida, once stopped at an intersection next to a pickup truck whose driver rolled down his window and asked, "How do you like my car?" When Leapman asked what he meant, the driver answered, "My taxes paid for it!" then sped off.

A third driver, whom Edmunds didn't identify, said he was run off the road by a Volt hater.

GM and its electrified creation have been unusually controversial this year, largely because of the polarizing presidential election. President Barack Obama and his supporters routinely reminded voters that "Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive," a line that made GM executives cringe, but obviously didn't hurt the Obama campaign, which won key states, like Ohio and Michigan, that stood to gain from the auto bailouts.

But to many conservatives, "Government Motors" is an egregious symbol of an expansionist federal government that wastes taxpayer dollars. GM CEO Dan Akerson has pleaded with politicians and pundits not to use the automaker as a "political football." But that's a tough sell given that GM still owes the government about $26 billion, and it's not clear that taxpayers will ever get all their money back.

Still, the Volt may be the wrong target for bailout critics. It's true that overall sales are low, due largely to the $39,145 starting price (which doesn't include a federal tax credit of up to $7,500). And there remain huge questions about whether electric vehicles will ever be economically viable. But GM knew the Volt would be a low-volume prototype meant to test the practical appeal of a car that can run 30 to 40 miles on a charge before a gas engine kicks in. And it's hardly the only automaker aggressively investing in EVs. Nissan, Honda, Toyota, and Ford all have electric vehicles in advanced stages of development, much as automakers experimented with hybrids starting 10 or 15 years ago.


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Reply Seems conservatives are taking their anger out on owners of GM vehicles (Original post)
davidn3600 Nov 2012 OP
Trailrider1951 Nov 2012 #1
Eddie Haskell Nov 2012 #2

Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:19 AM

1. Yes, there are haters out there

When gas hit $3.50 per gallon, someone keyed my Prius. Haters gotta hate.

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Response to Trailrider1951 (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:12 PM

2. Ever notice that hockey moms/dads all drive large SUV's?

These people are overwhelmingly republican and they're teaching their kids the finer points of aggressive behavior. Put six of these brats together and you have a pack of wolves on ice. They'll be praying on the weak and disadvantaged in no time. We need a bounty.

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