Reader Question: Hiding ASS?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Dawn asks: Several people have commented that, when they went to test drive a new car equipped with ASS, the ASS had apparently been turned off by the salesman prior to the test drive, apparently to deceive the driver about the presence of ASS in the car. This strikes me as fraud. What are your thoughts?

My reply: At the very least, it’s deceptive.

I’ve yet to have anyone tell me they wanted ASS – and would have bought ASS as a feature. Most people have no idea what ASS even is. Until they drive a new car equipped with it. The problem – as you and others have relayed – is that sometimes, these people don’t know about ASS until after they have bought the car – because the salesman turned ASS off prior to the test drive. Which he did because the engine turning itself off is not a selling point. Most people find it annoying and would ask for a car without ASS. The problem – for the salesman – is that he might not have one, because almost all 2020 model year cars are equipped with ASS.

And so, ASS must be kept off – until the paperwork is signed.

Whether this is actionable, legally, is a question for lawyers – and perhaps one reading this will chime in. In my opinion, it ought to be. At least, it ought to be if a person test drives a new car that has had ASS turned off by the salesman, which seems to me an obvious/deliberate attempt to hide the presence of ASS and thus trick the would-be car buyer into accepting something he would probably not accept if he had been aware of it.

The whole thing stinks on account of it’s creepy – as Opie used to say on the Andy Griffith Show.

ASS is being crammed down our throats, ostensibly to “save gas” but arguably to make non-electric cars unappealing and to remind/guilt-trip drivers of non-EVs that their IC cars are “polluting” and contributing to the “Climate Crisis.”

And they ask me why I drink…. 

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  1. It’s because of ASS and all the other forced nanny features I don’t look at anything past ’08 (JDM gets a pass as Z’s and the Toyobaru’s don’t have them)

    Can’t talk to two of my friends or family anymore about cars as they’re like “Newers better” meets “Cpo or bust”

    Do a ppi, address any weak links, know the maintenance schedule, do your HW and whaddya know, got a solid investment that should keep running when the new toys start going haywire, plus if the electronics go, it just that, doesn’t effect everything else

  2. A few years ago the wife told me I needed to go open the gate. This involves unlocking and opening, anathema to me in every way. So I ask why and she said “The tax assessor is coming”. Why am I just finding out? says me. Well, I spoke with her earlier and she wants to look the place over.

    Fuck her said I. She needs a good set of binoculars and won’t be able to see past the trees anyway.

    So after a heated exchange I opened the gate. She drove in and I went to speak with her. She, being a govt. parasite, had a new, expensive Buick SUV thingy that has probably already been turned into a new Kia.

    She tells me she just bought the thing and she complained about it dying every time she stopped. I told her it was automatic but probably had a button she could push to shut it off if she’d read her owner’s manual.

    I wished I’d asked her if she test drove one before buying. I know people who can simply have enough smoke blown up their ass to buy a car without even driving it. I’d bet she fell into that category. At least she, being what she was, should have been accustomed to subterfuge. I cried all night worrying about her.

  3. I see that a lot of people are not doing proper research on the cars they buy. You would think on such a large investment that the purchasers would have some knowledge about what they are buying. I guess for lots of people that ignorance is bliss. Not to me. So it really gets down to the purchaser really, not the salesman.

  4. Did the salesman start the car, do some stuff, and then let the customer get in to take a test drive?

    Seems like all you would have to do is shut the car off and then re-start it, to “re-boot” all the systems and set them back to default. Last time I test drove a (used) vehicle from a dealer, we had it to ourselves for a while. We even went out to lunch with the prospective vehicle (our now old Suburban, which was quite new and fancy to us at the time – LOL).


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