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MiscellaneousJeeps Vs. Car Washes, Round 3
Posted by mike on 2006/8/12 9:54:00 (2263) reads

Am I the only one who can't get enough of this story?

After this week's scathing rebuttal to the accusations by Jason Vines of Chrysler Group, it seems that International Car Wash Association (ICA) is meeting to come up with some sort of response. (no, really - check it out) has a nice summary of all the events as well as a link to a poster that ICA is recommending be posted in all car washes for their employees. The poster details instructions for "handling" Jeeps. Here are the complete instructions:

1. Notify employees once Jeep arrives - honk horn - only experienced employees should operate Jeeps.

2. Wear seatbelts when operating Jeeps.

3. Provide extra conveyor spacing when washing Jeeps.

That's it. Simple enough. Some questions though - what exactly makes a car wash employee "experienced" enough to handle a Jeep? Shouldn't employees be wearing seatbelts when operating any vehicle?

UPDATE: 8/14/06 - ICA has posted their official response. See it after the jump...

International Carwash Association Statement Regarding Jason Vines of the Chrysler Group and the Sudden Unintended Acceleration Issue

The International Carwash Association regrets that Mr. Vine’s comments, posted August 8 on , regarding the International Carwash Association’s motivation in proactively addressing sudden unintended acceleration (S.U.A.), do little to advance a solution to a commonly understood and accepted safety issue.

Empirical evidence and data collected over the past decade, which has continuously been shared with DaimlerChrysler, clearly suggests that an overwhelmingly disproportionate number of S.U.A. incidents involve Jeep Cherokees and Jeep Grand Cherokees. In fact, the Association has worked in cooperation with DaimlerChrysler over the last ten years to develop sound advice and counsel to car wash operators and employees to help prevent incidents of S.U.A. involving Jeep Cherokees and Jeep Grand Cherokees. At no time during the past decade has DaimlerChrysler ever claimed that the International Carwash Association was “singling out” the Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee in advising car wash operators and employees about how to prevent these incidents, nor has that ever been our intent.

In fact, thanks to ongoing collaboration and input from DaimlerChrysler, the Association has been able to proactively provide additional safety guidelines to car wash operators and employees who are servicing Jeep Cherokees or Grand Cherokees to ensure the safety of customers and car wash employees. This is the intention of our “We Care” program which has been a key safety training initiative of the Association.

The professional car wash industry with its 105,000 locations in theUnited States employs more than 900,000 workers who are committed to superior service and safety. Education and training are in fact an important aspect of what we provide our members and the industry at large. Mr. Vines disparaging comments are an insult to the hard-working people who own and operate car washes and regularly provide service to two thirds of the American motoring public.

Mr. Vines' attack is truly unfortunate and takes away from what we believe should be the ongoing focus of the sudden unintended acceleration dialogue - safety. Lashing out at business owners and employees and pointing fingers at other automobile manufacturers does little to improve safety. We will continue to focus our attention, energy and resources on preventing these incidents from occurring, which includes training and raising awareness among car wash employees. We hope that DaimlerChrysler will return soon to collaboratively working with the car wash industry to ensure the safety of car wash customers and employees.

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Poster Thread
Posted: 2006/8/12 15:56  Updated: 2006/8/12 15:56
Just popping in
Joined: 2005/7/13
Posts: 7
 Re: Jeeps Vs. Car Washes, Round 3
I'm amazed at this. They have a forum on, and I was reading through it to hear from the carwash operators. Most of the threads involving Jeep are asking people whether they've ever experienced this themselves with no replies. I did find one, though, with first-hand experience:

"The driver error cause of this problem is hogwash! I owned a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee for 11 years and it was a conntinuous problem. I could tell it was not driver error, because the acceleration would occur when I was simply driving down the road. All of a sudden, my car would accelerate without even putting my foot on the gas pedal. If I had both feet flat on the floor board, the car would accelerate to as hign as 55 mph on its own. I didn't need cruise control. At times I had to use both feet on the brake pedal to stop the car and then flip it into neutral. Until the Feds supported Chrysler's "driver error" theory, every Jeep mechanic that ever looked at my car knew it was a flaw in the vehicle and could adjust it. The adjustment would last a month or two, then it would start again. After the driver error theory became the official legal position, the same mechanics denied that it was a design flaw. "

First, this guy owned a '99 Grand Cherokee for *11* years? Unless he's writing this from the future, I'm thinking he isn't exactly "detail-oriented." Second, it's pretty obvious he's experiencing an issue with the TPS sensor causing it to rev higher. The fact that it's erratic might also point to an issue with the IAC, but I'm guessing it's probaby the TPS since if it was a vacuum leak or IAC stopping up he would probably have a problem idling. He should also be getting a check engine for either one of these but since his grasp of detail is lacking he might not notice. He states that every mechanic he went to "knew it was a flaw and could adjust it"? This reeks of fabrication on his part. He implies a widespread conspiracy involving the DCX, the Federal Government, and every mechanic in North America. Brilliant.

Nonetheless, the symptoms he's describing are different than turning the vehicle on and have it wildly accelerate to the point that standing on the brakes doesn't stop the vehicle. If there was a systemic issue, wouldn't the owners have seen it? This is hogwash, and quite obviously an "industry organization" which has latched onto a manufactured issue to help validate their existence.

As an owner of four Jeeps over the last fifteen years, I'm going to take the time to clean my car myself from here on out. No more car washes for me...
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