Jeeps Vs. Car Washes, Round 3

Date 2006/8/12 9:54:00 | Topic: Miscellaneous

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.

CarWash.com (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 www.Autoblog.com , 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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