If I Can Just Say Something
I'd like to be earnest for just a moment. Perhaps you say, "Oh, no. When he gets earnest is when he most embarrasses himself."
To which I'd say, "Ouch. If I can earnestly tell you how that felt, that was the most--." Then my vision would swim with tears. I would emit a quiet, high-pitched sound. Lurching up from my chair, I'd try to leave the room with a flimsy composure, but not before I weave in the hallway and snag my shirt on a picture hook, tearing the sleeve. "Oh, great," I'd wail. "Just perfect!" Then I'd try to slam the TV room door behind me. But the house has settled in the recent rain, and the door frame has gotten even more misaligned. So it'd bounce back open, and I'd have to debate extending the spectacle by returning to the door to close it with that lifting thing one has to do.
So... good call. Yet, I press on.
In 1996, the Suzuki Motor Corporation sued Consumers Union in connection to an unfavorable 1988 review of the Suzuki Samurai, a.k.a. Tumblin' Dice. Despite overwhelming evidence that the case is groundless and should be thrown out -- as a U.S. District Court has done once already -- the lawsuit has just been sent back to trial by a sharply divided Ninth Circuit.
In this day, with government agencies handing out free passes to any company that shows up at the door with a sack and a Boba Fett mask, an independent voice like CU is crucial. Sure, Consumer Reports has an odd crush on the Kenmore brand I've never shared. But it is independent and objective in an otherwise byzantine media web of corporate connections and influence.
The lawsuit is draining resources from a non-profit organization that should be spending its money on determining if in a house fire our jammies will cook us like Ball Park Franks, or if that breadmaker is a... wait, wait, I've got it... a "deadmaker." Ahh. I knew it was there.
If Suzuki v. Consumers Union continues, it could have a chilling effect on consumer protection. Unfavorable reviews will be become too financially dangerous to publish. You can imagine the result...
A snowy November afternoon. Heading out to the mall in the car, an innocent family is completely unaware that their trip is about to lead them to this kind of horrific wreck.
I urge you to read this, and if convinced, write Suzuki and General Motors (20-percent owner of Suzuki) and demand they drop the lawsuit.
Don't look here for the email address. One needs to write a letter. Recent events prove the difference in attention paid...
mail a virus to Congress = hoo boy!
Please spend 74 cents and send two letters. For your c+p convenience, I have included the letters I wrote:
Mr. Rick Suzuki, President
American Suzuki Motor Corporation
3251 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92821-6722
Dear Mr. Suzuki:
I am writing to express my strong objection to Suzuki's litigation against Consumers Union in the Samurai matter. I urge you to cease this groundless and damaging effort immediately.
The independent and impartial work of Consumers Union is needlessly threatened by your company's baseless claims, which have the potential to stifle objective consumer research for fear that any unfavorable review could trigger similar action.
Your company's actions threaten to make America even less safe than it was during the time the Samurai was being sold here.
If Suzuki does not halt its lawsuit against CU, I will be forced to avoid all Suzuki products, and to urge anyone else who will listen to do the same.
In addition, I will boycott the Suzuki Method, just in case your company had anything to do with it, in which case I would presume it could also be hazardous. So thanks for ruining the violin for me as well.
Mr. Rick Wagoner, President and CEO
General Motors Corporation
100 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48265-3000
Dear Mr. Wagoner:
I am writing to express my strong objection to Suzuki's litigation against Consumers Union in the Samurai matter. As GM owns 20 percent of Suzuki, I urge you to use your influence to cease Suzuki's groundless and damaging effort immediately.
The independent and impartial work of Consumers Union is needlessly threatened by Suzuki's baseless claims, which have the potential to stifle objective consumer research for fear that any unfavorable review could trigger similar action.
Suzuki's actions threaten to make America even less safe than it was during the time the Samurai was being sold here.
If Suzuki does not halt its lawsuit against CU, by association I will be forced to avoid all GM products, and to urge anyone else who will listen to do the same.
In addition, I will boycott major league sports, since I understand that many teams have a GM. Furthermore, I will have no choice but to avoid genetically modified (GM) products. So thanks for ruining baseball and apple pie for me -- at least this American will still have hot dogs left.
Related question: Is the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile made by GM?
Today's FOCR: "Bad Motor Scooter," Montrose, Montrose