The People's Car Controversy

A man takes his new Chevy Volt to the local Volkswagen dealership complaining about a computer failure. He points to his new-car guarantee and demands repairs. The dealer of course refuses and sends the guy to a Chevrolet dealership.

The Volt owner files a lawsuit against the Volkswagen dealer for refusing to honor his Volt's new-car warranty.

The press prints the story on the front page and major TV networks cover it in the evening news. The Volt owner argues that his car is obviously the "People's Car" (Volkswagen is just a German translation) and underscores his claim with the recent government takeover of General Motors and its ambitious promotion of the Volt as the American "people's car". The case goes to the Supreme Court which rules that the Chevy Volt is definitely the American "people's car," more so than the Volkswagen, which is a foreign import.

This ruling enraged Volkswagen owners, who protested loudly, but their voices went unheard. The German Volkswagen Company telegraphed the President of the United States demanding a reversal of the ruling. President Obama responded by inviting all Volt owners to the White House for a big "coming-out" party. He then made a presidential decree that anyone who voiced an objection or claimed that the Volt was not the "people's car" could be taken to court and fined for bullying. Any Volkswagen dealer who refused to service Volts would also be fined and a second offence would result in revocation of their dealership license. Rather than conform to the new definition of "people's car", some dealers decided to take early retirement and closed their businesses. This caused an abrupt rise in unemployment figures and increased Social Security payments, necessitating higher taxation, printing more money and raising the debt limit. Blame for the economic disaster was placed squarely on the shoulders of Volkswagen owners and dealerships.

Because many Volts needed expensive repairs, the government offered to cover these expenses through BaraKare. Although fewer and fewer Volts were being produced, other car manufacturers began offering their cars as "people's cars" in order to gain the government's favored-car status. California even passed a law stating that any "people's car" could get service and repairs at any dealership.

Recently, this controversy has taken on international proportions. President Obama threatened Russia and Uganda with economic sanctions because they refuse to recognize the "people-car status" of American exports.

Ralph V. Harvey