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Re: 5000 vs 100/200 nomenclature

At 01:26 PM 5/27/1999 -0500, you wrote:
>I'm new to the listserve.
>I have an 1987 5000 (no s on the trunk), quattro sedan.  Despite high
costs of
>repairing - I love my car.
>Could you tell me more about the "killer car" problem.

There *IS* no killer car problem . . . Never was, either.

Back in 1986 or so, some not-too-bright Audi owner managed to run over and
unfortunately kill her own child - she insisted that she had been stepping
on the brake, and that the car had suddenly developed a mind of its own and
deliberately ran over her child anyway. The harder she stepped on the
brake, the faster the car went.

(What's wrong with this picture?)

A tragedy, true, but hardly the car's fault - she later admitted that she
"may have been stepping on the gas pedal" - duhhhh.

Anyway, 60 Minutes (Or maybe 20-20; same thing), a "news" show long on
sensationalism and frequently somewhat short on facts ("Inquiring minds
change the channel!") absolutely LEAPED on this heart rending story of the
innocent child brutally cut down in his youth by the malevolent machine,
designed by German (probably ex-nazis, too) sadists to maim and kill
innocent people everywhere.

Audi totally mishandled the entire affair. Audi sales dropped from
something like 85,000 in 1985 or 1986 to 8,000 in just one year, and are
just now recovering. The Audi 5000 got renamed the 100 or 200 (depending on
equipment), and resale values plummeted disastrously, and in fact, have
stayed severely depressed on 5000s to this day. (Which is why we can buy
lots of car for very little money.)

One of Audi's responses was to retrofit an interlock on automatic
transmission cars - you had to step on the brake to put the car in gear,
and this was viewed as an admission of guilt. (Most cars have these
nowadays, incidentally.)

As it turns out, someone 60 Minutes (or 20-20) hired to do the
demonstration of the "Killer Audi" for the TV cameras recently admitted
that he had to modify the car to get it to do that at all, and that one of
the modifications involved "drilling a hole in the transmission".

60 Minutes (or 20-20 - I don't watch them) tried this stunt again a few
years ago with GM full-sized pickup trucks. Their claim was that GM
full-sized pickup trucks explode like hand grenades if struck on the side
by so much as a falling acorn, and they had the spectacular footage to
prove it.

General Motors, evidently remembering the Corvair debacle and Ralph Nader,
counterattacked. Big time. Major law suits, and they discovered that the GM
full-sized pickup trucks in the oh-so-spectacular-exploding-truck footage
had been rigged with various pyrotechnic devices! Seems that "Exploding Gas
Tank, part number 45-887-21B" isn't exactly in the parts book, and was
rigged that way by 60 Minutes in their quest for journalistic integrity and
the truth, which quest evidently still has a *long* way to go.

In summary, no, your Audi isn't likely to run away and kill anyone. And you
have indeed found the right place for seriously reducing your repair bills. 

Enjoy your car - it is probably one of the safest cars on the road! And one
of the most enjoyable.

Best Regards,

Mike Arman