In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Category: transportation Page 1 of 23

Hyundai, it was short but sweet. Kinda.

Dear Hyundai Canada,

I regret to inform you that you’ve got a problem. I’m sure you know it, too.

Last year in June, I put $1000 down on an Ioniq 5 at my local Hyundai dealer. What the dealer did not tell me is that you stopped taking orders for the car a few months previously. My order has been sitting in a drawer at the dealership for the last ten months. In desperation, I called a Quebec dealership two months ago and asked how long delivery of an ordered car would take. They told me it would be three years.

Despite all this, your web site is plastered with sales copy like: “Vehicles arriving daily. Order yours today!” “You’re just a click away from a new vehicle.” “Try an EV, before you buy an EV.” Like it’s so simple and fast. Of course you have small print that refers to the current global supply chain issues and warns people that “delivery times on some of our vehicles are also longer than usual,” without telling potential buyers they’ll be waiting a hell of a long time.

It also seems like it’s not just a matter of my bad luck. I’ve seen only one Ioniq 5 in the wild … and the car’s been in production for two years now! I don’t know where you’re shipping them to be sold, but it’s not anywhere around here.

The Ioniq plug-in I bought in 2021 was my first Hyundai purchase and I quite like it. When I decided to eliminate gasoline from my driving, I went to Hyundai again. But you’ve let me down and kept me on the hook for a year, with delivery timeframes moving ever into the future. Either you’re doing your dealers no service by telling them they’ll get cars that don’t come, or your dealers are actively damaging your reputation by making delivery promises they can’t fulfil.

So as a result, two weeks ago I took delivery of a new electric car that is not a Hyundai. Last week I drove that car to the Hyundai dealer to cancel my order and collect my deposit. You cars are good, but I’ve found that I just can’t trust what your people say … and that’s not the kind of company I want to be involved with. I know it’s difficult to get a new customer, so why would you actively push me away?

It’s fine by me though. I have a car and I’m happy. It’s you who missed out on the sale.

Subdivision signals

Drivers from different regions seems to have their own quirks.

I may have mentioned before that the some drivers in Ottawa really stretch the yellow lights. I recall once at a left turn, the person in front of me turned on a yellow and I followed them. I shouldn’t have, but I did. To my amazement, the two people behind me also went. I suspect they both ran the red. Certainly the second car did.

Here in Niagara Falls, People often don’t signal. Others signal too late. It’s so frustrating.

Take today for example. I turned into my subdivision and saw a car a block away slowing down. Brake lights were on. No signal. I got closer and closer and the braking car eventually came to a stop, though it wasn’t close enough to the curb to be parking. Okay, I don’t know what this person was doing, but they stopped so I went around them.

Some folks like to make darn sure they don’t hit anything in their lane so they go far into the other lane, especially with bicycles. I really do understand not wanting to hit a bicyclist, but going entirely into the other lane is excessive. Not only that, but it’s dangerous because if someone turns a corner or is suddenly coming toward you in their own lane, you’re in trouble.

So I passed this stopped car. No, I did not leave a lot of space. I certainly did not put the right side of my car on the left side of the road! I know the extent of my vehicle so I didn’t touch their car. Whatever the driver was doing, it was then behind me.

A few turns later, I parked in front of the neighbourhood mailbox. A black Mercedes, an older C‑class I think, approached from the other direction. It stopped in the street beside me, and the driver called over, “That was pretty close.”

I have no idea what he’s talking about, so I replied, “I don’t follow.”

“You came pretty close to me,” he said. Then it clicked. This is the same car.

“Not really,” I said.

“You shouldn’t come that close,” he said. This was going no where fast.

You shouldn’t just stop in the road with no signal,” I replied.

He again repeated that I came too close. I was going to suggest that maybe his signal was not working, but of course it was. It was also unlikely that anything would come of this conversation so I said, “Fair enough,” and got out of the car to retrieve my mail. He left.

Thinking back, I should have stayed in my car until he left in case he was lacking in self-control. I already know he lacked good judgement. But jeez, really?

He put me into a situation where I had to make a choice. That he didn’t like my choice doesn’t bother me one whit.

Looking for a winter car?

A [Lamborghini] Diablo is pretty much the same thing as a Subaru Outback, except it has a 550 horsepower, mid-mounted V12 and scissor doors. Otherwise, virtually identical.

Chris Perkins, “A Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0 Makes a Perfectly Good Winter Car” Road and Track, February 16, 2016

Kerning! Do you speak it?

I followed a white Impala for quite a distance on my way to a mall this afternoon. I was entirely distracted by it. See for yourself:

IMG_0749.jpg: iPhone5s, back camera @ 4.15mm, 1/800, f/2.2, 32 ISO

IMG_0749.jpg: iPhone5s, back camera @ 4.15mm, 1/800, f/2.2, 32 ISO

Every letter of the LTZ designation is crooked, and the ‘L’ and ‘T’ pair suffers from wretched kerning! Whoever attached those letters clearly did so by hand and has no idea what kerning even means. What a mess.

Odometer ‘error’

The other day I had some errands to run. This is not unusual. It got weird when I sat in the car, inserted the key, and reached for my seatbelt. My eyes slid over the instrument cluster and I saw a row of vertical LED lines lit up. Uh oh, I thought. Maybe the ECU crashed. Or the electronics handling the display malfunctioned. Would the car start? How much was this going to cost me!? You know how quickly thoughts can run through your mind. By the time I finished fastening my seatbelt and looked back at the display, it was clear what those vertical lines were trying to tell me.

Oops. It was informing me of the distance I have used it to travel, just like it’s supposed to.

Happily there’s no surprise automobile repair bill in my immediate future. I’ll take the good news where I can find it.

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