Wolkswagen,General Motors,Takata…The Car Karma

Some three-letter words are Universal.Go to any inhabited part of the world and say Mom or Dad or Kid or Bro and people will know what you mean.
There is however one three-letter word which even more universally recognized and understood and that word is CAR !!
The institution of marriage and human relationships may be overrated but the concept of loving your Car more than your wife is globally quite well accepted.That is because cars have been and will continue to be central to human lives.
In fact,in many cases, a person is conceived in the back of a Car, his/her mother goes to the hospital for delivery in a Car, he/she goes to the school and football/hockey practice in a Car, goes on a first date in a Car, gets married by being driven to the church/temple  in a nicely decorated Car and probably goes for the honeymoon to Niagara and beyond in a Car !
In today’s date and age particularly in Canada,a Car is a cornerstone of a person’s life.Just think about it…take out the car from your life and you’ll be sure that life sputters and comes to a grinding halt.From dropping the kids to their respective schools to going to your place of work and then onward on the 401,403,410 or 407 ETR for office related work,to picking up the kids from their schools and bringing them home.One simply cannot achieve all this without a car.
And then there are various errands like grocery shopping, banking, paying different utility bills, socializing and family outings that are impossible to run without a Car. In fact,drive through businesses of Tim Horton’s and McDonald’s would suffer huge losses if the Cars decided that grabbing that daily cuppa of Coffee is not good for the health of the Car owners and simply drove on without stopping at a Mac’s or Timmy’s.
In other parts of the world,especially in the Asian subcontinent,a Car is  a measure of a person’s social standing.More expensive or bigger the car, bigger the owner’s perceived stature in the society. In fact,in the predominantly tourist areas of Dubai, the police routinely patrol the streets in :
a Maserati,a Bugatti,a Ferrari, a Lamborghini and even a Bentley.After all nothing gets good swag points for the most swag conscious place in the world than an expensive blingy cop Car that most of us can only aspire for !
Typically,a man’s relationship with his car is fundamentally romantic in nature. He has,after all, fallen for a particular ‘model’ despite being wooed by a slew of other beautiful ladies Nee cars from different parts of the world belonging  to very good ‘Car Families’. The Car is his muse and he leaves no stone unturned to enhance her beauty and keep her safe.Thus,the original upholstery is bolstered with genuine leather,music system is upgraded to a  Bose and like a protective lover, he makes sure that the car changes into winter tyres from November till March at least !!
Quite often it happens that a person’s car is much better groomed than the owner.A car owner may or may not have life insurance but a true Car lover ensures that his beau has comprehensive insurance.This  ‘ Caromance ‘ usually ends after a lengthy period and then,the car only merits a third-party insurance.
Lately,however the usually reliable universe of cars seems to have been possessed by mysterious evil forces,severely testing the trust and symbiotic relationship that has always existed between a man and his machine on four wheels.
Only yesterday,Volkswagen Cars with their impeccable heritage and obsession with precision engineering and quality,were found to be exceeding the emissions norms of US by more than thirty-five times while knowingly programmed to cheat during the regulatory emission control tests.
Also,in the year 2015:
General Motor’s Cars were held responsible for at least one hundred twenty-four deaths in the US because of defective ignition switches due to which the airbags would fail to deploy in a car crash.It was also revealed that GM was aware of this problem since at least 2004 but did not take any corrective steps.
Chrysler’s Jeep Cherokee was remotely hacked while on a highway and the hackers were able to remotely control various functions of the vehicle like transmission, wiper blades, braking system and on board entertainment system.That Car finally ended in a ditch by the highway.
Takata Corporation,one of the world’s largest supplier of Airbags to virtually every major Car manufacturer including Honda,Toyota and BMW announced that more than 33.8 million air bags manufactured by it were defective and may cause serious injuries to a Car’s occupants if deployed in a crash.
Now,as we all know,Cars have always been a little feisty and known to throw tantrums from time to time like,refusing to start in extreme weather conditions,not going fast enough when urged to do so via press of the accelerator pedal or sometimes leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere by running out of gas or battery life.One learned to accept these as problems which could easily be avoided by careful nurturing of the car and taking care of its needs and demands,
It is imperative to believe that the recent life endangering behavior by different types of cars is a mere aberration and the balance soon will return between the car and the human universe.After all,at the end of the day,for majority of us,the final journey to the other side will commence in the back of a car….be it an Ambulance or a Hearse.

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