What could have ruined my brand new muffler?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jul 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 1980 GMC pick up. Five months ago I had the exhaust system changed at a leading muffler shop. The muffler has since swelled and now vibrates internally. I brought the truck back to the shop. They told me "the only way this could have happened is if the engine backfires, which would void the warranty." Since I'm the only one who drives this vehicle, I know for a fact that it doesn't backfire. Can there be another reason this muffler would have fallen apart?

TOM: Yes, Mike, there is another possible reason why this muffler fell apart. It could be that the muffler is out and out junk.

RAY: Even though all the quality-control people who oversee production of these mufflers are former NASA scientists who've been out of work due to cutbacks in the space program, it IS possible for a defective muffler to occasionally sneak by. And that's something we just have to live with in the age of mass production.

TOM: But what we object to is their blaming it on you. I mean, for another few bucks in parts, they could have made you a really happy customer. But instead, they told you to get lost. Is that any way to build a business?

RAY: We're sick and tired of companies that refuse to accept responsibility for their own poor workmanship, quality of parts, or service. In our humble opinion (and we have a lot to be humble about), companies like these won't survive the nineties. So if you'd be so kind as to include the name and location of this place next time you write, we'll be glad to add it to our predicted obituary list.

TOM: And if they don't like that, tell them to write to our editor. The libelous nature of our column is her fault, not ours.

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