DAVE AGAR

Wednesday, May 21 Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 5/21/2014 12:00:00 AM

As anyone who drives the Gardiner Expressway knows all too well, the one lane shutdowns in both directions from the CNE to Garrison Road since April 28th has made driving in and out of Toronto very frustrating...long backups.

Now add this to the mix.  As of 6 this morning until mid-July there will be intermittent closures on Lake Shore Boulevard so "critical utility work" gets done on the shoulders.  Stephen Buckley, the General Manager of Transportation for the city was on NewsTalk 1010's Live Drive.

Once that is done, Buckley says the Lakeshore will be repaved starting in late July.

For those of you unfamiliar, the Lake Shore takes the spillover from the Gardiner and now there's nowhere to go.
Buckley stresses that crews will be working some weekends and evenings to speed up the process but they can't use jackhammers at night.

The Transportation boss says the Lakeshore work has to get done this year because there's more work coming on other roads next year for the Pan Am Games.   The repaving plan for Pan Am will cover 1-hundred-85-kilometres of road surface including Wilson, Finch, Vic Park, Markham Road, Kipling, Wellesley and Richmond.

GM RECALLS

Here we are 5 months into the year and General Motors has recalled nearly 5 times as many vehicles this year as it sold in all of last year.   15.4-million vehicles recalled thus far and the cost to GM so far 1.9-billion dollars and that doesn't even begin to measure how many people are now steering away from GM dealerships and going elsewhere to buy their new car or truck.

If you've never had your vehicle recalled, count yourself lucky.   I got a recall notice in the mail last week about my 2014 vehicle.  Things have gone from bad to worse since.  I actually received two separate recall notices.  Both were for the same model vehicle but they had different Vehicle Identification Numbers or VINS.   So I'm thinking there is someone out there driving the identical model vehicle to mine with that second VIN and he or she will never be told about the car being recalled for a potential fire risk in the gas tank.

I called the company's Canadian head office and told them about it and was put through the rigmarole of, 'are you sure you don't have two vehicles?'   Am I sure?  Of course I'm sure.   The response from the woman on the phone, 'well they must have made a mistake at the dealers.'

I called the dealer to set up an appointment to get the vehicle recall repaired.  The service advisor then told me I should call the parts department to make sure they had the part on hand.   I called back to the parts department and was told 'sir, we don't keep those parts in stock, so what you will have to do is book an inspection, which will take an hour.  If you need the repair, we'll order the part and then you can come back to get it installed.'   Keep in mind, I am not a patient man when it comes to things like this.  I grit my teeth, call back to service and booked an inspection and regular maintenance appointment.

I showed up yesterday afternoon for my 1:15 appointment.  I explain to my service advisor, the two VIN mix up in the recall notifications. He checks the computer record and there's only one VIN in my name.  So I have no clue if this duplication is still in the system somewhere or not, nor whether the person driving the other car has been notified of the recall.   In any event, I returned two hours later.   Regular maintenance was done..great.  
As for the recall he said 'sir, we were unable to do the inspection to see if the part has to be replaced.'  What?  What do you mean you couldn't do the inspection?  'Sorry sir but the car company hasn't sent us the tool we need to carry out the inspection.'  So I ask, when might the tool come in?  Response:  'no idea sir.  If you don't hear from us in a month, call in and we'll check.'

This particular car company has very few recalls so I can well imagine the craziness the GM car and truck owners are running into at their dealerships.

ELECTION

The Ontario Election advertising ban on radio and TV expired at midnight.  This is one of those dumb rules in the election that doesn't make any sense.   These commercials are not banned on the internet, but for the first two weeks of the formal election, they can't be aired on the broadcast medium.

These are the commercials the parties hope will firm up your vote.

In the first round it appears the NDP will Liberal bash.  The Liberals will slam Tim Hudak's promise to eliminate a hundred-thousand public sector jobs and the PC's will push a positive spin...staying on the message track about Hudak's Million Jobs plan.

And then after a few days of seeing and hearing their commercials over and over and over again, they'll become...blah, blah, blah.

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