The symbol for Michelin tires is a fat man made of fluffy tires stacked
one on the other. What is the connection between this symbol and Michelin
tires? The connection has been lost through the years. The symbol for
the Ford Mustang is the wild horse and this makes more sense until you’ve
taken it to the dealership a dozen times, then a basket of lemons might
be a better symbol.
Since 1987, Norman Taylor & Associates has dealt with thousands of
defective vehicles. In the
California Lemon Law it is all about the defects. As consumers we want the best. We want to
believe the slogans. But when our engine blows and we experience the terror
of trying to reach the side of the freeway without becoming a hood ornament
on a semi, our last thought isn’t, “I’m not worried;
It’s built Ford tough“, or “I’ll be fine, my truck is
like a rock.” Tell that to the guy who has made ten trips to the dealership
to get his truck repaired. Meaningless slogans! It may be built tough,
but it sure isn’t tougher than 20,000 pounds of semi-trailer.
It’s a matter of honesty and maybe a little reality. At Norman Taylor
& Associates we have a slogan; it says, “We wrote the
book on Lemon Law!” We did! Two of them! Advertising is the business of changing minds,
of planting a phrase or image in our heads.
One of Honda’s slogans is,
“The power of dreams.” What does that mean? Who’s dreams? One of Toyota’s slogans is,
“I love what you do for me- Toyota!” At Toyota, it’s all about
ME. We are pretty sure that the family in the fatal vehicle crash in San
Diego did not love what Toyota did for them. Unfortunately in most cases,
as a consumer you must be prepared to be ground into the dirt if you have
a persistently defective lemon car. Manufacturing arrogance is not pretty.
We are not against advertising, but what about the concept of truth in
advertising? Forget perception! You can’t drive perception to work
every day! People with lemon cars don’t really want to spend their
valuable time at the dealership. Nor do they want to be forced to retain
a California Lemon Law attorney for help. Remember, when you don’t
measure up to your image, when your symbols and slogans are Madison Avenue
nonsense, and you cars and trucks turn out to be lemons, they will definitely
be remembered. Lemon cars are like first kisses, you never forget them,
even though you wish you could. So a word of advice to you folks in the
automobile manufacturing business, please, just a little less smoke and mirrors.