Letters for November 1, 2001

Service at Streeter
Re “Out of the Benz Biz” (RN&R News, Oct. 11):

I think you should expand on your article and leave the door open for people who may have had problems with Streeter Imports’ service department, such as overcharging, charging for work that was not performed or customer deception.

I have been a Mercedes owner for the past 10 years and have had several service issues with [Streeter]. Recently, they put 27 miles on my car in just one service visit. Their service department, as well as their dealership general manager, claimed that 27 miles is nothing unusual for test drives by service.

I must tell you that they were checking out abnormal brake pad wear-out, and they HAD to test drive it for 27 miles.

Dr. Rasoul Baghal
Via e-mail

Integrity at Streeter
Re “Out of the Benz Biz” (RN&R News, Oct. 11):

As president of Conley & Associates Inc., a national automotive marketing firm, I have personally worked with more than 500 dealers in 28 states and Canada since 1981. During these two decades, I have never been associated with a dealership of greater integrity than Streeter Imports in Reno. Nor have I ever read a more one-sided piece of *#@! than your article.

I will touch on just a few of your many inaccuracies. Although Fred Streeter may have attended “few” Mercedes Benz dealer meetings and none of the company’s training sessions, the dealership’s executive general manager Rick Cozad, Mr. Streeter’s partner Paul Wondries and/or authorized Mercedes Benz sales and service representatives attended all of the aforementioned meetings. All of them!

Secondly, the records will indicate that exactly zero used Mercedes Benz vehicles were represented as “new” vehicles. That’s right. Zero! It is not uncommon for a factory to use extortion tactics to get a dealership to enhance facilities at the dealer’s expense.

Holding the M-series (light trucks and sports utility vehicles) hostage is an example of this. Consider this, Mercedes Benz awarded Streeter the franchise in the same facility it is now condemning. Mr. Streeter’s decision to fight the factory was waged on behalf of his customers.

The cost of a new facility would have negatively impacted the price of all Mercedes Benz vehicles in Reno, new and used. Do the math!

The Reno area will be the loser if Streeter Imports does not prevail in the appeal process. Mercedes Benz will lose even more.

Michael Conley
President, Conley & Associates

Hansen’s extreme
Re “How Ira Hansen Got the Boot” (RN&R News, Oct. 4):

Mr. Hansen was not fired [from his talk show host position at KKOH] because he chose to exercise his First Amendment rights. He was fired because his statements and ideology are so far out of the mainstream as to be called extremist. Just as Mr. Hansen has the right to express his views, the radio station has the right to hire or fire anyone they choose. This same extremism allows radical Muslims to justify killing thousands of innocent people. Hansen blames Israel for the Sept. 11 attack and says, “It’s not Western culture that terrorists hate; if that were true, they would hate Germany and France also.”

Wrong again, Mr. Hansen. There have been terrorist attacks in both Germany and France. Your supposition that America’s support for Israel is the cause for this atrocity is outrageous, irresponsible and simply wrong. Israel is the only democracy in a sea of monarchies and military dictatorships. It is the stated goal of the PLO, not just to have a Palestinian state, but to destroy the state of Israel.

The terrorists do not want peace talks; they do not want a peace treaty. They simply want the destruction of Israel. If you truly are interested in the truth as you state, then you would have the integrity to say what is really behind your politics. Stand up proudly and say, “I hate Jews, therefore I hate the state of Israel.”

I am proud to be an American, and even though your hateful views are abhorrent, I am proud to live in a country that lets you express them. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the majority of Middle Eastern countries.

P. Mozen