I’m not one to cast aspersions, but vintage Volvo owners are some cheap bastards. Not those richy-rich 1800 guys, probably, but certainly every 544, 122, 140, and 240-series owner I’ve ever encountered. Up to and including the guy I see in the grimy reflection of my long-unwashed 242’s windows every time I walk past where it sits, dead in my driveway. He’s the worst.
On the forums I troll, any Volvo owner who reports a dead car, or even any noise, rattle, or whiff of smoke, is invariably advised to “crush it.” Because a trip to the crusher has to be cheaper and better for everyone than having the thing towed to a local shop for repair.
The folks over at Volvo Car USA beg to differ, because today they announced in one of the shortest, most straightforward, most un-manufacturer-jargony press releases of all time, the new, complimentary “Tow for Life” program. “No matter what vintage Volvo you may drive, roadside towing is now available free of charge,” the release begins. Linguistic experts at Turbobricks.com began dissecting the verbiage as soon as it went public; they have yet to detect any sort of catch or hidden clause, such as “not the crappy ones” or “excludes anything on cut springs.” There isn’t a single asterisk on the whole thing!
“Tow for Life ensures that in the event of a breakdown, help is on hand no matter the age of the vehicle,” said Scott Doering, Head of Customer Service for Volvo Car USA. “It’s a commitment to all our customers that cars will be taken to experts who use genuine Volvo parts and repair methods. This will get the customer back on the road faster and provide assurance that the repair was done right.”
Oh, see, there’s the catch—the “done right” part. Vintage Volvo owners know it’s much cheaper, and far easier, to do it “just okay,” because you’re going to get 300,000 miles out of the damn thing regardless. But maybe, just maybe, if we don’t have to splurge for towing, a few genuine parts here and there, installed by folks who actually know what they’re doing, won’t be such a bad thing. It might even get you to 400,000.
If you’re reading this on the side of the road in your broke-ass Volvo, call Volvo Customer Care at 800-550-5658 to arrange your free tow.