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The mighty Hyundai Genesis is human after all

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Posted: Friday, June 10, 2011 10:57 pm | Updated: 11:03 pm, Fri Jun 10, 2011.

The Hubble telescope is a very sophisticated means by which scientists can study the heavens. This marvel of scientific engineering took a collaboration of several institutions like NASA and Lockheed. It took several years and a budget of thirty million dollars to go from drawing board to reality. The Hubble telescope was absolutely a landmark scientific achievement.

However, shortly after it was put into service in 1990 it was found to have a big problem. The telescope's main mirror had been ground to the wrong specifications. It was not until 1993 that the Hubble could be restored to its intended brilliance. It is tough for me to believe that a rocket scientist with more degrees than a thermometer had made a miscalculation, but even the best engineers make mistakes.

Automotive engineers are not immune from making a mess of things. Even cars that are supremely reliable are susceptible to the occasional gremlin (pun intended). A case-in-point, Toyota automobiles are known for being reliable, but they were in the Lodi News Sentinel last year for massive recalls. This does not mean that Toyotas are unreliable. It just proves my point that even the best engineered cars will have a problem or two during their service life.

Unfortunately my wife has come to learn this notion first hand. While hanging out with her father last weekend Jordan's new Hyundai Genesis broke down. She was driving back to her dad's house after a Starbucks run when she felt an abrupt loss of throttle input. No matter how much she depressed the gas peddle, her Genesis ignored her much like a kid watching cartoons. Jordan pulled to the side of the road and shut the car down. The dash warning lights were lit up like Christmas in Times Square and the car was running rough. Deciding to play it safe she gave up on driving the car home and called Hyundai roadside assistance.

Apparently Hyundai only uses towing companies with which they have service contracts. After waiting three hours and calling Hyundai a few times, they showed up and towed Jordan's car to the dealership. Fortunately the dealer was able to find the problem and fix it under warranty.

My wife used to get annoyed when I would spend time fixing her old car. Now she is annoyed with her new car's unexpected breakdown. Who could blame her for being a little ticked off? I admit I was not happy with the breakdown; but I do have a different take on the whole ugly situation.

Like the mighty Hubble telescope the Genesis coupe is a mass of mechanical and electronic engineering. While the car may be slightly less sophisticated, it is complex and may have a hiccup or two. At least the technician did not need a space shuttle mission to fix the Hyundai. I believe that a car's reliability should be based on the frequency and severity of its problems. So far she has only broken down once and while the problem was debilitating it was not serious.

I do admit that I am under the shapely coupe's spell a tiny bit. If I caught the Hyundai taking money out of my wallet in the middle of the night, I would probably let it slide. Yes, I may be a madman by forgiving this breakdown. My new car isn't perfect...she is only human.

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