This is an absolutely true story. So I'm sitting in my friend's Audi A4, and I've got some time on my hands because it won't start (I guess those Consumer Reports "black dot" ratings were on target). Being trapped there, forced to listen to some really bad techno music (preloaded at the factory), I start to tap the dash. The next thing you know, the vent cover pops off (like an airbag!) and strikes me in the eye. Now I'm ticked...this shouldn't not be happening in a German-engineered car. But I strive on with my injury and proceed to examine the trim piece. Low and behold, on the back of it, the letters "VW" stamped on it...along with "Made in Mexico." Now I'm like, what the heck? My friend paid a lot of money for this car assuming that it's a German Audi. Thinking I ought to notify him of this situation, I push the window button...but alas, nothing happens. Darn you Consumer Reports! You are right again on your description of Audi/VW electrical problems. Car won't start and none of the power equipment works. Hmmm, I should look on the brightside: Audi does make a very safe vehicle (if it's always in the shop, it can't get into an accident). So anyway, I open the door and call to my friend, "Hey Ha-Jo, what's with the build quality on this thing?" Unfortunately, he can't hear me over the bad music and for the fact that, instead of trying to get the car to start, he's adjusting the cheesey Germans-esque license plate he paid $100 for on Ebay. Now you'd think I'd yell at him, sitting there for so long, but I realize this isn't an automotive problem so much as a lifestyle choice. In past years, my friend bought high-mileage old BMW's and Benz's so he could tell people he drove BMW's and Benz's. However, thanks to the numerous quality issues with Audis, he now can pick up these five year-old VW's for a song. I suppose it's all about image. But hey, who am I to judge? There are a lot of guys driving F-250's just so they can haul a bedload of air. Oh well, at least my buddy has finally got his license plate issue straightened out (come to find out, he was coating it in hair spray and gluing a leaf on it) and he's calling a tow truck. Hmmm...I wonder what sort of safety rating this tow truck has? Anyway, to wrap this up, as we're coasting over to Ha-Jo's old buddy, the VW service department, we pass a Hyundai dealership. It's then that my friend nudges me and says, "What's going on over there?" Now I'm struggling to see what he's talking about since I've got this eye injury from the Mexican-made VW trim piece, but I do manage to see a number of people in the Hyundai lot. Ha-Jo repeats himself, "What's going on over there? Why are those cars moving around?" Not wanting to hurt his "wannabe" pride, I gently explain that the people over there are driving cars. Now this ticks my friend off and he starts to get excited. "Hyundai actually makes fine functioning automobiles at affordable prices and with great warranties? All my German car magazines say that this is a myth: That only cars made in Germany are fit to drive." Hmmm...I take a few moments and explain to him about how most of the world drives Asian-built automobiles and that the German motoring press tends to have a bias against anything non-German. He doesn't believe me, but I tell him about "protectionism" and how the press, the ADAC and various testing organizations in Germany work together to propogate myths about non-German cars. "Oh, it's about stopping the hemmoraging of highly-paid manufacturing jobs leaving Germany for eastern Europe and Asia." It's like my friend has experienced his own minute of enlightenment! "Ha-Jo, your preferences and choices are based upon biases, not upon demonstrated and irrefutable data. I'm sure when you went into debt for this Volkswagen, er Audi, you never thought you'd be spending so much time solving the issues of German engineering. I mean, in reality, this A4 shares the same heart as a VW Lupo. But hey, I suppose it still impresses some people to tell them you drive an Audi. That's worth it, right?" My friend responds, "Yeah, you're right about that. When people see my pulling up with their pizza, they know they're dealing with a real playa'." This is a seriously true story.