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Leviathan meets the Incredible Hulk

Paying the "Fat Tax," Saab Edition.

Posted on 2007.05.11 at 13:46
My wife got her new (Used) car, a 1994 Saab 900 3-door sedan, registered. Got plates on it. Than discovered -- and I don't know why she didn't find this out in the test drive -- that the seatbelt won't go around her.

Now, when you're fat, this is a commonplace occurance, and every other time I've dealt with it, it's been like so: Drive to dealership. "May I have seatbelt extensions, please?" They hand you lengths of seatbelt material, maybe 9" long, with a male buckle on one end, and a female buckle on the other.

These have always been free, and dealers have patiently explained to me that they were required by law to provide tehm free of charge.

So I start calling Saab dealers.

"Sure, we've got that. The price is One-forty-three."

"A Dollar forty-three?"

"No, a hundred and forty-three dollars."

You know, as if this is a normal, sane thing to say.

$143.00. For 9 inches of tough fabric with a buckle on each end. This price, you understand, is not for a set for the whole car. It's per unit!

Now, every dealer I've gotten extensions from was in Massachusetts, but this one was in New Hampshire, so I thought, Well, maybe it's a state law. I'll call a dealership in Mass.


I talk to the parts manager, and ask what's the dillio? Ever dealership I've ever been to tells me that they're required by law to provide these free of charge. Parts manager sends me to SaabUSA Customer Service.

SaabUSA Customer Service claims there is no such law, never has been, and the prices are correct.

That's $143.00 or $186.00 for 9 inches of tough fabric with a buckle on each end. This is a part that can't possibly cost more than $3.00/unit to make.

Now, honestly, I'm all right with paying the Fat Tax. I'm all right with paying more for almost anything because I'm fat. Sure it's discrimation, and ought to be illegal, but, fuck it. I refuse to fly because I won't buy two tickets for one ass, but I smile as I pay twice as much for a shirt because I'm buying it at "XL" (Formerly "Casual Male Big & Tall.") It's the Fat Tax. That's life.

But these guys are trying to tell me that every other car dealer I've ever dealt with was lying to stop me from giving them money. Well, yeah, that's something a car deale would do, don't you think?

But, man, I'm not bending over and taking that up the arse!

So I offer a hearty Fuuuuuuuuck You! to SaabUSA and all of their scumbag dealers, while I pay maybe $8.00 apiece for Extended floor brackets to mount the seatbelts higher, thus buying me my extra inches.


Madam Minnie
madam_minnie at 2007-05-11 18:03 (UTC) (Link)

As a fellow payer of the Fat Tax...

Take THAT scumbags!
tajareyul at 2007-05-11 18:17 (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps a quick search of Massacusetts law is in order? I find it very hard to believe that the dealerships you dealt with previously could be so misinformed.
mudblood428 at 2007-05-11 18:38 (UTC) (Link)
Holy crap. That's ridiculous. For all that hassle, you should've gotten a Toyota.

You tell them to take it up the arse! Good for you for finding a way around their shenanigans!
i_m_b00 at 2007-05-11 18:47 (UTC) (Link)
Is outraged for you.

this is just wrong... umm who do I kick
faye_jan49 at 2007-05-11 18:59 (UTC) (Link)
Actually, it's not a law that auto companies provide seat belt extenders. Some do as a courtesy, some will charge for them, and some won't provide them at all.


To sign a petition to require automakers to provide extensions, go to:

Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-05-11 19:10 (UTC) (Link)

Actually, it's not a law that auto companies provide seat belt extenders.

See, I can dig that. That just leaves me wondering why every dealer I've ever dealt with other than Saab has told me that is is a law. I mean, again, why make something up that keeps me from giving them money? That's very un-car-dealer-like behaviour.

Also, I don't mind them making a profit. I pay the Fat Tax. But $143.00-$186.00 for nine inches of webbing with two buckles? I want dinner and a movie first!
faye_jan49 at 2007-05-11 19:36 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Actually, it's not a law that auto companies provide seat belt extenders.

The dealers will say it is a law, provide you with the extenders, and hope you will buy again from them the next time. It's a incentive to buy from them, and an inexpensive one for them.

I have car dealers in my family, and they use lots of different "incentives" when selling.

Saab charges $143-$186 for the extenders simply because THEY CAN.

( and ROFL! on the dinner and movie!)
Tired McSleepystein
qedrakmar at 2007-05-11 19:52 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Actually, it's not a law that auto companies provide seat belt extenders.

That's still weird. I'd expect them to tell you that it's a company policy, even if it is a law. "We're not required to do this, but we do it... for you."
natertatersmom at 2007-05-11 20:53 (UTC) (Link)
Let's sit on them!
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-05-12 11:41 (UTC) (Link)
They certainly don't deserve anything as nice as your ass on them.
mrsquizzical at 2007-05-11 21:07 (UTC) (Link)
that's just puzzling.

(oh, and infuriating and discrimatory and just plain wrong), but yeah....


i read the other comments before commenting and i agree that it's strange the dealerships didn't just take 'look how generous and worthy of your good will we are' points.

and it's DEFINATELY worth dinner and a movie at that price.

glad you found a way 'round it, bud.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-05-12 11:47 (UTC) (Link)
I'm totally there with that. A dealer wins no extra points with me for doing something only because they're required by law, which is what these folks were telling me. They win points for saying, "You know, we don't have to provide these, and the list price is $50.00, but, you know what? I like you. Here. Just take 'em, and remember us next time you're looking for a car."
harry_lvr at 2007-05-12 10:30 (UTC) (Link)
Bloody hell, that's so unfair. Car dealers, pft. One of my friends had fun with her car peoples here - the car was screwing up whenever it got above about 80 ks per hour, so she took it to them to get it fixed while under warranty. They gave it back to her a week later without having done a single thing to it (it hadn't even been moved from the spot she'd left it, and its still screwing up), probably hopind that she wouldn't be driving over 80kph before her warranty runs out in a month...

...as for the fat person tax thing, just keep in mind how much girls pay for bikinis ;) I can never work out how one tiny piece of material can be more expensive than bulky winter clothing...
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-05-12 11:44 (UTC) (Link)
I'm quite sure there are car dealers who are actually fine, honest, ethical people I'd be proud to call friend. I don't think I've ever met any like that, but I'm sure there must be.

Oh, and on your last paragraph... Is it cheaper if you only buy half? You're in Australia, that's not unusual there... Oh, the hell with it. Just don't use one at all. Yeah, that's a good solution.
harry_lvr at 2007-05-12 11:48 (UTC) (Link)
lol! Yeah, like that's ever going to happen! And for your information, yes, you can buy tops and bottoms separately at most shops! Although it's actually cheaper to buy them together, I think...meh. I dunno, I only get new togs every couple of years, which is pretty slack for Australia - most teenagers go through two or three a year ;)
alloy_ at 2007-05-14 05:43 (UTC) (Link)
Have you considered asking AAA about the law?
risiepookie at 2007-05-19 06:25 (UTC) (Link)
Seriously, WTF is up with that?! I agree with everyone else, but just wanted to stand in solidarity with you, as one of the skinniness-impaired people of America. The amount of discrimination that goes with being overweight is astounding to me and I really don't think people realize how wide-spread and pervasive it generally is.

Sod them all. I agree with Angela- maybe we can just sit on all of them?!
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-05-20 11:02 (UTC) (Link)
I am mostly philosophical about the Fat Tax -- but that's just piling on!

And I stand by what I told Angela! They don't deserve anything as nice as your ass on them!
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