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A Publication of Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales & Service
Vol. 13  No. 2         Spring 2007

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Local Senator Backs
Massachusetts Vehicle Owners

  Good news! We are pleased to announce that State Senator Mark Montigny has signed on-board to draft the much-needed legislation to protect all vehicle owners of the Commonwealth.Since 2002, many states have been pushing to have Federal “Right-To-Repair” legislation drafted to protect automotive consumers from being forced to take their vehicles to the new car franchise dealership for certain repairs. This potential legislation has been stalled for several years. Now some states like Massachusetts are taking on the legislation process on themselves. Independent Automotive Technicians have been literally “locked out” of repairing certain electronic systems on today’s newer high-tech vehicles. Many of today’s vehicles require specialized tools or diagnostic information that is currently only available to the new car franchise dealer and not to local Independent Repair Facilities and Technicians.

Independent Automotive Technicians, National Automotive and Tire Chain Stores, Aftermarket Parts Manufacturers and even consumer advocates have been warning the Federal Government about this growing concern. If allowed to continue, this monopoly will continue to force more and more vehicle owners to have to take their vehicles to the dealership.

Many motorists prefer their small local Independent Service Facilities for their superior customer service, repair warranties as well as competitive labor pricing. With today’s very complex vehicles, the Independent Service Facilities are finding that they are being forced to turn away more and more customers due to this lack of technical repair information and specialized tooling. In addition, many Aftermarket Parts Suppliers are also in the dark on design information preventing them from making quality aftermarket parts that are more competitively priced as opposed to factory parts. This parts lockout also monopolizes the industry in forcing more owners to purchase only factory parts from the new car dealership.

This year, Senators Mark Montigny, Martin Walsh and Vincent Pedone have all signed on to a current Bill, (2007 House No. 296), to assist in this important endeavor. The passage of this bill would be a win for consumers, Independent Repair Facilities and Aftermarket Parts Manufacturers. We will keep you posted here in Giammalvo Quarterly on its status. Drop a note to your Senator’s on this issue. For more information on the Internet go to:  or

SRPEDD Announces Most Dangerous Intersections In

Southeastern Massachusetts

In a published study conducted by the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, (SRPEDD), more than a quarter of the 100 most dangerous intersections in Southeastern Massachusetts were found to be in New Bedford. SRPEDD is the regional planning agency for the Southeastern Massachusetts Metropolitan Organization, (MPO), serving 27 cities and towns in Southeastern Massachusetts. Some of the dangerous intersections noted were:

Intersection                                                  Total Crashes 2002-2004                         Issue/Needs

Kempton St . /  Route 140 Brownell Ave                         73                          Congestion/widen Brownell Ave.

    Ashlly Blvd. / Coggeshall St.                                            50                                 Congestion/widen Coggeshall St.

    Rt. 18  /  Union St.                                                          42                                    Improvements planned 2008

    Rt. 18  /  Elm St.                                                              41                                    Improvements planned 2008

    Ashley Blvd.  /  Wood St.                                                  40                                    Improvements made in 2004

Rockdale Ave.  /  Dartmouth St.                                         38                                    Improvements in design

County St.  /  Mill St.                                                     35                                    Needs signal upgrade

  Hathaway Rd.  /  Shawmut Ave.                                         33                                    Conflicting turning movements

 Rockdale Ave.  /  Court St.                                                 30                                    Conflicting turning movements

Church St.  /   Park Ave.                                                 29                                    Needs sign and marking upgrades

Ashley Blvd.  /  Tarkiln Hill Rd                                 28                                    Red light offenders south Ashley Blv.

Acushnet Ave.  /   Wood St.                                       27                                    Improvements made in 2005

Honda Owner Suffers Sticker Shock

Over Estimate To Replace Tires

 Recently in Tom and Ray Magliozzi’s “Click ‘n Clack” Automotive Column, Tom and Ray addressed a letter from a 2005 Honda Odyssey owner regarding a quote he received from his Honda dealer to replace his tires.The owner wrote in stating that he took his vehicle to a tire dealer for new tires and the tire dealer stated that his rims would have to be replaced along with the tires and that only the dealer could perform this repair. The owner then went to the Honda dealership and the water became muddier. The Honda dealer stated that, yes, the wheels would have to be replaced with the tires and that the total would be approximately $2,320.00. Then the Honda dealer stated that he could not do the work either because he did not have the special machine needed for his special tires.

Special tires? Sort of, this customer’s Honda came from the factory equipped with new technology, run-flat tires. Run-flat tires have a very stiff sidewall and are designed to run flat, (for a limited time), without air should the tire develop a leak. Obvious advantages of this design are, lack of the need of a spare tire, jacking tools and storage space for such. No more getting dirty in the rain changing a tire while you are in your tux headed to your relative’s wedding. The issue with run-flat tires is that many car dealers and tire dealers, even the new car dealer in this case, does not have the specialized expensive tire mounting/dismounting machines that are required. Standard tire mounting machines do not have the force required to collapse these tire’s stiff sidewalls in order to get them off the wheels. In addition, run-flat wheels have large mounting lips and wireless transmitting sensors inside the rims that send a signal to a computer in the vehicle to warn the driver if a tire is low on air. If the proper tire machine and procedures are not used, these $200.00 each pressure sensors can be ruined too.

All the run-flat news is not bad however. Tom and Ray advised the owner to call around and find a tire store that had a run-flat mount machine They stated that such a store will be able to remove the tires from the wheels and then install new run-flat tires on the same wheels. In this situation, the customer will not have to purchase new wheels, just the tires, like on most cars. The only added expense is that the machine is costly and the job is difficult for the tire technician. Expect to pay 100.00 per tire for mounting as opposed to 15.00 each, (a typical price to mount a conventional tire). Still, it’s a savings as opposed to purchasing new wheels too.

2007 Vehicle Recalls


2006- Ram - Poorly greased front wheel bearing causes bearing degradation, and results in hub assembly separation causing a loss of vehicle control.

2002-2003 E550; 2003 Excursion, Lincoln Blackwood, F-150 to F550 Super Duty - Under hood speed control deactivation switch overheats and causes an Under hood electrical fire. Dealers will install a fused wiring harness.

General Motors

2007 GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook - Failure of the airbag sensing and diagnostic module prevents airbag deployment in a frontal crash. Note: the air bag warning lamp on the instrument panel may also fail.

2005-2006 Cobalt - Vehicles not equipped with the optional roof-mounted side impact air bags fail to provide adequate head impact protection meeting DOT standards. Dealers will install energy absorbing plastic to the headliner trim to reduce the severity of head impacts in a crash.


2006 Civic Hybrid - Parts of the Integrated Motor Assist system located under a metal cover behind the rear seat-back may contact the metal cover due to the weight of rear seat passengers The rubber cap covering an electrical terminal may get pinched, exposing the electrical terminal resulting in an electrical short that blows the IMA fuse causing the engine to stall. Dealers will install a plastic cover attached to a metal bracket over the rubber cap.

2003-2006 Accord - Aftermarket TYC brand headlamp assemblies do not meet DOT standards for photometric alignment, which can diminish frontal lighting. Repurchase offers are being sent out.

2004-2005 Accord - Over tightened wiring harness (attached to the driver’s seat frame) for the Seat Position Sensor breaks causing air bag warning light to be illuminated and the air bag system to default to full inflation pressure, regardless of the seat position increasing the risk of injury for smaller drivers.


2007 Mazda3 Speed - Optional accessory all weather floor mats have insufficient clearance for the accelerator pedal which can get stuck and cause unintended acceleration.


2006 Forester and Impreza - Front passenger seat air bag occupant detection system wiring harness shorts out at the floor cross member and seat mounting bracket causing potential for an electrical fire or disable the passenger’s airbag.


2006-2007 Scion XA and XB - Rostra aftermarket speed controls installed by Southeast Toyota or Gulf States Toyota processing centers have faulty modules which don’t turn off until the “ON/OFF” switch is pressed twice.

2004-2007 Sequoia; 2004-2006 Tundra- Premature ball joint wear causes front suspension noise, increased steering effort, failure of the steering wheel to return to center, and ultimately separation of the ball joint from the steering knuckle which causes loss of steering control.


1999-2006 GTI, Golf; 2001-2005 Jetta; 2001-2007 New Beetle; 2004 R32- Faulty brake light switch causes inoperative brake lights or keeps them turned on.

In Passing.

(Obituaries Courtesy The Standard Times)
Note: Due to recent requests, we will be adding family survivors to our customer’s obituaries as space allows.

Edwin D. Polchlopek, 76, of New Bedford, died Sunday, Jan 28, 2007 at St. Lukes Hospital after a brief illness. He was the husband of Linda T. (Thompson) Polchlopek, married 20 years. He was the son of the late Joseph and Katherine (Ogara) Polchlopek and stepson of the late Lillian (Viera) Polchlopek. He was born in New Bedford and was a lifelong resident. He was an Army veteran and served during the Korean War. He was formerly employed as a warehouse manager at The Standard Times for 41 and one half years until his retirement. He then worked part time for five years for Mid City Auto Parts. Ed enjoyed traveling and being a Good Samaritan, helping people and doing things for others. Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Sr. Marcia Mary Polchlopek of Enfield, Conn. And Kathleen Vertefeuille of New Bedford; a son John Polchlopek; two grandchildren’ a sister, Cynthia LeRoux of New Bedford; a brother Gene Polchlopek of Acushnet; and several nieces and nephews.

Cecil W. Sampson Jr. 65, of New Bedford died Thursday February 1, 2007 at Beth Israel Hospital unexpectedly. He was the loving husband of Christine (Jardin) Sampson of New Bedford and son of the late Cecil W. Sampson and Dolly (Easter) Sampson of West Virginia. He was born in Nellis, West Virginia, one of thirteen siblings, and attended Nellis public Schools. He served in the U.S Navy and was based in Newport, R.I. prior to making New Bedford his home for the last 45 years.  He was employed for many years as machine operator at Alden Corrugated until it’s closing. He was then employed at Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation in Mansfield. After retirement he worked part time for Sam Giammalvo’s Auto Sales. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing and cheering on the New England Patriots. Mr. And Mrs. Sampson was married 43 years at the time of his death and for the past year had untiring and tenderly dedicated his time to his wife’s cancer recovery. He had great pride and derived great joy in spending time with his six grandchildren. He is affectionately remembered as a mentor and coach to the many teenagers from his neighborhood, of whom he cared for deeply, and who are now successful men. Survivors include 1 daughter, Anne Elizabeth Louro and her husband Jeffrey of New Bedford; 2 sons, Robert Lee Sampson and his wife Doreen of Fall River, and Stephan Sampson of New Bedford; 4 sisters Emma Lou Edwards and June Kay Bowling both of West Virginia, Greta Jane Sampson of Kentucky and Dreama Farris of Detroit;  and 6 grandchildren.

Walter S. Loveridge, 94, died peacefully in his sleep at Sacred Heart Nursing Home in New Bedford, Sunday, February 4, 2007. Born October 4, 1913, a son of the late James and Clara (Daily) Loveridge, Mr. Loveridge was a lifelong resident of New Bedford, graduating from Holy Family High School. He was employed as a sales representative with the New Bedford Gas Company until his retirement in 1965. He was the husband of Bernadette A. Lavallee, to whom he was married sixty-eight years. Mr. Loveridge served in the U. S. Coast Guard during WWII and was an active member of the Third Order of the Franciscans. In addition to walking and bowling, activities he enjoyed in common with his wife, he also loved reading and baseball.

Arlette (Spirlet) LaPalme, 93, of Acushnet, died Thursday, February 22,2007, at Alden Court Nursing Center, after a long illness. She was the widow of Elzear “Pete” LaPalme and daughter of the late Joseph and Marie (Bernique) Spirlet. She was born in New Bedford and was a lifelong resident of Acushnet. She was a high school graduate. She was a communicant of St. Francis Xavier Church and she volunteered much of her time working at bingo. She was a homemaker and enjoyed ceramics and bowling. Survivors include her three sons, Ronald LaPalme and his wife Gail and Roland LaPalme both of Acushnet and Raymond LaPalme and his wife, Simone of Nokomis, Florida; three grandchildren, Kevin, Joseph and Michelle LaPalme-Oliver; two great grandchildren, Sydney and Ayden; and many nieces and nephews. She was the mother of the late Roger LaPalme and sister of the late Paulette LaPalme, Evelyn St. Jean and Norman and Valmore Spirlet.

We Appreciate your business.
Please drive carefully.
Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales, Inc.
1476 Purchase Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone: (508) 999-3213

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