Americana: Sweetening a Lemon

Back in 1972, Motel Operator Angelo Asciolla of Lake Winnisquam, N.H., paid $5,200 for a new Olds Delta 88. After driving it all of 1,390 miles, he discovered that the car would move neither forward nor backward. As he later learned, the GM dealer had left the auto in water up to the floor boards before palming it off on him.

When Asciolla took the car back to his dealer and asked for a replacement, he was offered a new transmission. After he made several futile appeals to consumer groups the New Hampshire supreme court...

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