Manual worker

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Sir,

May I, as the largely contented and enthusiastic owner of a 1988 Carrera, invite Porsche GB to answer publicly and truthfully the following question. Why is it that, as a British citizen, presently resident in Germany. I am not permitted to purchase a factory workshop manual for my car, when this privilege is granted to my contemporaries resident in the United States?

To date, my written request to AFN in Isleworth has received no written response. However, the honest man in the parts department said that the official reason was “copyright”, but really they just wanted dealers to get all service business. Further written requests to customer services in Ludwigsburg have produced a stream of feeble excuses. Apparently, the car is too powerful and complex to be serviced by untrained personnel. This was quickly withdrawn when I pointed out the range of my workshop facilities and that I cut my teeth preparing Manx Nortons in the 1960s.

In the latest correspondence Porsche claims that it cannot supply a manual directly for legal reasons. I assume this refers to exclusive dealership agreements. Furthermore, they cannot force a dealer to supply manuals or special tools to ‘non-authorised’ persons. Utter rot, of course, but it sounds plausible to the simple-minded. Anyone with wit will immediately enquire why the dealership agreements contain this delicious Catch 22 situation, for there is no doubt whatever that dealership agreements are drafted by the manufacturer. The only reasonable conclusion is that Porsche wants it this way!

In the USA, Porsche admits that by law it is obliged to provide manuals to its customers, despite reservations. Considering the cost of product liability insurance in the USA, combined with the contingency fee legal system. I find myself wondering why on earth Porsche bother to sell such a dangerous cocktail of performance car and workshop manuals to non-authorised persons.

Presently as we in Europe progress, if that is the word, towards a Federal state, I can only hope that the gains include the rights of the individual as they currently exist in the USA in this particular case. Regrettably I suggest that will not be the case, and that that honest chap in AFN parts department will be proved right.

Perhaps we should apply to be the 51st state!

Terry Melvin, Cologne, Germany.

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