A senior Nissan Executive railed against buyers of the GT-R, a performance vehicle built by his own company, in the online forum Corner-Carvers. The executive referred to owners as "Jackasses" and "Parkinsons-ridden testicles with arms." UPDATE!
Nissan's Chip Goetzinger, the Assistant To the Chairman of North America, was attempting to defend the Nissan GT-R and the company yesterday in the Corner-Carvers forum against complaints over the GT-R's widely-known warranty-voiding transmission issues and the car's overall performance. A call to Nissan by Jalopnik confirmed a Chip Goetzinger works as Assistant to the Nissan North American Chairman."
While he starts off with a defense of the company on the warranty issue, Goetzinger then takes a turn in a direction no executive should really go — claiming the owners were mostly at fault:
The whole warranty-voiding fiasco is vastly inflated as well — don't buy the internet hype. It certainly wasn't handled as well as it could have been on this end, but the warranties that were voided were egregious abuse. I worked in Parts & Service here at the time, and the driving behaviors of the primary complainer/internet hyper were appalling at best - such as averaging one full-bore race launch (on a cold engine) every 100 miles for the first 4,000 miles.
Other forum members question why they should believe the poster, who uses the name "Topless Vobra" in reference to his convertible Mustang Cobra project. He outs himself saying:
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His profile (below) seems to confirm he's who he claims to be. Here's a screen cap of the profile page: On the statistics page (further below) and his Forum ID tag (shown above) it says he's been a member of the forum since 2000. One would assume this is who he says he is but we've placed a call in to Nissan PR. They're efforting to determine themselves if this is the same Chip who works at Nissan. (UPDATE Nissan confirmed it's him, see the update below for a statement)
But it's when he says his name that the forum thread degenerates. Once again defending the company's warranty situation he insults those who own the cars and those that complain about the warranty with the following NSFW screed:
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Though he heaps accolades on the car throughout the posting he also admits at one point his own problems with the vehicle: "Frankly, it really isn't overall my ideal in a sports car either (too heavy & complex) but it's impressive nonetheless." Never a good thing for an auto exec to admit in an online public forum.
Heaping further evidence on this being Chip, he also appears on the Corral.net forum with the same car and name as used on Corner-Carvers and identifies himself as "Chip" in his signature.
UPDATE: A Nissan spokesperson confirmed the identity of the poster and released this statement:
Nissan does not condone the comments made by this particular employee. While seemingly well-intentioned, many of the remarks are regrettable and do not represent the company's views. Nissan's policy regarding internet commentary is that an employee's personal opinion must be preceded by a disclaimer that identifies their remarks as such and not necessarily the views of the company.
All the posts from Chip in that thread have been edited and all the comments he made removed, but you can still see them above.