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Strange but True

Automotive Fleet has collected these “Strange but True” stories from fleet managers, drivers, and fleet management companies. Do you have a strange but true story? Something so incredible it couldn’t have been made up? Share your stories with Automotive Fleet. E-mail:

March 2009, by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

Mind Your Abbreviations

One company vice president opted for a minivan rather than an executive-level vehicle. The VP chose a minivan with the XLT trim level.
The vehicle was factory-ordered and the VP frequently contacted the fleet manager to check the status of the van. He apparently wanted to use the minivan on an upcoming vacation. Fortunately, the van arrived before the exec's planned vacation.

Once the VP arrived at the dealership, he called the fleet manager to inform him he was refusing delivery of the vehicle because it was not correct.

The fleet manager compared the invoice to the order requisition from the driver. The information was identical. The fleet manager contacted the VP and told him the paperwork indicated the vehicle was delivered as ordered. 

Asked what the problem was, the VP stated, "I ordered a van with extra-large tires. This one does not have the extra-large tires." 
The fleet manager reviewed his request again and, failing to find any such request, faxed the VP a copy of the original order form. The VP called back and told the fleet manager it was plainly stated on his order - XLT, or according to the VP, "Xtra-Large Tires."

Once he stopped laughing, the fleet manager explained "XLT" was a trim level and did not stand for extra-large tires. The vehicle went to a company regional fleet manager, and a new van with the extra-large tires the VP wanted was ordered - but not in time for his vacation.

'Avoidable' Accidents

With an increased emphasis on tracking and reporting "avoidable" accidents, drivers have become creative in avoiding being held responsible during accident investigations. For example, a meter reader backed out of a long, narrow driveway and scraped a tree, removing the passenger-side mirror. However, the investigation concluded the vehicle manufacturer had obviously used faulty adhesive when installing the mirror. The meter reader was not charged with an "avoidable" accident.

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