October 1, 2002
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Flowmaster, manufacturer of loud, hot rod “performance exhaust systems,” has won October’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America. Flowmaster, based in Santa Rosa, California, proclaims that it manufactures “high performance mufflers and complete exhaust systems.” It has hundreds of different exhaust systems that produce “an aggressive muscle car sound.”
Mark Huber said that “Flowmaster promotes its trademarked product lines with names like ‘American Thunder.’ They use the smarmy appeal of false patriotism. They promise ‘powerfully aggressive sound outside the vehicle’ and ‘the true tone of American muscle and performance.'” Huber also commented that “Flowmaster fans who succumb to this low-class advertising seem to think that they are displaying their patriotism when they rumble through neighborhoods disturbing the peace and ruining property values, in vehicles covered with American flag decals. Actually, by their illegal actions, they desecrate the American flag and disrespect the people for whom it stands.”
In Virginia, like most states, it is illegal to drive cars equipped with these loud, rumbling products on public roads. Flowmaster aggressively markets these products, knowing that as soon as they are installed, the purchaser is breaking the law.
An elementary school teacher in Richmond, Virginia, said, “I resent the fact that adolescent boys of all ages regularly drive their rumble mobiles next to my school. While I’m trying to have ‘quiet time,’ they’re having ‘hot rod time.’ Hot rod drivers are damaging the ability of my students to learn–as well as harming their hearing and raising their blood pressure.”
This educator also stated that “people who install hot rod exhausts are breaking the law. State and local police departments should enforce the law. State vehicle inspectors should look for illegal hot rod equipment.” This educator knows of local and state police officers who have Flowmasters on their personal vehicles. She fears they may be sympathetic to hot rod law breakers.
Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America, observed that “these illegal hot rod exhausts increase noise levels, which produces chaos and confusion. In this atmosphere, accidents increase, property values decline, and criminality flourishes. Flowmaster’s noise machines harm the quality of American life.”