Recalls & more recalls. Cars are now too complex!

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5,133
Location
chicago, Illinois
With all the massive recalls going on now, I'm surprised that more folks haven't started to realize the obvious..that cars have reached the point of being too complex for their own good, now for small production items that can transport large amounts of people (eg. planes) it might be manageable for companies to deal with this and still make a profit and satisfy customers, but with the car being a mass market consumer item it looks like that is increasingly not going to be sustainable, even FIAT CEO Marchionne says that the cost of all these recalls will be passed on to the customer in the end. We are at the point of dimishing returns when it comes to safety, emissions, and practicality. The sweet spot was probably the mid 80s - mid 90s or so when the auto industry had, in general very good reliability, affordability, ease of service, and reasonable safety and emissions standards. I for one would LOVE to be able to buy a brand new MK I or II VW Golf GTI, 1980s-1990s Honda Accord or Civic, ect. I'd love to see the car companies reverse course and build some more basic, simple, and more affordable cars.
 
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18,541
Location
Michigan
I kinda agree with that...my 2003 Cavalier (holdover from the 90s) - No recalls 2006 Cobalt : 3 recalls already... Simple is quite often better, just not as fun...
 
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5,653
Location
Central IA
My mid 80's Chevrolet was 15k then...if you adjust that for inflation it would cost 32,600. For a computer controlled carburated V8 that put out 180hp. No way I would pay that much money for it today as a new car. Now my early 90's buicks with the 3.8 engines were great cars. Personally I think the issue is that car makers are really slacking on quality control and are cutting corners on materials in order to generate extra profit.
 
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Messages
723
Location
Lower Alabama
It's not the complexity. It's the cost-cutting. Engineers design many perfectly reliable systems, particularly after several iterations of the design cycle in response to field reports that identify the "weak spots." But the engineers are always under pressure to tinker with an otherwise excellent design to bring the cost down by $0.05 per unit. Do you really think that GM engineers didn't know how to design a reliable ignition switch?
 
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Messages
2,302
Location
ohio
The complex systems aren't the ones being recalled. It's the simple ones. To those saying they'd love a more simple car, what car do you drive now?
 
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6,164
Location
Illinois
One of the recent GM recalls was for a coat hook not being welded on one side. That and the ignition switch. Nothing special about them. Just poor QC and execution.
 
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3,681
Location
ks, wichita
with most / all the of the repair parts valuable for the cars of the late 60s. that might be a good way to go. even that i cant do my own repair any more i bet my mechanic would not mind working working a 1968 Road Runner. what think?
 
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27,479
Location
PNW
Originally Posted By: HardbodyLoyalist
It's not the complexity. It's the cost-cutting.
Yes, that along with probably not putting enough time & emphasis on quality and testing for reliability. Yep, cut out some of that and the executives and bean counters "think" they are saving beans. But guess what, when a big debacle like the ignition switch hits the fan they are gonna lose TONS of money.
 
Messages
3,508
Location
Delaware
As others have posted maybe you haven't actually read what the recalls are about because you are making the incorrect jump between recalls and modern car complexity. I myself am glad of the car improvement over the years and very appreciative that I don't have to drive the cars of the 80's and 90's that your rose colored glasses don't allow you to see what a piece of junk they were. I am glad that I can safely drive a car expected to last >200k miles and not need a major rebuild every 100k miles. Also the safety of the new cars are greatly better than the piece of junk cars of the 80s. I appreciate the modern amenities that new cars have today. I can remember even in the late 90s where my truck didn't even have a CD player, cassette only. Sorry that junk isn't missed at all. You are welcome to scrounge around the junk yards to find you an old used car. But with their high emissions and low quality that is pretty much where they belong.
 
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6,170
Location
North Coast
Originally Posted By: Nate1979
As others have posted maybe you haven't actually read what the recalls are about because you are making the incorrect jump between recalls and modern car complexity. I myself am glad of the car improvement over the years and very appreciative that I don't have to drive the cars of the 80's and 90's that your rose colored glasses don't allow you to see what a piece of junk they were. I am glad that I can safely drive a car expected to last >200k miles and not need a major rebuild every 100k miles. Also the safety of the new cars are greatly better than the piece of junk cars of the 80s. I appreciate the modern amenities that new cars have today. I can remember even in the late 90s where my truck didn't even have a CD player, cassette only. Sorry that junk isn't missed at all. You are welcome to scrounge around the junk yards to find you an old used car. But with their high emissions and low quality that is pretty much where they belong.
+1 agreed. What only lasted 100k now easily goes to 200k
 
Messages
13,194
Location
Maricopa Arizona
Originally Posted By: morris
with most / all the of the repair parts valuable for the cars of the late 60s. that might be a good way to go. even that i cant do my own repair any more i bet my mechanic would not mind working working a 1968 Road Runner. what think?
I think the average mechanic today would have issues rebuilding a carburetor.
 
Messages
4,927
Location
Lima, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: dave1251
Originally Posted By: morris
with most / all the of the repair parts valuable for the cars of the late 60s. that might be a good way to go. even that i cant do my own repair any more i bet my mechanic would not mind working working a 1968 Road Runner. what think?
I think the average mechanic today would have issues rebuilding a carburetor.
+1 Beat me to it Dave!
 
Messages
7,503
Location
North America
Originally Posted By: antiqueshell
With all the massive recalls going on now, I'm surprised that more folks haven't started to realize the obvious..that cars have reached the point of being too complex for their own good, now for small production items that can transport large amounts of people (eg. planes) it might be manageable for companies to deal with this and still make a profit and satisfy customers, but with the car being a mass market consumer item it looks like that is increasingly not going to be sustainable, even FIAT CEO Marchionne says that the cost of all these recalls will be passed on to the customer in the end. We are at the point of dimishing returns when it comes to safety, emissions, and practicality. The sweet spot was probably the mid 80s - mid 90s or so when the auto industry had, in general very good reliability, affordability, ease of service, and reasonable safety and emissions standards. I for one would LOVE to be able to buy a brand new MK I or II VW Golf GTI, 1980s-1990s Honda Accord or Civic, ect. I for one would LOVE to be able to buy I'd love to see the car companies reverse course and build some more basic, simple, and more affordable cars, that might match the
Hear, hear. Kirk: Scotty, you're as good as your word. Scotty: Aye, sir. The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. [giving McCoy a handful of computer chips] Scotty: Here, Doctor, souvenirs from one surgeon to another. I took them out of her main transwarp computer drive. Once again, Star Trek's future comes true.
 
Messages
110
Location
justin , tx
Originally Posted By: whip
The complex systems aren't the ones being recalled. It's the simple ones. To those saying they'd love a more simple car, what car do you drive now?
1977 GMC Jimmy. Shell Rotella T 15w40 in the crankcase. Daily Driver.
 
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