That's the same across the automotive industry. Take NASCAR for example. If the aerodynamics team had their way, there would be zero flow into the engine compartment and the engine would overheat very quickly. If the engine team had their way, there would be maximum air flow into the engine compartment and the car would be slow as balls (comparatively). They have to find a compromise. The OEMs are no different in this regard except unlike NASCAR where you have a known condition the engine will be in throughout its lifetime, the OEM has to compromise across the entire spectrum from one extreme to the other. They have no idea if the engine will spend its days gently gliding down the highway of the central plains, sitting in Miami traffic in 100*F heat and 90% humidity, dealing with the hot and sandy conditions of the desert, or trying to start and short trip in -40*F temps in the mountains of Alaska. Every scenario has to be accounted for. That's just in the engineering department. Throw in the marketing department wanting a global platform that is pleasing to the eye to sell it, and you get A LOT of compromises with a lot of room for error. The fact that widespread failures aren't more commonplace than they are is rather astounding.
Originally Posted by Navi
I dont know about those engineers. Ive had plenty of problems before 100k miles. I think the engineers balance different interests. Toyota engineers seem concerned about reliability and mpg but I dont know about other engineers...