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  1. #1
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    GM has already recalled more cars this year than it sold all last year

    They've recalled some 13 million cars this year. Which is kind of extreme because seems like they only sold 9.7 million last year.

    The story behind their ignition switches is a little disconcerting if you are buying a car, but it's also start a bit of a panic.

    The problems began earlier this year, when GM recalled 2.6 million vehicles over a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to at least 32 crashes and 13 deaths since 2006. The company quickly faced a congressional investigation and criminal probe for not recalling the vehicles earlier. This month, GM was fined $35 million by regulators for not recalling the vehicles sooner the maximum possible penalty.

    That crackdown, in turn, seems to have made GM even quicker to recall other vehicles for unrelated problems, no matter how serious. On May 20, the company recalled another 2.4 million vehicles because of potential flaws in cables and plastic clips.

    That's not cheap when an auto company recalls a vehicle model, it promises to pay to fix the problem (and, at times, loan replacement cars to the owners during repairs). GM is already planning to take a $1.7 billion loss on recalls so far this year.
    GM has already recalled more cars this year than it sold all last year - Vox

    I've always argued car technology is way over-engineered... no longer serviceable by mere human beings... and destined to become even more complicated and error-prone as they evolve.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    They've recalled some 13 million cars this year. Which is kind of extreme because seems like they only sold 9.7 million last year.

    The story behind their ignition switches is a little disconcerting if you are buying a car, but it's also start a bit of a panic.


    GM has already recalled more cars this year than it sold all last year - Vox

    I've always argued car technology is way over-engineered... no longer serviceable by mere human beings... and destined to become even more complicated and error-prone as they evolve.

    What do you think?
    I think it is more "Car Talk," which seems to be the favorite same old, same old subject of several frequent posters on this list.

  3. #3
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post

    I've always argued car technology is way over-engineered... no longer serviceable by mere human beings... and destined to become even more complicated and error-prone as they evolve.

    What do you think?
    Cars have gotten better in some respects especially in regard to engine life and safety features but the complicated systems and diagnostic tools needed to service them puts maintenance and servicing out of reach for most people.

    I drive older vehicles and can do a great deal of the work myself... will be doing the front brakes on my Jeep this weekend as they need replacing and this is not anything I have not done before.

  4. #4
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I drive older vehicles and can do a great deal of the work myself... will be doing the front brakes on my Jeep this weekend as they need replacing and this is not anything I have not done before.
    Fixing your own? That seems to be less and less likely as car technology becomes more over-engineered.

  5. #5
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Fixing your own? That seems to be less and less likely as car technology becomes more over-engineered.
    My father was a master mechanic and a good teacher.

    The Jeep is a 1991... the brakes are pretty standard and less complex than rebuilding a Sturmey Archer three speed.

    Our car is a 1993 Nissan Sentra, it has close to 170,000 miles on it and runs better than it did new... it also gets much better mileage than it was rated for but that might stem from running the smallest and most fuel efficient tyres, improving the intake with a K&N to let it breathe better, and running top quality ignition parts and synthetic lubricants.

    44mpg (U.S.) on the highway isn't bad at all and as it is a lighter car the power to weight ratio is actually quite good.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    I think it is more "Car Talk," which seems to be the favorite same old, same old subject of several frequent posters on this list.
    I agree. The OP often starts interesting threads related to living car-free, so I'm surprised to see he's started this car-centered one.
    Smug, bicycle-riding, car-bashing, public transport-using zealot.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Fixing your own? That seems to be less and less likely as car technology becomes more over-engineered.
    Rowan fixes our van. It's not such an unusual thing to do.

  8. #8
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    Since this has nothing to do with living car free and we have some car fanantics in Foo, Im moving it here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha
    We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by making View Post
    Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.

  9. #9
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post

    I've always argued car technology is way over-engineered... no longer serviceable by mere human beings... and destined to become even more complicated and error-prone as they evolve.

    What do you think?
    ...I think that even if you understand a lot of what's going on under the hood, the various auto makers have
    made repair information less and less obtainable, and that a lot of what you need is now contained in bulletins that
    only go out to dealer repair facilities and those that pay significant money to subscribe to the updates.

    The days when you could grab a Motors repair manual and expect to fix your own car are kinda gone.

    This repair information issue is not limited to one manufacturer.
    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
    Your friends on FB are very different than mine.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Though the recall announcements are flooding my cars.com feed on my tablet (just one of many free e-zines in Newsstand), the recall was secondary to my wife rejecting GM's offerings in our car search.
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  11. #11
    Grumpy Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post

    I've always argued car technology is way over-engineered... no longer serviceable by mere human beings... and destined to become even more complicated and error-prone as they evolve.

    What do you think?
    Cars are far less error-prone than they have ever been.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mariah View Post
    Transcendental enumeration.

  12. #12
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    On the plus side, they have free coffee in the service department waiting room.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
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  13. #13
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    The thing that annoys me about this recall is GM knew about the problem for years, and now wants to limit their liability to cars sold after we bailed them out.

  14. #14
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    GM knew about the problem for years, and now wants to limit their liability to cars sold after we bailed them out.
    It's bidness. At least they are consistent.

    Before that there was the Corvair.

    I've driven a GM car that had a carburetor that would sometimes open itself full throttle if you gave the accelerator just light pressure. Scary, if you are just moving the car up to an intersection to make a turn and suddenly you've got a V8 at maximum throttle and no way to back it off.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  15. #15
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Fixing your own? That seems to be less and less likely as car technology becomes more over-engineered.
    See if your robot can fix it.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  16. #16
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trsidn View Post
    Cars are far less error-prone than they have ever been.
    I have passed a lot of those newer cars as they waited for roadside assistance and their added complexity does not usually equal improved reliability.... more parts usually means more places where things can potentially fail, especially with all the added electronics.

    My last Sentra (an '89) went over a million km with very few issues at all... the current one has 260,000 km which is just broken in.

    Comparing mine to a 2014 it is 500 pounds lighter and has a better power to weight ratio despite the smaller engine, it gets comparable mileage, and operates very cleanly without all the extra sensors modern cars seem to have.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    So did their buyback of all that bailout Government owned stock, come at the expense of building adequately safer cars?

  18. #18
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    I just don't understand some of these recalls. If you have a design that works then stick with it. Yeah certain changes occurred from changes in technology but something like wires and clips? How much could that have changed in the past 50 years or more? Then there are seat belts and ignition switches, lots of components that have changed little if at all over the years.

    If you have a design that works, stick within it! I can understand a company wanting to save money by sourcing parts from another supplier but look at the cost in the end! Seems to me it is a lot cheaper paying a bit more for the component up front when you know it has been proven over time to work.

    Also what is the design cost of swapping out components? I would think that the basic design of the car does not change from one year to the next. Maybe body style changes some upgrades to the interior but the base car should pretty much be the same from one year tot he next and change slowly as new technology changes are introduced.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  19. #19
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    It's bidness. At least they are consistent.

    Before that there was the Corvair.

    I've driven a GM car that had a carburetor that would sometimes open itself full throttle if you gave the accelerator just light pressure. Scary, if you are just moving the car up to an intersection to make a turn and suddenly you've got a V8 at maximum throttle and no way to back it off.
    The sticky throttle was a chronic problem with Toyotas. I had a Tercel that did that. It was never recalled, although millions of other Toyota cars eventually were. It was similar to the GM case. Millions of Toyotas were recalled after the company allegedly refused to act on the problem, even after a number of deaths were reported.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  20. #20
    winter wipeout kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    The sticky throttle was a chronic problem with Toyotas. I had a Tercel that did that. It was never recalled, although millions of other Toyota cars eventually were. It was similar to the GM case. Millions of Toyotas were recalled after the company allegedly refused to act on the problem, even after a number of deaths were reported.
    As a good Michigan native, I was going to mention the many many problems with Toyotas, but you beat me to it.

  21. #21
    Super Newbie Shawn Gossman's Avatar
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    Glad I am a Dodge man! My 01 4x4 dakota has never really let me down, other then the time I cut the doe in half after hitting'er at 90 mph...
    Tour de Shawn - My Neglected Personal Cycling Blog

  22. #22
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    I agree that cars are more complex and "proprietary" today than in the now distant past. Everything is specialized: Fuel systems, brake systems, ignition systems, and everything else. My first new car was a 1980 Firebird, with the 301 cubic inch engine. I could do most service work on that car myself with a set of screwdrivers, a set of wrenches, and a timing light (Sun 7501), all purchased at Sears. Those days are long over and they are not coming back. Uh,,, do they even use timing lights anymore, or do they just adjust it with the diagnostic computer?

    That aside, the recalls are simply a sign of the times. Today, it is almost impossible to hide information. This, plus the fact that there are many lawyers just waiting to file lawsuits, and you have an interesting mix.

    Having said all that, there is nothing new about auto recalls. They have always been there. It's just that today, you hear about them much quicker and from many more sources.
    This forum, for example.

    I seem to remember a massive GM recall in the early 70s, involving over 6 million cars, due to faulty engine mounts.

    On my last Sube, I had 3 safety recalls in 6 years of ownership.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Zedoo's Avatar
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    GM had a stronger position when people died in Corvairs 50 years ago. Most of its bargaining power now is the few jobs not yet moved to Mexico or Asia. To avoid liability, it might just pack up and leave the American market. Some of the relevant criminal charges are negligent homicide, perjury, and obstruction of justice. Corporate crime has been mostly ignored so far, but prosecutors may need a big target to draw heat away from bigger targets.

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