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High End Luxury Cars

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  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    This is either total spin or better logic......

    The fuel lid door is on the passenger side (BMW) because most collisions occur on the driver's side (making left hand turns).

    Consequently, the possibility of fuel tank ignition in an accident is reduced.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    "Various Lexus cars have gas caps on either side. They put the gas cap on the side where the gas tank is genius. "

    Oh ... so you're saying Toyota/Lexus doesn't care about customer safety, but that they apply the Detroit policy of doing whatever is cheapest?

    That goes along with their refusal to recall all those Camry's with faulty master cylinders in the early 90's ... it would be "bad publicity" ... who cares if your customers die ... they already paid for the car and that's all that counts, right?
    Like I said, in Japan style and image drives design and corporate culture whereas in Europe its the customer's safety.
    Different philosophies produce different cars that suit different buyers needs. Lets hear it for the free market system!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Is this the next big thing? Lexus had it on the right on the LS400 until either 1998 or when it became the 430 in 2001. I forgot when the actual change came. Frankly I preferred it on the right because Jersey has multiple island stations for the most part. So you pull in and the line can go two or three deep and you wait but if you had the filler door on the right you'd be able to pull right up to a free gas pump - most of the time. I am impatient so I loop around but I hate doing it.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    What brilliance the Europeans go to and put the cap on the "passenger" side. Do they move it to the left when they sell the car in the UK? Nope!

    As I remember the Japanese also drive on the 'wrong side' of the road and so do the Aussies.

    So they do it right for their country and try to kill us instead?

    And can you imagine a CEO authorizing a decision about a gas cap location based on the likelihood that someone is going to run out of gas and needs a safe place to stand while they gas up? How often does that happen? How about 0 point 0 0 0 etc.

    The safety argument seems to be more marketing doublespeak.
  • Hmmmmmmm

    Suburu has the gas tank filler tube on the right.....

    I know it is often that we need to use a can to fill our tank because we ran out of gas at night on the FREEWAY. Some innovative companies put a gas gage thing and a flashing light to warn you to put gas in your car.

    I also know that a 150MPH car is a safety feature in itself.

    Some really safety nut companies even build cars that almost never break down and leave their driver at the mercy of the first crazy person, thief or rapiest that drives by. Too bad the German companies haven't mastered this safety feature.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    RE: "...a gas cap location based on the likelihood that someone is going to run out of gas and needs a safe place to stand while they gas up? How often does that happen? How about 0 point 0 0 0 etc."

    Actually, there are dozens and dozens of Americans killed while putting gas into their cars on the side of the road. I saw a stat on it once and unfortunately can't remember if it was over 100 or under 100 per year. And its not just at night.

    But remember that VW recalled the Beetles because there was a plastic clip that wasn't as tight as the engineers specified, so IF the clip came loose the wire could hang down, and IF it stretched over time it might touch the engine, and IF it did rub on the engine for a long time it could expose bare copper, and IF it exposed bare copper it could make a spark, AND IF the engine was covered in oil or gas at the time of this potential spark it could start a fire. So they recalled them.
    I have never heard of a fire caused by this problem, but if they didn't do the recall it might have happened.

    So, there's a manufacturer saying "this was not to spec, so we are recalling to fix it because there is a remote risk to our customers".

    People get killed filling gas tanks on the highway.
    Several police get killed every year when their car is hit on the side of the freeway and its got reflective tape and flashing lights!
    And kids get killed stepping out of the back seat of vehicles into traffic, whether the door slides or hinges.

    As I said, in one culture a recall is usually for the benefit of the customer and many buyers of european vehicles understand this. The manufacturer is not "losing face" to save the lives of even a small number of customers. But look at Camry brakes or Pinto gas tanks, and you see the approach if the bean-counters control safety recalls.

    Personally, I don't want to buy a car from a company that does internal studies to compare the cost of the recall against the cost of the potential law-suits from the surviving family members! I don't care what their reliability ratings are. But you are free to do as you please.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    I wanna know how we all make enough money to buy these freakin' cars when all we do with our time, apparently, is write and read lengthy posts about where the gas filler is.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    Interesting comments:

    RE: "Some really safety nut companies even build cars that almost never break down and leave their driver at the mercy of the first crazy person, thief or rapiest that drives by. Too bad the German companies haven't mastered this safety feature. "

    If you like that argument, how about: "Some really safety nut companies even build full-size cars that travel over 1000 kms on a tank so you don't have to stop between cities and leave your passengers at the mercy of the first crazy person, thief, rapiest or car-jacker that drives by. Its called a turbo-diesel. Too bad the Japanese companies haven't mastered this safety feature. "

    That argument is just as silly and just as valid!

    Besides better performance, car-jacking (at gas stations) is a serious problem in Europe and one of the factors in choosing a diesel engine over gas, especially for executives who are driven long distances to meetings. I don't have stats on how bad it is in the US, but I do know lots of people who don't like to travel on the highway at night because of the unknowns of filling stations, rest areas, or (as you mentioned) potential break-down. This was a real problem on I-95 in Florida when I was there ~20 years ago, but I don't know if its spread or not.

    BTW one of my favorite vehicles was a 1984 Toyota Land-Cruiser Diesel Wagon. At 245,000 kms the engine still ran great! Too bad the body rusted away so badly around that nice reliable engine.....
    I replaced it with a vintage 1970 Benz 300SEL-4.5v8 that had even higher mileage, and never broke down once or showed a hint of rust while I owned it.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    RE: "I wanna know how we all make enough money to buy these freakin' cars when all we do with our time, apparently, is write and read lengthy posts about where the gas filler is. "
    especially on this forum ... there are snipers in every tree!

    and to think it all started with someone mentioning Lexus put it on one side and Benz on the other, and that wasn't even 100% accurate!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    LMAO. The best part is that it's Saturday night.

    Dieselbreath... yeah, warthog snipes. You don't want to be doing a Vegas stand-up act with him in the audience.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Comparing a Camry to a Pinto is just insulting. Camrys dont blow up when rear ended. Only Pintos, and Crown Vics do that.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Have my own business with a couple of partners, and this is a nice away of easing the pressure. It works great. Keeps you sharp, takes your mind off of business matters and then your refreshed to deal with business issues anew. Of course sometimes it gets pressure oriented in here. The trick is not making it personal.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    Comparing a Camry to a Pinto is just insulting.

    I sincerely apologize to all Pinto owners.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    But I wasn't comparing the cars, I was comparing the companies. The cars don't decide whether to disclose their safety problems or not, its the manufacturer. The fact is that Toyota, like all manufacturers of modern, autos (which are extremely complex marvels of engineering, materials science, human factors, aerodynamics, electronics, software, and many other disciplines) that are revamped/restyled/upgraded/revised on a regular basis makes mistakes.

    My point is that I am concerned with how a company deals with its mistakes. In some cultures the customer, as the ultimate provider of your livelihood, is the ultimate master and you disclose any concerns (and rectify them) to appease them. But in asian cultures the company is the ultimate party that matters, and to admit to an error or defect would cause one to lose face. So the problems are covered up, even at the risk of harming customers.

    Ford tried to cover up the Pinto problem until it was already public anyway. Toyota has been lucky so far, but if you get a chance to talk to an ex service-manager or technician (a current one would lose his job discussing this) you'll find that there are some simple, unofficial rules of customer service:
    #1 - the cars have no problems (even if you see the same defect 10 times in a week)
    #2 - the customer must be told its the first time you've seen this problem and ask them about their driving habits. Gently suggest that they may have caused the problem.
    #3 - don't give the customer reason to take their complaint elsewhere, because no one else must know of the problems.

    What they do is create an environment where customers feel embarrassed to admit they bought a car with a defect, and better yet, to feel guilty that they may have caused it themselves.
    In this case, they will choose to NOT report their problems and Toyota can keep this urban legend about high-quality going a bit longer.

    Its funny, but the US & Canada are the only places where this marketing brain-washing has taken hold. In Britain (where the average person seems more knowledgable about cars in general) a Corolla is something you drive if you can't afford a Golf. But in the US a corolla is considered a status symbol in some circles. I don't get it.

    I think Toyota has the best marketing skills in the entire world!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Hmm, don't know about those Toyota marketing skills per se. IMO, what Toyota has working for them is the biggest mass-market benefit known to mankind—more for less. Always worked, always will. Marketing starts with a quality product that sells itself. The really skilled marketers can sell potholes to New Yorkers. I've known a few of these types and they never cease to amaze me, mostly because of their ability to spin without scruple.

    I have to believe Toyota would approach Microsoft proportions if their styling was spot-on—they are totally bereft in this area. But then again, every time I get carried away thinking that styling matters I say to myself, you fool, look at Toyota. I find only two of their cars acceptable in manner of styling—MR2 and LS430. The only vehicle that is a standout is the IS SportCross—living proof of the more-for-less axiom, because this car just can't compete with the likes of Subaru, and is probably living proof that when it comes down to the nitty gritty, styling is not as important as I would like to believe.

    Glad to see new faces around here. These pizza-butt Lexus fans were getting a little too smug. Nyuck, yuck… lo-o-ve you guys!!!! Oac, I think you cost us the top hot-thread ranking by going on vacation… will never forgive you man ;-)

    Hey, gotta go root for Lefty to win the Claret. Good to see Tiger back in the hunt too. Think I'll nuke some leftover pizza and kick back.

    Quiz:

    "Hello-o-o ball!"

    Who said it? First one with correct answer gets the Designman YoodaMan thumbs up.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I have two Lexi, my mom has a Camry and my inlaws have a Camry. What on earth are you talking about? Several other people in my family have Toyotas. They are problem free and the service is excellent. The only thing that ever went wrong was a warning light remaining lit on my mothers car. Service said it has happened on occassion to others and repaired the bulb for free. No one can put words in your mouth and that would be the dumbest marketing program in the world. There's no such spin put on anything let alone in the manner that you are talking about. Give people a little more credit for smarts than that and give a company that earns $12bln a lot more business smarts credit.

    Now how about VW - with all their major problems the last few years trying to BS the consumer on the ignition coils.

    Designman - Oh the Honeymooners - just bought the 39 episodes on DVD. Remember the best line about rags to riches - "be kind to the people you meet on the way up - because you're gonna meet the same people - on the way down". What was the episode? The golfing episode was classic - but I also loved "Kranmars delicious mystery appetizer" and the $64,000 answer.
  • quemfalaquemfala Posts: 107
    Gee, how about putting the gas cap in between! I think someone did that about 20 years ago!!! Or, put one on EACH side! But, who cares! Maybe it's a problem remembering which side it's on. Put a post-it on the dash with a big, red arrow indicating where it is.
    Have fun! Life is Better at the Beach
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    " a Corolla is something you drive if you can't afford a Golf. But in the US a corolla is considered a status symbol in some circles. I don't get it."

    Funny, here you buy a Corolla because you dont want your car to be in the shop more than its in your driveway. Your statements are rediculous. Toyota's sparkling reputation is based on product, not extorting stupid people. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have all made recalls when necessary. Several forum users have complained about the '00-'03 Acura transmission issue, and Honda made the necessary steps including replacing the transmissions and warrantying them for 100K miles. They did not tell people it was their fault because they were driving their cars too hard. Toyota has EARNED its number 1 status, just like VW has earned its last place status with cars that are a joke when it comes to actually working correctly. I suppose when Audi chose to ignore shipments of faulty, rusted brake rotors and put them on A6s anyway, that was VW being "responsible"? Ask the PA\NJ lemon law firm, and they'll tell you the A6 was one of the worst cars Audi\VW has ever done. There are all kinds of things on that car Audi never told anyone about.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    I have a VW truck that is 12 years old and has been in the shop as the result of 2 accidents. (the S-10 pickup that rear-ended me at a cross-walk was totalled). Its been to Mexico and back, spent more time off-road than on for its first few years.
    ... so Toyota isn't the only one who builds cars that work without service. EVERY maker does!

    As for VW's ignition coil bungle. Stupidest action they've done in years!!!

    The A6-2.8v6 ... worst product in the last decade from VW/Audi, but I've met people with them that haven't had a single fault.

    Now have any of you talked to a Toyota service manager?
  • thomsoncthomsonc Posts: 2
    I am close to purchasing a 1996 750il and I was curious to know if anyone knew where I might find figures on the number of 750's and 740's produced each year by BMW. I had heard from someone an incredably low number on 750's produced for that year but it seemed too low in my opinion.

    Also, does anyone know the difference between the 750il for 1995 & 1996? Thanks.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    An individual car or truck doesn't tell the tale in the marketplace, statistics taken from a significant population do, because being a relevant measure of many buyer's experiences they are a good predictor of likely ownership in general.

    Every company builds cars that require service, but the frequency that buyers experience differs substantially from manufacturer to manufacturer and therein lies the tale.

    Results continue to show that Toyota/Lexus and Honda simply build more cars percentage-wise that require less unscheduled service than others. Unfortuately for their buyers, VW builds more cars that have more problems than anyone except Range Rover.

    Based on the statistics for VW, you've been more fortunate than others.
  • Diesel

    I get 500 miles on a tank of gas...and my car doesn't pollute the environment. So not only am I in a safety nut car that doesn't break down but all the people that are around me are a little safer from harmfull fumes.
  • Diesel:

    Interesting insight into how BMW (and perhaps other german companies) treat their customers...

    Luckly (I know hard for a BMW owner to understand)at Lexus There is little that happens to their cars since they are so well engineered and built..

    There was even someone on this thread who said a relative who was a mechanic for Lexus quit to get a job with a German company because it was so boring just doing basic service at Lexus. Sort of like the Maytag repairman.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    I don't recall a single BMW fan or MB fan on this board, or any of the related boards, denying the superior reliability of Lexus. So why do you keep telling us about it? I'd rather hear about gas filler placement.
  • Dieselbreath:

    There are probably people that have bought vw/audi that have never had a problem...BUT...When I buy a car I don't want to participate in some kind of lottery and have to HOPE I Get a good one.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Norton AKA Art Carney of Honeymooners fame. What exactly did I win?

    Good to see Hamilton come back from the choke on 18 the first time.
  • warthog:

    OK....Gas filler...Back in the old days 50s and 60s they often did put them in the middle sometimes they would hide them behind the tail light. They don't do that any more and probably for a good reason.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Yes, I recall my parents' 1956 Imperial with the taillight filler cover. There was a little round light in the center that served as the button to spring the cover.

    BTW, the button was 100% reliable.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    I have a '98 Beetle TDI. In case you've been on another planet for a few years, ALL tail-pipe emissions are pollution now. [CO2, warming, tornadoes/hurricanes/pine-beetles....]
    So, the car that pollutes the least is the one that consumes the least fuel (in general terms), thus my car is the least polluting that you could buy in North America in 1998.

    PS: "Öko-Trend", the European equivalent of the Sierra Club, recently gave their award for the most environmentally safe family car. And it went to ... the Toyota Prius? No. It went to the Passat TDI.

    Its too bad so many people in North America are completely clueless on the realities of modern diesel power-plants (based on technology invented by Audi a decade ago and adopted by BMW, MB, ...)
    I'd have expected better from Edmunds readers.
  • dieselbreathdieselbreath Posts: 243
    Yes, I totally agree with most of that.
    But the fact is Toyota built a reputation in the 1980's based on reliability compared to Detroit products, and everyone agrees that detroit's down-sized cars and first attempts at front-wheel drive were crap!
    But Toyota wasn't better than other Japanese makes.
    Nissan had a better engine (the L-series SOHC) than any gas engine from Toyota. Mazda's RX-7 ran circles around Supras in SCCA.
    When they released the twin-cam Corolla GTS it was with contracted cylinder heads because Toyota was the only major Japanese player that didn't have the technology to build twin-cam heads themselves.
    Almost ALL Japanese cars were better than almost ALL Detroit cars, but Toyota was the only one smart enough to take this imbalance on and claim it as their own.
    And they've flogged this horse for 2 decades now.

    RE VW: The Germans build stronger cars that usually last longer, but these are marginal differences nowadays. ALL cars are good now. VW and MB rate as low on defects now as Toyota did just a few years back.
    Look at the charts from J.D.Power ... "its ALL good!"

    But where the Europeans fall down is the electrical connections (& electronics). And it doesn't matter how great your engine or tranny is if the signals controlling it aren't correct.

    This is the one area where they trail ALL the Japanese brands, (plus gadgets) and I can't figure out why they still haven't corrected this.
    (the wiring, not the gadgets)

    This one little area puts them at a disadvantage to most of makers and they need to wake up and address it while they still have customers!
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