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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325

    Well, after 38 days in the body shop, my 2014 S4 is essentially built and assembled in the United States (In Escondido, CA), 20.3K in repairs, granted, a good chunk is in parts, but you get what I mean.

    First 4.5 months 4,100 miles were flawless and impeccable.

    After the repairs, it took me all of 15-25 minutes to find nearly 20 things wrong with the repair work, and here we are 6 days after I took it back and it has already needed a tow truck for what appears to be a bad coolant leak. SIX DAYS. Buying American hasn't changed :( Americans suck at cars!

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328

    "Now GM, Ford, Chrysler, need to build cars with passion that distinguish themselves from the Asians."

    Rocky said this quite some time ago but it's exactly correct. They are close to bridging the quality gap, GM has good leadership for once, Ford's made their turn around and Chrysler is still Chrysler even with Fiat running it.

    At least my 04 Mazda 6 wagon was built in the USA with largely American parts (I'm almost sure it's a Ford engine labeled Mazda) and even has a UAW sticker on it. Built in Michigan.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494

    I've said this on another forum, but I will never forget the deer-in-the-headlights look on Toyota's president of N.A. operations, during their recall crisis, on Capitol Hill. He deferred almost everything to Mr. Toyoda. A very minor thing, but on my local dealer's anniversary, he was provided a Samurai sword by two Japanese management members. Nothing wrong with that, but not exactly 'American'.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328

    You've got your point there. Not all the Japanese respond to issues in the same way. I think Toyota got too big for its own good and is now trying to find their way back.

    If you want to find a company that owns up to mistakes and rights them look at Honda. It also looks like GM is coming around to that view. They really look like they've turned a serious corner.

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971

    Curious what example(s) you have for Honda - they kept the Insight around too long and it sure took a few years for the CR-V AC compressor complaints to fade away.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494

    Their fire-hazard recall for Odysseys took awhile apparently as well...goes back as far as the Cobalt recall does. There are fire pics on youtube.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,505

    Honda did seem to properly handle the swarm of V6 transmission failures back around 01-04 or so.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328

    That's mostly wheee I'm coming from. That one required no contact with corporate Honda at all. It was completely handled by the dealer inclusion a loaner and den in two days. Cost me not a cent.

    I've called Honda corporate a couple of times (can't remember what for) but their attitude was always what's wrong and how can we resolve this for you.

    A far cry from my Ford and VW experiences. At least after pulling teeth VW came through. The car still sucked but that's another story.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,505

    A friend of mine suffered the problem on an 03 Accord at ~60K miles, and had no resistance either. I think it was more like a 2 week job for him though. It also failed on him a few hundred miles from home, so that was fun.

    Maybe related to American cars, that Accord started having constant little issues at around 140-150K, so it might not have aged better than a modern American car.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328

    That's interesting. My daughter'sAccord has 310K on it. I will grant you it's to where it looks like bell and has been through a couple "well it's cheaper than replacing it" repairs.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,505

    His was an 03 V6 coupe. Around 140K it started having a lot of little electrical issues, including random losses of power and ICE problems. The engine and transmission were fine and cosmetically the car was OK, but age was rearing its head. I think he got rid of it around 160-170K, and now has a Prius he wishes would be hit by a falling tree.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641

    Test drove a used '12 Sonic LT sedan with my daughter over weekend. Not a bad small car. The ride was better than I expected and I thought it drove well enough. The 1.8 4cyl is a bit of a downer though. Power is ok, but it lets itself be known. Overall I think it's a nice small car. Only concern I had with the sample we drove was the HVAC fan sounded like it was out of a '75 Buick. It sounded like it was on its last leg. That's a bit disappointing on a 2 year old car with 30k miles on it.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641

    @plekto said: What's your budget and age limit for used?

    Sorry Plekto, I haven't been on in a while. But I'd like to find something 2-4 years old, under 60k miles, and I'd like to be under $12k. Those are just guidelines I'm shooting for.

    Fortunately, my daughter isn't picky about a car (surprising since she is about everything else). We went looking on Saturday and I couldn't get a good response out of her on anything. All were just fine. Anyway, she does prefer to have a 4 door vs 2 door.

    I've got plenty of time. She won't get her license until August.

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 3,101

    @dieselone said: Test drove a used '12 Sonic LT sedan with my daughter over weekend. Not a bad small car. The ride was better than I expected and I thought it drove well enough. The 1.8 4cyl is a bit of a downer though. Power is ok, but it lets itself be known. Overall I think it's a nice small car. Only concern I had with the sample we drove was the HVAC fan sounded like it was out of a '75 Buick. It sounded like it was on its last leg. That's a bit disappointing on a 2 year old car with 30k miles on it.

    You might want to test drive one with the 1.4T engine. Better responsiveness all around, IMO.

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  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641

    I think Chrysler is turning around. I don't know where their reliability is overall, but they are making more appealing models.

    All I can say is my '14 Ram has been perfect so far at 16k miles. Only small issue is with Uconnect. It does hang up occasion when using XM radio, right after a start up. Sometimes will take a few minutes to change the channel and for presets to appear (I can exit Xm and us terrestrial radio or media) . All other functions are not effected and it only has happened a few times. Maybe the next software update will address it.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641

    Yeah, I've not sampled a 1.4T. I'd imagine it's more refined. I'll get around to driving one in the coming weeks.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited May 7

    Honestly, I thought all Sonics had the 1.4, as opposed to the Cruze which offers both. I see otherwise.

    If I were buying a Sonic, I'd buy the sedan. I hate the sawed-off look of the hatch, but I know that's the better-seller.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641

    We'll I didn't open the hood, but the spec sheet said it had the 1.8 and it was an LT. Probably a rental at one time. On the used lots around here, Sonic sedans are far easier to find. Probably due to fleet sales.

    Overall I think the sonic is a nice car. I'll keep my eyes out for a 1.4 powered sample. The 1.8 definitely sounds rental grade.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,847

    On the subject of rental grade, my housemate had to get a rental, when his '06 Xterra went in the body shop after it got rear-ended. The car he got was an Altima. Not sure of the year, but it was the current generation.

    Not a bad looking car at first glance, although it was the cheapest model, I'm sure. It just had plastic hubcaps. I asked him what he thought of it, and he said he thought it seemed kind of cheap, and wasn't all that impressed.

    One little detail I liked about it, was that it had fabric on the door panels, which matched the seats. It did have a certain cheapness overall to it, and it had those big luggage-crunching gooseneck hinges that GM used to get henpecked about. But, when you consider it's a car that probably MSRP's for around $23K, and I'm seeing at no-haggle dealers for around $19K, I guess you have to cut corners somewhere.

    I sat in it. Not a bad car...felt roomy enough up front. Seats were fairly well-padded, but I thought the base cushion was a bit flat. The backrest was bolstered a bit better, though. Unfortunately though, the seatbacks had hard plastic on them, right at knee level.

    I think the gap really has narrowed, between domestic and Japanese.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494

    A friend of mine, Toyota truck owner, rented an Altima about a year ago. He hated the automatic trans (sheesh, I'm drawing a blank on what it's called) so badly he took it back and got a '13 Malibu which he liked much better. He's a short guy though. ;)

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