Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • rtd1rtd1 Member Posts: 22
    While I doubt we'll ever be privy to the goings on behind the scenes re. the ECU recall, it's fun to speculate.

    First, my kudos on what must have been quite a piece of detective work. One doesn't often hear of chemical contamination during production as the cause of an electronic component failure. From what I've read, torture testing normally revolves around heat, vibration, impact, dust, voltage and current spikes, etc.

    I'll guess that there were some heated battles around who was responsible for the failures, then again over who was going to foot the bill.

    Once those issues had been settled, there had to have been a huge increase in production to accommodate the recall itself--basically tripling or quadrupling capacity to get enough boxes into the pipeline prior to announcing the recall (not to mention first correcting the source of the flaw while supporting routine production).

    As to the "drivers" for Saab, I'll guess in descending order: reputation-customer satisfaction, emission regulations, safety.

    - Nobody expects their new car to suddenly perform poorly or even conk out. Saab needs to keep its customers happy--especially in the luxury/sport sedan category. (This all makes a pretty good argument for the combination of roadside service and On-Star.)

    - No carmaker wants to feel the emission regulator's hammer. While safety recalls get headlines and segments on 20-20, the emissions regulators swing a much swifter and more draconian weight. They can not only force recalls, they can issue *fines*. Too, emissions violations are the most common outcome of engine control computer failure (i.e., not running properly is more common than not running at all).

    - I can imagine that there is an implicit danger to being stranded on the side of the road, in traffic, with a stalled car. I'm sure there are emperical data, somewhere, that tell us fairly precisely what that danger is. I can easily imagine a harrowing situation in which to have my car die on me, but what I'm left with is the question of whether my *perception* of risk correlates at all with true risk (much like looking out the window of an airplane imagining the wing ripping off has no bearing on whether there's a real risk of its doing so). A sober review of my car's history (no stalling problems), my commute (mercifully brief and uneventful), and my emergency driving skills (brilliant, of course) tells me that that the danger is largely between my ears.

    Saab's declaration of there being no safety issue seems reasonable to me.

    That said, yes I want the new box. In addition to wanting to avoid any possible ECU-related problems, I'll bet there've been a lot of software and firmware mods since '99 that we will benefit from
  • jeh1jeh1 Member Posts: 1
    I am just back from a few days in Vermont and this has to be the Saab capital of the U.S. There are Saabs everywhere you turn , many more than Volvo . Only the occassional BMW or Audi . I was looking in a Boston paper and there are 8 Saab dealers listed in the greater Boston area . In Vermont you see a ton of old Saabs puttering around , many with older drivers. I assume Saab got the jump up there due to front wheel drive when Volvo had none. Even now , you see more new Saabs than new Volvo's . I wonder if Saab has identified the highest per capita Saab ownership by state , Vermont has to 1st or 2nd.
  • smu1976smu1976 Member Posts: 110
    Saab 9-5's everywhere in Denver. I can't believe how many I see on the road, wagons, sedans, etc.
    Lived in Denver for 7 years and never have I seen so many Saabs.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    I've been driving back and forth to the Carolinas the past two weeks (from Atlanta) and I've hardly seen a Saab of any kind. Obviously, Saabs aren't gonna be too popular in NASCAR country but ya think you'd see a few in Charlotte or along I-85.

    Around ATL it seems all I see are Saabs with Distributor plates on them. Saab USA is a few miles from my home so I guess they're being driven by employees. I must drive by the Saab Training Center 3 or 4 times a week; nothing but 9-5's in the parking lot.
  • davekovacs1davekovacs1 Member Posts: 35
    If memory serves me correctly Saabs, were first imported into the Northeast area of the States. They have a well established foothold in the Ct, Vt and surrounding states. There historical low key positioning makes it a suitable match for those people who don't like showing up at the club in cars typically driven by 'new' money people. Thankfully in some areas of the U.S. 'flash' doesn't need to speak for ones liquidity. I can't recall ever seeing a Saab in a rap artists video - - to some - - - 'that is a good thing'.


    Dave Kovacs
  • saabeesaabee Member Posts: 23
    Hmmm....'Old' money people were once 'new' money people. So needless to say, today's 'new' money people will eventually be "old" money people. So, will the 'new' money people drive a BMW, Mercedes or a Saab when they are 'old' money?
  • dskidski Member Posts: 414
    Lots of ways to look at the subject - for instance you could say New Money folks are those who've worked and earned their place on thier own and Old Money folks have grown up around it and likely have not earned it on thier own. At least not to the degree of what's in their portfolio's. I'm old middle class striving to become New Money.

  • davekovacs1davekovacs1 Member Posts: 35
    . . . I have a car I like . . . unfortunately some others do not. Although I must say, it does please me that some people are unhappy with their choices. It is truly worthy of a good chuckle! It will make for such a good laugh at the club!!!

    Now how is that for arrogance?

    Also strange but funny - I don't have any friends who drive a Camry - - eventhough alot of them are sold - - I don't know if that says something about the car, my friends or me. But honestly I can't be bothered worrying.

    I sometimes feel like the puppet master when I make some statements on this board. It is fun making certain people dance!!!


    Dave Kovacs
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    I prefer to generally respect others, especially those who have less than I do.

    Whether or not this issue is worth chucking about at the "club," well, that is not for me to comment on as I like to judge people on their personal character rather than on the amount of money that they inherited from their parents.

    If saab is going to try to break out and double its sales as it suggests, it is going to have to wake up to the fact that it is going to have to attract some of those Camry-type drivers away from their current choices. Hopefully it can do this by "reinventing" its culture. It cannot continue the attitude of "build it and they will come" as evidenced by the fact that it cannot even sell the cars that it is producing now without a heavy lease subsidy.
    Just my ideas for saab to help to make the company produce a car that I will like better in the future.
    I wonder what it is like to sit at a table at the "club" and talk about those "new" money saab owners who buy cars that they don't love and yet they do not dispose of them immediately?
  • c21robdavc21robdav Member Posts: 6
    You seem to be outraged with your Saab, with Saab Corp. and with anyone on this board who will not agree with you.
    Perhaps it is not fair to the rest of us for you to continuously clang the negativity bell. You have made your point about your opinion of the Saab car and organization. But (at least IMHO) when you keep going on and on about this with post after post it starts to change the character of the forum into that of griping or maybe even whining.
    This is not bringing people into line with your point of view. Rather, it is probably alienating those who might otherwise listen to you.
    Your points about Saab shortcomings are well taken. You're using a bazooka where a pea shooter would do the job.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    Yeah, I can understand how some hate that there is someone here who states negative things about a saab. If I were not here, this site would primarily consist of those talking about how they love their saab which is the greatest car they ever owned. I have a different perspective as a "real" owner who can positively claim that I do not associate with saab in any way (I am not best buddies with my saab technician either). I am positive that there are many out there who have an individual incentive to make sure that I do not post here, for whatever reason, I do not know. I understand that several got together to try to go to the Host at once to get rid of me. The reason, they first provoked me (as they did with Lopatham and Bibrit), and then claimed that I was just repeating negative things about the saab over and over. I appears that the Host understands the real siutation, and is not willing to go along with these claims.

    As for the last comment, what is it exactly that I said that offended you. Was it that I said that saab could not continue a "build it and they will come" philosophy. I am trying to see how such a comment would offend someone who was looking neutrally at the comment. I guess you are right and my comments can change the character of the forum to be a debate which includes ALL opinions of the vehicle. I can say that I don't like some other's opinions on this board as well, but I would never go to the host to try to "get rid" of someone because their opinions were different than mine.

    If I say anything untrue, you have every right to complain. If I say things that you merely disagree with because they are negative, well, I am not so sure that I agree that I need to be censored.

    It doesn't take much just to ignore my posts, but for some reason, that just doesn't happen (and I wonder why?)
  • davekovacs1davekovacs1 Member Posts: 35
    Actually I find Saaber comments to be of interest. I don't find them to be of the same sophisticated humor as one would have seen in the New Yorker. But it is still actually worthy of a daily chuckle or two, three, four - -all depending how many times he repeats his issues.

    He is not just my puppet but he also fills the role of my court jester too!!!


    Dave Kovacs
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    To me, the "new money" vs. "old money" is nothing but class warfare. Reminds me of a scene from "Titanic" which, by the way, was the death of class warfare, at least in how the British played it.

    I really think the line between the classes is so blurred its impossible to tell who has it and who doesn't. When the richest man in America wears denim shirts and has a bad haircut, that should tell everyone that personal appearance no longer determines anything. Subsidised leasing also erases class warfare as it allows us peasants the ability to drive a car that only nobles could afford. Yes, I know my blood is impure, but at least I can feel like royalty in my 9-5.

    Re: Saab improving market share, I think we've covered this topic. First thing is a bigger product line. Volvo is doing what needs to be done to maintain market share. Saab can't continue like this forever unless GM is willing to let them. Yeah, better quality, more dealers, more advertising and all that is important, but you need product. Americans like lots of choices. You've got to give it to them or they'll flat ignore you. I can't imagine Saab looking at Toyota and saying they need to be like them; Saab's too unique. But Saab should shoot for Volvo and Audi as volume and market share targets. Saab is not a car for everyone. That's what makes it special. But Saab is not a car for no one either. As long as Saab can convince more people every year that it is the car for them, they'll be fine. Keep your current customers happy, find new customers who will like you, don't lose your soul in the process. Simple, right?
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    Many others here do not see the humor of my comments and seem to believe (based on their pointed comments) that I am a legitimate threat to potential saab sales. I don't really perceive myself as an actual threat as much as I perceive my comments to be helpful to those who want to know the "real" scoop about owning a 9-5. Based on the actual actions taken by certain, individuals, it is funny to see that many continue to try their best to make me go away so new customers do not learn about the "quirks" of owning a saab.

    I can imagine the scenario. A saab customer comes into the store and starts quizzing the dealership about the information they learned on "Edmunds." The dealer may lose the sale. Then the dealer starts to have its employees come here to make sure they "reinform" customers about the saab "quirks." This scenario then plays itself out over and over.

    I too have to step back and look at the humor of all of the attention that some have devoted in trying to discredit anything negative stated about a saab, and then going to the host to complain, etc. All in the name of preventing any negative comments to be made about a car (which has no feelings and does not take the criticism personally--I think). The funny thing is that this is just a car, and these are just my opinions, yet both will inspire some to go to all lengths to make sure that outsiders are afraid to post anything negative about the saab.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    ....maybe try and not to take everything so personally in here. I like your perspective on various issues, but come on, haven't you been playing this role for long enough? Yes, I agree that others should just ignore your postings but you can also help by ignoring theirs. I don't see the logic in continuing to comment on every issue. It's very clear that there's a game going on in here that several people enjoy playing. The game is, "Who's Got The Biggest Ego".

    Believe it or not, I know how you feel. I've been down this same road here at And I've been slapped by our Hosts for engaging in bad behavior. It just ain't worth it to me any more. Maybe it shouldn't be worth it to you, either. Give it some thought.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    Worth considering.
  • rtd1rtd1 Member Posts: 22
    Here's an Automotive News article on the Saab CEO's view of what direction to take the company. No Camrys in our future, to be sure. It's nice to see that GM hasn't parked a Chevy product developer in the CEO chair, and seems to understand that the brand needs nurturing and to remain unique and cutting edge. I can forsee Saab reclaiming the turf they had in their heydays of the '80s by continuing to develop advanced powerplants and putting them into cutting edge cars. By leaving a strong Swedish-Euro influence in place, GM seems to be acknowledging how important the Saab demographic is to the corporation as a whole--a demographic that no other badge in house is reaching.

    Apologies for the massive bandwidth consumption.

    Automotive News

    October 9, 2000

    JOE MILLER, Automotive News

    TROLLHATTAN, Sweden—Peter Augustsson, CEO of Saab Automobile AB, believes Saab needs to take
    a more radical approach if it’s serious about selling 250,000 vehicles per year, about double last year’s

    Augustsson, a 45-year-old, soft-spoken Swede, says Saab needs to change the way it markets and
    distributes its products. It needs to find unique ways to power its vehicles. And, most important, Saab
    needs radical vehicle designs.

    Although the Saab 9-5 has been a strong seller for the company, Augustsson says the car is too
    conventional. "Saab should never be conservative," he said. He was interviewed at a press event here.

    General Motors, Saab’s parent company, hired Augustsson, a former Volvo engineer and executive, as a Saab vice president two years ago. In March, he replaced Robert Hendry as Saab’s CEO. Since joining Saab, Augustsson has implemented changes to support a new lineup of vehicles Saab will launch during the next five years. Those changes include:

    Expanding its design studio under new chief designer Michael Mauer

    Upgrading its marketing and distribution strategy through a new program called "Saab Unlimited"

    Developing engine technologies that improve fuel efficiency without reducing performance.


    During the next five years, Saab says it will expand its lineup from two vehicles, the 9-3 and 9-5, to at least four. Those are expected to be the next-generation 9-3 and 9-5, a sport-utility variant of one of those two, and a sport-utility that will be a sibling vehicle to GM’s Pontiac Aztek and Buick Rendezvous.

    Augustsson says the new vehicles will give Saab the potential to sell 250,000 units per year worldwide, up from about 131,200 cars in 1999. Saab sold 39,541 units in the United States in 1999.

    But Augustsson knows Saab won’t reach 250,000 if it doesn’t stay true to its edgy brand image. Saab defines its image as "postmodern exclusivity."

    So in May, Augustsson recruited Mauer to pump life into Saab styling. Mauer, a German, was chief designer for DaimlerChrysler’s Smart car program.

    Mauer says he joined Saab because Augustsson promised him he would have more say than previous
    Saab design directors and just one boss: Augustsson.

    Although Mauer joined Saab too late to work on the next 9-3, due out in 2002, he will have a major influence on the rest of the lineup.

    "In the future regarding Saab, everything is possible," Mauer said.

    Mauer also is expanding Saab’s design studio with more creative talent. "It’s not more expensive to make good cars from a styling perspective," Augustsson said. "It’s about competence."


    On the marketing and distribution side, Saab is testing new direct marketing concepts using the Internet and new ownership options.

    Augustsson says upgrading Saab’s marketing and distribution alone, even without new product, could boost annual sales to 160,000 units.

    Saab is using key markets in Europe as test beds for most of the new programs. In the end, it hopes to bring the concepts that work to North America, its biggest market and the market with the most growth potential for Saab, Augustsson says.

    In Sweden, Saab is experimenting with a lease program called Saab Variations. Through the program, a customer can drive two vehicles a year. For example, a customer can get a sedan for the first half of the year and a convertible for the second half.

    In the United Kingdom, where Saab has a smaller, more homogenous dealer network, it is experimenting with Internet marketing and other new technologies. Augustsson, however, is keeping quiet about the details.


    "We really have only one market where we can use traditional mass marketing, and that’s in Sweden,
    where we have 10 percent market share," he said. "But if you have 0.5-percent market share, you can’t afford to do mass marketing. You need to find other ways to get your potential customers’ attention."

    Saab also is relying on unique powertrain technologies to attract customers.

    At the Paris auto show two weeks ago, Saab unveiled plans to use a combustion control system in a Saab vehicle within the next three to four years. The system reduces engine fuel consumption and emissions by mixing exhaust gases into the combustion process.

    Earlier this year, Saab introduced another concept that varies an engine’s compression ratio based on the load on the engine. Last month Saab invited journalists to test drive a car powered by the variable compression engine here at Trollhattan.

    Both technologies allow Saab to reduce emissions and fuel consumption without taking away from
    engine performance.

    Said Augustsson: "Our customers in the future, they need to combine good performance with the right fuel consumption."
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    I do not think that if Drew writes comments such as "Does this improve anyone's comprehension?" (paraphrase) that it implies that he is concerned that Saaber's posts may affect SAAB sales

    As to the puppet master comments, other than "wow," I can only say that rfellman and I used hunting and barnyard analogies to great effect ("you are my fish on a hook" and "you squeal like a stuffed pig"), and decided that it was in bad taste, so to speak.

    In terms of the discussion of social class-- one might have the blood of seven European kings, meaning what-- one is an imbred moron, perhaps.

    Does SAAB appeal to such a person? Should SAAB even try?

    I thought that Mr. Hanley had informed us that SAAB was going to use Opel/ Saturn engines--and
    add turbos to them, at least that was my understanding. Is the above post meant to imply that SAAB will become more unique, and not less?
  • davekovacs1davekovacs1 Member Posts: 35
    Being the 'puppet master', ;-) I knew my comments about classes and old and new money would draw reaction. I am glad I didn't make a comment related to Saab and political demographics!!! I guess my non-interest in ever running for political office has freed me from the boundaries of what is considered to be politically correct.

    People are really starting to lose a sense of humor. Gosh - money is just an enabler!

    Augustsson comments about Saab and postmodern exclusivity is brilliant - - - unfortunately most people won't understand what that means.


    Dave Kovacs
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    "Augustsson comments about Saab and postmodern
    exclusivity is brilliant - - - unfortunately most
    people won't understand what that means."

    I post this just so everyone knows what I meant in the past by "drinking the kool-aid." It was not meant to attack or criticize those who merely enjoy driving their 9-5 because of personal driving tastes (and understand that reasonable opinions about the 9-5 may differ).
    I guess every cult needs a leader and needs followers. The question is which "ego" wants the leader role here. I guess all of the "new money" people are disqualified from that role according to some because they may not be good enough for the "club."

    I hope there is some humor to be found in my comments.
  • davekovacs1davekovacs1 Member Posts: 35
    Just as an FYI - the international meeting of the Saab cult members will take place at 21:00 GMT on Thursday October 12th at our usual confidential meeting place. Directions can be found in the most recent confidential saab service bulletin.

    Subject to be discussed are:

    - Official naming of Saab Cult Club beverage of choice (How about Perrier with a splash of benzene?)

    - The official annual trek to the shrine of the great Saab almighty

    - Project Troll - the secret plan to eradicate all Saab non believers

    - Project Kleenex - the initiative to help all the 'sobbers' out there clean up there saab'ing problems

    - Project Dirty Money - the sending of old, dirty, ripped and wrinkled paper currency to those desiring 'old money'

    Remember to chant the Saab cult song before entering the meeting.



    Dave Kovacs
  • c21robdavc21robdav Member Posts: 6
    Now THAT'S funny!
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    I remember that David Mills use to post here. He was a very honest and forthright person who seemed to say it like he saw it. He posts on saabnet I guess instead. Here is how he is doing with the four saabs.

    I know he would not dare post such comments here for fear that he would be personally attacked. Please do not personally attack him because I posted his comments here.
  • davekovacs1davekovacs1 Member Posts: 35
    To all cult members. 2 new topics have been added to our cult meeting:

    - Project Saabx4 - We need to absorb Mr. Mills into our collective. He has 4 Saabs and on Saabnet he states "I own four Saabs, I doubt I would want any other car". We need to perform serious tests on his being and see if we can mass produce that thought process across the collective.

    - Project 'All Knowing' - We need to do a detail background search on Saaber. Isn't it clear that Saaber is our biggest threat. . . the whole Saab Kingdom is in jeopardy. We might need to activate the self destruct Trolls in his auto. Reference should be made to confidential service bulletin #456 on how to terminate this 'problem'. Remember the troll self destruct confirmation signal is random acts of bucking while driving the car.


    Long live the power Saab!


    Dave Kovacs
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    I dont see any comment from David Mills stating "I doubt I would want any other car," in the post I put up, but I will take your word that you searched through months of the saabnet files to all of his comments to find one post out of many where he may have made that statement. That was then, his recent post called "9-5 woes and blues" is now (Oct. 9, 2000). Wouldn't this make a good song?

    I am glad that the issue here has been identified as an "ego" one. I have no problem letting anyone win that battle, but accuracy does count for something is this world. Nonetheless, the Borg humor is appreciated.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    You are partially correct and partially wrong. Not that this matters to anyone.

    You said directly above "He has 4 Saabs and on Saabnet he states 'I own four Saabs, I doubt I would want
    any other car.'"

    He really states, "Problems aside, since I own four Saabs, I doubt I would want any other car. My 2000 came with a couple of defects which my 99 did not. My 99 was great until the motor mount / ECU thing which still hasn't fixed the lurching in reverse."

    David Mills then states "With four [saab] cars, it seems like I am spending alot of time keeping them up. Maybe it wouldn't seem so bad if I was back to owning just two cars. But I think you are right in that a mastertech mechanic is what is needed for these cars."

    That is hardly the type of statement that warrants your misquoting only the first line of what he was trying to say.
    I guess that makes us both wrong, but I should point out that David Mills is just calling it as he sees it. I can admit my errors with humility, can you?

    To everyone else, please ignore this petty bickering. I accept that Dave can P*ss further than me. Again, the Borg humor is appreciated.
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    I went to school with a girl who had lunch with Derrida at the University of Paris. Top that.

    It is SAAB that is being absorbed into a platform sharing strategy, not saabber.

    I admit that is is a bizarre excercise to have a Swedish corporate mouthpiece convincing us that SAAB really is, and will be, origin-al. Still, I'd like to know the facts about the engine sharing.
    Anyone have them? Mr Hanley? No?
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    The New Yorker. Postmodernism. David Mills. Derrida. We need to drop more names. Please, won't you help.

    SAAB. The one to buy if you are proud of the fact that you know more than everyone else and like to rub it in people's faces.

    SAAB. The car is modeled after an airplane. The barf bag is on us.

    This is a company that is lost in the US market. If it was not for GM it would be gone.

    But once again-- SAAB works its magic-
    The rest of the world thinks my car is a joke. But I, superior being that I am, feel superior because I drive a...SAAB.
  • sherndonsherndon Member Posts: 8
    Sounds pretty stupid to me. The goal for Saab should be to make a profit (unless they are government funded - then it can be whatever ridiculous thing they want it to be). How do they ensure that goal long-term? Expand market share to increase cash flow to spend on R&D and marketing to stay competitive to repeat the cycle.

    Saabs are not the best cars in the world. My 9-5 is a really good car - certainly better than a Camry, but I have my complaints. Separately, how many old and new money people are willing to spend $37k on a car?

    The best thing Saab can do for itself is expand its product line to appeal to a different range of buyers, who might then step up to its more expensive products as they age and gain wealth.

    I pray they don't do anything like the Pontiac Aztec. That thing is seriously ugly.

    I have a new complaint about my '00 wagon. The sun green paint seems to chip easily. Seems a little soft. Is that possible?

    Also, do I really need to hit three buttons on the FOB to open all doors and trunk. No one suggested there are any other options since my last post.

    Separately, Volvo seems to seriously be kicking butt lately on rolling out a diverse product line. Just saw the S60 here on Edmunds. Though, after driving the S80 a couple of weeks ago, I still believe the 9-5 is a way better driver's car.

    Sometimes the dialogue here sounds like the presidential debates.
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    Volvo entered the 23k price point with the S40?
    That is of course the price point of the 6 cyl.
    Camry. There is a lot of money to be made at volume, and Volvo, Jaguar, lots of strange entries want to tap into the volume price point. Again, I thought there was talk here of SAAB making a car and selling it for 23k. lop might comment on this, but it is difficult to believe that it would not be an Opel, as the Volvo is a platform sharing Mitsubishi (rollie correct me right away) and the Jaguar Ford Contour.
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    A Town Hall format? Sorry, couldn't resist. I don't know about you, but I will be glad when the debates are over. If it had gone one for one more minute we would have been promised drinking fountains in every hallway.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #86:

    hello26, you are somewhat correct I believe. The S40 and Mitsu Carisma (sp.) share a common floor pan but are built on separate lines in the NedCar facility in the Netherlands as I recall. Aside from the floor pan they are built completely differently. Mitsubishi also supplies the turbos for the 40, 60, 70, and 80 series cars.


    [email protected]
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    Maybe Mitsubishi (sp?) can make turbos for Audi :) SAAB is already platform sharing, of course. I'm just wondering what a 23k SAAB would be like (let us know rfellman?). Thank you.

  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    Nice remarks. I too have the sun green, but have not had any chips.

    Just an unrelated reminder for all. For all of the "new" money people who wax their own car, try not to get wax on the bumpers because the stuff absorbs into the bumper is nearly impossible to get out (it leaves a bad white haze). Mother's makes a product called "back to black" which helps to restore the black, but it only lasts for about three weeks.

  • davekovacs1davekovacs1 Member Posts: 35
    I happy that GM now owns Saab. I believe the infusion of capital from GM will definitely benefit SAAB. Also regarding the issue about platform sharing - it is basically like saying a home shares the same basement foundation as another home. The net / net is that the resulting homes can be very, very different even though they have the same foundation.

    Expanding the product line is very important and I have defended that belief in previous postings. Although I don't personally want a expansion downward to lower price points. There are many other cars at lower price points that are great for people who don't want a 30K+ auto. There is a significant amount of volume purchases at that price point - but I believe competition has downward pressure on the profit margins in that segment.

    Insofar as paint being soft - - for the first 3 to 5 months after production the paint has not yet fully cured. Avoid abrasives, brushes and automatic car washes during that time.

    The key FOB - well I can't figure another way to unlock all 4 doors and the trunk with just one button. If you want the trunk open push that specific button. If you want just your driver door opened push it once - all doors push again. Two buttons and 3 pushes in total. I don't know of another car company who has a better option. I am certainly not in favor of having all doors open with just one push of a button since I believe the security of having only the driver side un-lock far outweighs the hassle of pushing a button twice to open all doors.

    Of course a company needs to be profitable for long term viability. However the marketing of a car is critical. Saab can not and should not mass market it cars to the general public. I think it very much wants to remain an exclusive car line among others. I think it would be very difficult to have a car line that started at 23K and went to 75K. There will be issues in the upper price range with prospective owners feeling that the brand name also is in the 23k range. Egos, personalities, etc etc - - of course this has impact - like it ot not - - it is the psychology of marketing. VW and Audi are great examples of this. I don't think the A8 badged as a VW at the same price point would be flying out of the VW dealership. The Audi A8 is a fantastic car but a VW 'A8' would be a technical marvel with a very very limited buyer segment.

    There have been some very interesting articles regarding this type of product line expansion (lower price points) in Fortune, Forbes etc - specific to BMW and Mercedes Benz. There is definite risk with brand identify associated with these type of efforts. Brand name identity and the value of that brand name are very complicated issues and a dilution in the brand can have serious affects over a long time period.


    Dave Kovacs

    PS - Saaber - the use of words containing '*' are really of very poor taste and are vulgar. Can you please clean up the language? It is offensive.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    I guess the host can delete that single post like he has for approximately 10-15 of your previous posts in earlier threads which were deleted due to offensive content (before you left vowing not to come back, only to come back a month later).

    After what you said in those ealier posts which were deleted, it does not seem that you are the type to be offended. Although, it does make sense for you to try to exhaggerate your "concern" to my comments to try to further the goal of some here to discredit anyone who states anything negative about a saab.

    Hope we can get back to car issues, without the added PS's at the end of your messages which tend to be directed to me.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    Do any of you have problems getting your FOB to react on the first push? It seems that it takes me about two to three pushes to get my saab to react. In addition, sometimes the FOB works from 30 feet, and then other times it only works from 5 feet. I have tried to figure out if it works from longer distances if you point the triangular pointy side towards the car when you press the button, or if you point the FOB towards a certain area of the car.

    I have never understood why it is a "security" issue to not allow the FOB to work from more than 100 ft away. MY previous car worked from 100 ft and whenever I forgot whether or not I locked my door (or I question whether the FOB even reacted to my pushes), I did not have to walk all the way back to the car to check. Has this issue happened to others, and does anyone else have an explanation for this "security" feature (or is it just another excuse to save money and put a good face on the shortcoming)? It would be nice to hear from some of the owners who post less here who can be trusted to call it as they see it rather than "spinning" their answer (like a saab employee would) to criticize the criticism about an issue which saab already admitted through its change needed attention.
  • davekovacs1davekovacs1 Member Posts: 35
    Saaber - Your constant attempts to cushion favorable responses about Saabs or their advocates by implying they work for Saab is getting really old.

    I have continued to use my real name on this board since I have nothing to hide behind. As many have stated on this board, your constant repeatted negative comments are really becoming old. You play a good poster for a day or two and then you are back at your constant negative comments. Any possible non-positive comment made by anyone is then regurgitated by you numerous times.

    Your implying that my comments can not be trusted is also a very weak effort. I don't work for Saab or any business related to the selling, servicing or marketing of the product.

    For those who truly have an interest in the FOB and are not here just to complain for the sake of complaining here is some related information:

    The FOB's relative close distance of activation is meant to serve several purposes. But primarily it is for the prevention of unintentional unlocking of the car doors when you are outside of the range of easily identifying if you inadvertently pushed the button. Also cars with rolling signals typically do not have the same distance effectiveness than cars than can transmit the signal for 100 to 200 feet. Unfortunately such a wide range also makes the code on non-rolling code devices very easy to clone.

    Also from a security perspective it is unwise in many situations to unlock your doors from 100 - 200 feet away.

    Saab security sytems are one of the most effective systems installed in cars today. It currently is one of just a very few handful of cars that exide European testing standards for theft prevention as measured by time to break in and move the car.

    This security system is a network of many components including the locking and unlocking of the doors and the performance of the fob.

    And Saaber - - if you want to get rid of the wax hazing resulting from getting wax on the black bumper trim areas.. . Use a soft bristle tooth brush and bug and tar remover. That should take care of it permanently. Also read the instructions on the wax before applying - - they normaly warn against getting the product on the black trim. There are wax products that don't cause the white hazing on the trim. They are good if you don't want to take the time to prevent the smudging of the wax on the trim.


    Dave Kovacs
  • dleesacdleesac Member Posts: 7
    Fellow Saabnuts: Saw this article today about Ford and thought of the Saab recall, both of which concern engines suddenly quitting:

    Judge Orders Massive Ford Recall
    California judge is first ever to order car recall from the bench
    Michael Joe
    The Recorder

    October 12, 2000

    In a devastating ruling against Ford Motor Co., Alameda County, Calif., Superior Court Judge
    Michael Ballachey on Wednesday became the first judge in history to order a massive recall of
    vehicles that could cost the company $500 million.

    In a brief mid-morning hearing, the judge finalized his tentative August decision holding Ford liable
    for massive consumer fraud for hiding a potentially dangerous design defect in an ignition part.

    At the hearing, Ballachey lectured Ford's lawyers for continuing to proclaim to the public and
    press that its vehicles are safe.

    Directing his ire at Ford attorney Richard Warmer, the judge asked how Ford could claim the cars
    were "safe" when Ford tried to conceal warranty failures and other documents from the
    Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    "The case was about concealment of a dangerous condition," Ballachey said. "Take your car on
    the freeway, go 70 [mph], turn your motor off, and tell me that's safe. I don't think you have to
    kill someone to have an unsafe car. We've discussed this ad nauseum. Maybe I'm taking it too

    In his 20-page final order, which the judge issued Wednesday, Ballachey concluded that Ford not
    only built a faulty ignition module that was susceptible to heat damage, but then tried to conceal its problem from the government, the public and the court.

    "Ford failed to meet its obligations to report safety related defect information to relevant
    government agencies and, by doing so, concealed vital information related to the vehicle safety
    from the public," Ballachey wrote.

    The vehicle recall comes as Ford is facing a mountain of publicity over a recall of 6.5 million
    Firestone tires on its trucks and sport utility vehicles. Ballachey's decision cuts deeper into Ford's already wounded reputation.

    Ballachey's decision paves the way for a jury to decide how much the nation's second largest
    automaker should pay in punitive damages.

    The class action suit represents 3.5 million customers in California, and Ballachey's ruling means that as many as 1.7 million Fords -- of all makes and models built between 1983 and 1995 -- will be recalled unless Ballachey's decision is overturned on appeal.

    Details of the order -- such as who is included in the class, how much to compensate them, what vehicles qualify, and when to proceed with the recall --- will be decided by court-appointed referee Jerome Falk Jr., an attorney at San Francisco's Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin.

    Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Ford attorney Warmer continued to deny that there is
    anything wrong with the ignition system.

    "The record in this case does not establish a safety problem, and we will prove that in the
    appellate process," said Warmer, a partner in the San Francisco office of Los Angeles' O'Melveny
    & Myers.

    "There's a failure of proof on that issue -- the case is built on fiction," he said. "The vehicles are safe. [People] can continue to drive them safely."

    Ballachey's order comes 10 months after a jury attempted to tackle the first phase of the trial,
    but hung, forcing a mistrial. Since Bellachey's decision has found Ford liable, the second jury will only consider punitive damages.

    Bellachey ordered lawyers to present a summary of their cases at an Oct. 27 hearing and have
    questions for the jury prepared.

    The jury trial probably won't begin until after March. Ballachey said the trial should not take more than 10 or 15 days.

    Plaintiffs' attorney Jeffrey Fazio, of San Francisco's Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft, said he
    expected Ford to stonewall through appeals.

    "Ford is going to stubbornly resist and stay in bitter denial till the bitter end," Fazio said.

    Ford spokesman Jim Cain says the company will question Ballachey's standing to issue a recall
    and argue that the ignition module is reliable. Back in November, Ford's lawyers had argued that
    the judge's bench trial would bias any future jury trial.

    When an appeal will be filed will likely depend on when the court-appointed referee decides to begin a recall.

    Ford is facing five other class-action suits over the ignition modules in Tennessee, Maryland,
    Illinois, Alabama and Washington.

    "If those courts adopt Ballachey's findings of fact, I can't see why they need a jury trial outside of California," Fazio said.

    Some food for thought, aye?
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    I heard that the NHSTA is also taking steps now to require better disclosure of known "safety" issues. That just means that class action lawsuits will have more "bite" when the company tries to disregard passenger safety to save itself from bad publicity.

    I don't know if the "egos" of some here will be able to take the reality of a judge telling it like it is. As for saab, they had better hurry up on the ECU recall before somebody does die when the car randomly stalls while on a highway.

    As for the FOB issue, it would be nice to hear the opinions of real owners who are concerned about the FOB issues (rather than the same old "noise") that were mentioned above. Of course, as I suggested would happen, we had to go through the typical "spin" response to learn that having a 10-20 ft range for the FOB is really a good thing (for Saab, anyway). I don't think with the current FOB design that anyone would "mistakenly" trigger it at farther ranges, as I can't even get it to work at close ranges sometimes.
  • rtd1rtd1 Member Posts: 22
    The 9-5 is only my second car w/ a remote. Unlike the one for my Jeep, it uses a radio signal rather than infrared, so it has a much greater effective range. Distance seems affected by angle to the car and elevation of the transmitter (fob) itself.

    With glass between the transmitter and receiver, I seem to be able to trigger it from about 50 feet away, more if I hold it over my head (and looking like an idot while doing so--pretending you're waving at someone is a nice ruse). But with metal in the way (e.g., the c-pillar) distance is cut to, say, 15-20 feet.

    I have accidently triggered it (usually wrestling with several things at once in my garage). Because I had the "chirp" volume reduced, I wouldn't know from much of a distance that I'd done so. If you find yourself doing this a lot, I'd leave the chirp volume set high.

    By contrast, the Jeep remote only works from perhaps 5 feet away and, oops, the transmitters are both broken and cost $85 each to replace.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    That's an interesting article about the judgement against Ford. But I wasn't too sure what that had to do with the Saab 9-5. Maybe I was confused. So I went out to my car and read the owners manual. Sure enough, it says I drive a Saab 9-5. It also says that on the trunk.

    This is a guess, but I'm sure there are dozens of legal issues involving other auto mfrs that might have some kind of parallel to the Saab 9-5. I just don't understand why they have to be discussed in here.

    Is there a possibility we could stay on topic? Let's just talk about 9-5's and not about personalities, perceived personal attacks and the defense of such, and court judgements for or against anything other than the Saab 9-5. I think everyone will be alot happier if we only talk about our 9-5's, both good and bad points.

    Thank you.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    You may have missed the earlier chatter from a few months back on whether the ECU was a safety issue in the saab 9-5. I was saying that the fact that the 9-5 could stall at highway speeds is a major safety issue. When saab came out and claimed that they were recalling the ECU, but also stating that despite the fact that the car could stall at any time, it was still safe, that is where the Ford article comes in. Judge was stating that it was deceptive to try to claim that a car that can stall at highway speeds is not a safety hazard. I am sure that saab's legal team will take note of that decision to hopefully speed up the recall on the ECU units in the 9-5.

    I agree with you that there is no need to dwell on the point, but it is a valid 9-5 issue considering that most of us are driving these 9-5's with defective ECUs right now.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    I think that the internet and free chatter among us all on topics is something that the car manufacturers never really understood in their planning.

    THis is an opportunity for the manufacturers to finally hear unedited comments about what we really think of their product. The end result can only lead to improvements. How else would Saab learn about the FOB complaints? Before, they only came from those who were bold enough to complain without thinking that the service mechanic thought that we were "whining." I am sure many of you have had that feeling when you have gone to the mechanic and were too afraid to say what you "really" thought.

    Now, assuming that true customer complaints are really heard and debated, rather than merely downplayed by a few here with big egos who take saab criticism personally, there is a lot the saab can learn to make a better product.

    Just a thought.
  • davekovacs1davekovacs1 Member Posts: 35
    Dleesac thanks for the article it was of general interest and it is a reminder of the gross negligence on the part of corporations from time to time.

    But Saaber - I guess there is no difference between Saab & Ford... other than the fact Saab voluntarily initiated the re-call on the ECU as soon as the problem was identified, researched, resolved and a vendor aligned to manufacturer the replacement part.

    I believe the issue with Ford was drastically different. The Ford issue also took place over a significantly longer period of time - 12 years. Also Ford is now just going to recall the vehicles through a mandatory government recall. I guess this is a trivial point when ones action are really just to smear Saabs name in any ethical or non-ethical way they can.

    Really Saaber you moan when Saab doesn't fix something - you moan when Saab does fix something - you moan about the design of the key fob - - you moan when Saab changes the key design - - -you moan about the gas tank - - you moan about Saabs fix - - really your constant moaning dilutes any value to your statements primarily due to the way you address them. Honestly if you want Saab to hear your issues it is best to speak to them directly. But please don't be disheartened if they don't do everything you say or suggest.

    Also I don't think Edmunds is a good source of consumer input for a manufacturer. There are very view who post on it, people can hide behind multiple screen names, one person can dominate the board by repeatting other peoples complaints significantly distorting the actual severity of the issue and 15 people posting is by no means a stratified sampling of consumers.

    Bretfraz - - I am sure you are glad to have a 9-5 in your garage as I am glad to have them in mine. Unfortunately Saaber doesn't like his and he wants the whole world to know it. But again his last attempt at grandstanding an issue resulted in a board being shut down.

    At that's the way I see it. . .


    Dave Kovacs
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    I did read several hundred posts before buying my 9-5 and was aware of the ECU issue. My point was that a court judgement against Ford has no direct relation to our 9-5's, so why post it? I'd rather see a link provided instead of 27 paragraphs and ~694 words that don't involve Saab. I appreciate DLEESAC's efforts, I'd just like to see it less wordy.

    I'm really hoping that we can still stay on topic more often than not. So many posts are personal in nature; can't you guys take it off-line? That's what I do with other Edmunds posters and I have an unlocked e-mail address to facilitate it. Get a free one from Yahoo or Excite to protect your anonymity if you want.

    I'm enjoying my 9-5 more and more. I liked the discussion of the key fob as I hate my "alien pod" and will buy the new "fat key". I'm hoping 9-5 focused conversation will be more commonplace in here instead of the ego-clashing that takes up so much room and wastes so much time.
  • c21robdavc21robdav Member Posts: 6
    Please email me your email address. Thanks
  • smu1976smu1976 Member Posts: 110
    To all those looking for balanced information, please take note that "Saaber" post 23% of all messages on this site (current active). Previous discussions were near 30%. If you take this one guy out of the mix, you really mostly satified owners of 9-5's. His mission is under the auspices to "help" people. But I don't know about this. Its sounds noble, but why would such an individual be in constant arguments with everyone on this site. Bitter words. Is this really a guy who wants to help people. "Help people get a balanced view" ???? When you take up 23-33% of the board for your viewpoint. For the record, I have hit 12,000 miles in thirteen months, with only one minor service call. GREAT CAR. My best to date at age 45.
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    I don't like the employee accusations because
    1. 0 evidence has been presented 2. it is Edmunds' business anyway.

    I read a post where saabber said that when he is attacked he starts saying the things 9-5 owners don't like. This might be true, but at any rate,
    it does not make sense to attack saabber as if it were three months ago when he is clearly more moderate than he was then.

    I don't feel a responsibility to inform consumers about what I have learned buying a car but on the other hand, you have to buy a car that injures you, endangers you, isn't what you thought it was, isn't what you think it should be- to know what it is like and, of course, everyone hopes that doesn't happen.

    We are allowed to post topics that are related to the 9-5, including issues related to safety, which has always been a concern of SAAB buyers.

    I apologize if my comments seem to betray an ambivalence about SAAB. I'm not ambivalent about SAAB. If you like SAAB as much as I do-- it can seem like frustration when every concern and negative thought only leads you back to SAAB again.

    I would buy a 9-5 if my dealer was good and I would stop considering it if the Opel/ Saturn engine prediction came true but until then I can't give it up or rule it out.

    I watched the news for the past weeks
    and it is horrible seeing children shot dead in
    the street. We are worried about how to liquidate our $20,000 car, which luxury car we like best, and our key fobs. We are fortunate to have these concerns and to be able to address them here.
  • saabeesaabee Member Posts: 23
    Requirements to Join the Complainers and Moaners Society - You must make a concerted effort every day to make the world a less pleasant place to live in through being sarcastic, demeaning, snide and critical of everything and everyone.

    From those of us that enjoy the interaction of the participant's on this cite, but would appreciate a more civil and intellectual exchange when criticizing or praising Saab, instead of
    what a times seems as a pure dislike for one another and Saab that far to often
    strays way-off topic.
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