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U.S. Auto Market News and Reviews

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Comments

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    Another article on the BMW locking issue... It appears the case may have some merit...

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/no-escape-california-family-sues-bmw-after-teen-dies-locked-n100881

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490

    On an E90, you can defeat the double-lock by pressing the unlock button on the center console. I have no idea if an earlier 328 has this feature however.

    And yes, the horn doesn't honk with the key off.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Ford recalls more than 692,000 Escape SUVs

    The first case covers 692,500 Escape and C-Max vehicles. A software glitch can stop the side curtain air bags from inflating in certain types of rollover crashes. The company says it has no reports of crashes or injuries. Dealers will reprogram the air bag control computer for free.

    The second case covers about 692,700 Escapes. Exterior door handles can bind and stop the door from latching properly. This could allow doors to open while the SUVs are in motion.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/05/09/ford-recall-escape-suv-c-max/8899855/

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    The BMW Lock-In case has a lot of merit...

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited May 2014

    Well, maybe...

    The car is over 15 years old, and odds are if there was going to be any government driven requirements to modify existing vehicles it would have already been done.

    Also, the owner's manual CLEARLY states the issue.

    And, it's pretty common knowledge to not lock a car with occupants inside. You let the occupants lock the vehicle.

    But, in this case, I sense an ambulance chasing lawyer, since the suit also named the school in the case as a defendant. They're putting lots of poles in the water, hoping for a bite...

    I've been in BMW's for over 10 years, and this is the first I've heard of any complaints on this particular locking issue.

    But, we all know how the US court system works... You can be totally right and lose, and you can be totally guilty and walk. It's all about who has the deepest pockets...

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    But you don't design a lock not to work from the inside.... just in case someone locks you in by mistake. Notice how later BMW's do not have that issue.

    Bad design, hands down.

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    No one was defending the design, which, btw, I think was poorly thought out.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,803

    Hmm...might not be a bad idea to keep a brick inside a car like that, just in case.

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 11,578
    edited May 2014

    @circlew said:
    I agree, the girl had to pull the handle multiple times. Sounds like a real defect.

    I don't agree. The case has no merit. As you showed, the manual clearly explicitly states how the vehicle (and its locks) operate. Someone buying the car can't say the manual is inaccurate or concealing the truth (as has GM in other cases).

    A defect is when the Samsung manual says your TV has a voice recognition feature and then it never works. The BMW is functioning exactly as designed, engineered, and laid out in the manual.

    Why should BMW be held liable because a buyer didn't take the time to familiarize themselves with the vehicle they purchased? In addition, any driver of a vehicle should familiarize themselves with its operation (in this case) the young brother who locked his sister in the car should be held liable.

    And why not just break the windows to get out? Glass isn't that expensive, and the side windows are not all that strong. Did she die in her sleep?

    Saying the locks are defective is the same as saying a Cobalt is defective for not going 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds. Cobalts have lots of defects I'm sure, but that's not one of them.

    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    @andres3 said:

    I'm in agreement with you.

    The car operated exactly as designed and as documented in the operator's manual.

    That doesn't mean I like the design, but we're talking liability about an alleged defect here.

    That's a huge difference...

    After 15 years of inaction from NHTSA, it's pretty obvious the design was acceptable.

    Frankly, what burned GM in the Cobalt-defective-ignition-switch defect was the fact that GM documented it internally as a defect. It's quite possible the result would have been totally different if GM had internally documented the issue by stating the switch assembly was never intended to be a "load-bearing" device, and simply sent out a one page manual update specifically telling owners NOT to hang heavy weighted key rings on the ignition key.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490

    yeah but keep in mind that in a court of law, very often the lowest grade of evidence can sway a jury, whereas engineers require a much higher grade of evidence.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,007
    edited May 2014

    But why on earth would anybody deliberately design a car that can lock occupants inside, and make the horn not work without a key? I can't think of a more descriptive word than "dumb". Being a German brand does not insulate them from making a dumb design.

    "I'm sure Cobalts have lots of defects"--for someone with an Audi, well...you know, glass houses and all.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    edited May 2014

    @andres3‌ said: I don't agree. The case has no merit. As you showed, the manual clearly explicitly states how the vehicle (and its locks) operate. Someone buying the car can't say the manual is inaccurate or concealing the truth (as has GM in other cases).

    I see your point and of course BMW designed the locks that way. The "defect" is it's totally unsafe to design a system that locks someone inside the car.

    Just like no spare is a defect in it's own right! ;)

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    edited May 2014

    GM's New Challenge

    According to a survey of the top suppliers of automakers in the U.S., General Motors is now considered the worst automaker to deal with, a title held previously by Chrysler since 2008. How will GM's latest distinction move investors?

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/05/12/gms-new-challenge.aspx

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/12/us-gm-suppliers-survey-idUSBREA4B01I20140512

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,007
    edited May 2014

    I think including the two words "...by suppliers" might be beneficial in your description of GM as "worst to deal with". ;) I believe you were a print editor in a previous life. ;)

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462

    It was a quote from the link.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,007

    You are right Steve; my mis-read. I still think "worst to deal with by suppliers" would have been more logical for the author (not the poster) to word it.

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    @uplanderguy said:
    But why on earth would anybody deliberately design a car that can lock occupants inside, and make the horn not work without a key? I can't think of a more descriptive word than "dumb". Being a German brand does not insulate them from making a dumb design.

    "I'm sure Cobalts have lots of defects"--for someone with an Audi, well...you know, glass houses and all.

    I don't think anyone would call the door locking arrangement a great design, but hindsight is always 20/20.

    I'm not sure, but the horn thing may have something to do with European standards. I do know that, at least in the recent past, it wasn't allowed in some European countries for the horn to sound when locking the car and activating the alarm system. That's why some makes simply flash the headlights when locking.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,007

    True, that, about hindsight.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    GM recall shows how airbags don't always work

    Here's an unsettling fact about cars equipped with airbags: they don't always deploy when drivers — or regulators — expect them to.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/05/13/gm-recall-airbags-complex-and-all-different/9048515/

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Campaign aims to cut tire-related highway deaths

    The big problem, of course, is that too many tires are bald or underinflated. But the campaign aims to go further, hoping to educate motorists about:

    • The right type, size and speed rating of new tires, which are different for every vehicle.

    • The need to check tire pressures monthly.

    • How to properly determine tread wear or spot other defects.

    • Hazards of old tires, even ones that have tread wear left, that need to be replaced over time and how they can break down if not used frequently.

    • How high temperatures can affect pressure.

    • How to tell where tires were manufactured.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/driveon/2014/05/13/tirewise-tires-dot-nhtsa/9031385/

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    Yeah... Good luck with that...

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 11,578

    @uplanderguy said:
    But why on earth would anybody deliberately design a car that can lock occupants inside, and make the horn not work without a key? I can't think of a more descriptive word than "dumb". Being a German brand does not insulate them from making a dumb design.

    "I'm sure Cobalts have lots of defects"--for someone with an Audi, well...you know, glass houses and all.

    You do know CR ranked Audi as the overall leader in reliability for German brands, and even higher than Infinity which has always ranked high?

    It may be a dumb design, but that's open to interpretation and debate. The fact is the dumb design is sufficiently disclosed and not hidden or concealed. People chose to buy the vehicle anyway and that is their own decision.

    It is all about proper and honest disclosure.

    My Dodge Neon should have come with a manual that said:

    • Head Gaskets may fail prematurely at any time and overheat your engine.
    • Transmission may fail prematurely at any time and cause poor shifting particularly in lower gears.
    • Cables, batteries, and wires may corrode and cause the car not to start at any time.
    • O2 sensors and Fuel Pump may fail prematurely at any time and cause the car not to start.
    • AC WILL FAIL at 37 months or 37,000 miles because it was deliberately designed to do with a time bomb for planned obsolencense :)

    Had the manual disclosed all those "features," I could have been persuaded to make a different purchasing decision.

    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,007

    There are years in CR (you've told me before I should pay attention to them), when particular-year-and-model Audis are shown as being less reliable than the same year Cobalt. True that.

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 11,578

    Audi's are a bit more complicated, sophisticated, and option laden than Cobalts, but if you say so. Your entire fleet still comes in less expensive than an S4; though not by much.

    Though reliability doesn't have to cost a lot, as you have shown with your Cobalts. A lot of people use that excuse for Chrysler, that $15K and under is just not enough money to expect a reliable car. I don't buy that excuse in 1994 nor today.

    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,194

    @uplanderguy said:
    There are years in CR (you've told me before I should pay attention to them), when particular-year-and-model Audis are shown as being less reliable than the same year Cobalt. True that.

    I don't believe that's accurate. Don't CR's ratings compare the "average" to vehicles in the same class? I don't believe that they are in the same class. I could be wrong about this, though.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,007

    No, same model year.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    GM board launches formal probe after recall debacle

    Board reportedly hires law firm to learn why it was never informed of faulty ignition switches that led to 13 deaths.

    http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2014/05/14/gm-board-recall/

    The Blind leading the Blind.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    edited May 2014

    GM recalls new Chevy Malibus for brake problem

    Recall-plagued General Motors is recalling 140,067 of its 2014 Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedans because the brakes could fail to work correctly.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/05/14/gm-recall-chevrolet-malibu-brakes/9096103/

    Could be those suppliers getting the last laugh?

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,007
    edited May 2014

    Is 5.5 million still not fewer than the number of cars Toyota recalled this very year?

    I'm a believer in things 'apples to apples'.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    edited May 2014

    The human toll of GM’s faulty design is greater. GM has linked 13 fatalities to the defective ignition switch that can cause airbags to fail in a crash.

    Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have confirmed only four deaths from a Toyota-made vehicle speeding out of control.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,007
    edited May 2014

    "Only" four versus thirteen. Bad enough if you're a family member. Still, as I'd been told many times on that other forum, recalls are "no big deal". I actually disagreed with that then, and now, as although the chance of being in an accident because of one is so small compared to, say, being hit by someone with no headlights on, or texting or using a cell phone, but it is inconvenient as it usually involves an otherwise unscheduled dealer visit. I'd rather not have one.

    BTW, here's an article that mentions 400 lawsuits about wrongful death and injury in Toyotas with that issue:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/toyota-reaches-12-billion-settlement-to-end-criminal-probe/2014/03/19/5738a3c4-af69-11e3-9627-c65021d6d572_story.html

    Any recall involving deaths is bad news, but I'm not about free passes for a maker simply because they're not a U.S. company.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,007

    Not seeing this week's Ford recalls, any particular reason for that?

  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,655

    @uplanderguy said:
    Not seeing this week's Ford recalls, any particular reason for that?

    To much focus on the GM ones (and there is more today as I'm sure will be posted )

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,194
    edited May 2014

    @uplanderguy said:
    Is 5.5 million still not fewer than the number of cars Toyota recalled this very year?

    I'm a believer in things 'apples to apples'.

    I do think that the total quantity is only one measure.

    If you have a car that sells a lot of vehicles recalled, there might be a large quantity of vehicles recalled due to that one model and that one problem.

    If you have a lesser-selling vehicle recalled, then of course there are fewer of them recalled.

    If you, OTOH, have many different models and many different years recalled, you might still have fewer total vehicles recalled, but the breadth of quantity of different problems across different vehicles may suggest a greater level of sloppiness or lack of quality control, even if the total number of vehicles recalled is smaller than a competitor because their fewer recalls were on the bigger-selling vehicles.

    I think you get what I'm driving at. (pun intended)

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    See my post on page #3 ;)

    Ford recalls more than 692,000 Escape SUVs

    The first case covers 692,500 Escape and C-Max vehicles. A software glitch can stop the side curtain air bags from inflating in certain types of rollover crashes. The company says it has no reports of crashes or injuries. Dealers will reprogram the air bag control computer for free.

    The second case covers about 692,700 Escapes. Exterior door handles can bind and stop the door from latching properly. This could allow doors to open while the SUVs are in motion.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/05/09/ford-recall-escape-suv-c-max/8899855/

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    Balance! GM is finally admitting problems! How smart is THAT!

    G.M. Recalls Another 2.7 Million Vehicles

    G.M. said it knew of hundreds of complaints and 13 accidents associated with the problem. The company said there were two injuries, but no deaths as a result of the issue.

    “Brake lights come on for no reason, shut off cruise control,” a driver of a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu complained to safety regulators in March 2013.

    And a driver of a 2005 Malibu said to regulators in June 2013 that he was “told by a driver who had been behind me coming up to a traffic light that my brake lights were not working. She said it looked as though they were on while I was accelerating and went off when I was stopping.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/16/automobiles/gm-recalls-another-2-7-million-vehicles.html?hp&_r=0

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 11,578

    GM just got hit with a big fine. Funny, they'll just pay it with the bailout monies they stole from taxpayers. Paid it back already you say???? Funny, last I heard we took a huge double digit billion dollar loss that keeps growing and growing as they realize just how bad the bailout hurt America.

    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462

    That's just the first one (the "civil" penalty). Toyota got hung with a $1.2 billion fine so GM isn't off the hook yet.

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,194
    edited May 2014

    "General Motors issued four new recalls on Tuesday, bringing its total for the year to 13.5 million, already the most in the company’s history."

    CircleW is lagging here!

    Seriously, I see this as a potential win for Mary Barra. She said she was serious about rooting out problems and changing the culture. This is exactly the thing she should be doing. Better to get this stuff out of the way quickly and focus on the product moving forward. I know Mary was the one who fought not to cheapen the Cruze way before she was CEO, so that is a good sign.

  • berriberri Posts: 10,166

    I think Barra is smart just cleaning everything up. I think she's taking a page from Toyota after the UA issue ended up exposing a lot of issues and shortcuts. When the Toyoda family took the company back from outsider Wanatabe and the Ivy League MBA's, this is kind of the same thing they did a few years ago. I think that has turned out pretty successful for Toyota.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664

    It can't get any worse than recalling more cars then you build!

    General Motors has already recalled more cars and trucks in the U.S. this year than it has sold here in the five years since it filed for bankruptcy.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462

    Toyota is feeling left out. B)

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    When both Toyota ang GM claimed they wanted the top spot, I think they had something other than total recall numbers in mind.

    Since VW also wants to be #1, can their recall "events" be too far down the line as well???

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490

    I don't see why any car owner would object to having a defect in their car fixed for free. It's the defects that you don't hear about that should worry you.

    Our grandparents were pretty much told to take a hike after 90 days, when they bought their first new car and it broke down.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    edited May 2014

    Midsize Malibu Tops List of Most Recalled GM Cars

    Since January, General Motors Co. GM +0.72% has issued 29 separate recalls covering 36 different models and 15.8 million vehicles—a total that is likely to rise as the auto maker applies a more rigorous review to customer complaints.

    In all those recalls, one family of vehicles stands out for its frequent appearance. And it isn't the Chevrolet Cobalt, a compact last produced in 2010 that has become notorious for its place in a scandal over defective ignition switches.

    The greatest number of recalls involves GM's family of midsize cars including the Chevrolet Malibu, Malibu Maxx, Saturn Aura and Pontiac G6. Some 2.4 million cars sold under those nameplates and built between 2004 and 2012 were recalled on May 14 for a faulty electrical controller.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303749904579578431121982194?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303749904579578431121982194.html

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited May 2014

    "Gross margins on new-car and light-truck sales continued down in 2013 to 3.8 percent. It’s a sign that automakers make more money on service and warranty work than selling new cars. Internet pricing has made it harder for dealers to make bigger profits on new cars. Many automakers have sought to cut incentives on new cars."

    Profits flat at U.S. dealerships despite rising sales (Detroit News)

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