Detroit auto makers try some new tricks

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"Joe" ...


Actually, I hadn't paid much attention to Pintos until the explosions.
Like someone else said, the biggest problem with Pintos was how Ford handled the publicity.
Natalie
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By the time the NHTSA investigation for the US Senate proved the Pinto was as good or better than any of it competitors small cars in a rear collision, practically the Japanese small cars and even better than some larger cars, when hit in the rear at 35 MPH, Ford dropped the name and called the new FWD 1980 Pinto the Escort.
Even today the government rear crash standards is 30 MPH although Ford builds its vehicle to a speed 5 MPH above all of the current crash standards. NO other manufacturer builds above the NHTSA standards. Ford even goes further with the CV and builds up to a 50 MPH standard.
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

Toyota has had a 37 MPH (60 Km/H) rear crash standard since at least the early 1980s.
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Ford has actually tested the Crown Victoria at 75MPH. No flames, and no ruptured fuel tank.
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That's true but that includes the optional suppression system. 50 MPH as designed
mike

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On Sep 18, 7:49 pm, "Wickeddoll®"

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On Sep 18, 7:49 pm, "Wickeddoll®"

Been reading posts here for about a year, been responding to some for a few months, and I seen several, that state EXACTLY that, or very close to it. Probably the reason I started posting here myself. just to add a little balance. Not very likely, but there MAY be someone out there he reads this stuff and thinks "Japanese is great, American is junk" and believes it. The poor soul has probably already been negativly infuenced by articles he has read in Consumer Reports.

Naw, just the truth.

GM bugs me to death on recall notices if I dont return the car for repairs. Guess I'm just special, maybe because I have bought more than a couple of cars from them.

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"Wickeddoll®"

Um, this is not a site, dude(?) it's a newsgroup. Also, unmoderated, which accounts for the excess OT stuff. I've seen hyperbole regarding Toyotas, but I have yet to see anyone say they're perfect all the time. I think you're doing some selective memory stuff.

Been reading posts here for about a year, been responding to some for a few months, and I seen several, that state EXACTLY that, or very close to it. Probably the reason I started posting here myself. just to add a little balance. Not very likely, but there MAY be someone out there he reads this stuff and thinks "Japanese is great, American is junk" and believes it. The poor soul has probably already been negativly infuenced by articles he has read in Consumer Reports.
*** Um, no, they're going by what their friends, relatives and other Toyota owners have said. But I agree that one should never lump all products in one category or another - they need to look at the class and record of a vehicle, though.

Naw, just the truth.
In your domestic-colored glasses, apparently. :-)

GM bugs me to death on recall notices if I dont return the car for repairs. Guess I'm just special, maybe because I have bought more than a couple of cars from them.
*** You're the only one they have left - they can't lose you! hehehe Just messing with you. Couldn't resist.
*snipping what CR didn't respond to for brevity*
Natalie
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Wickeddoll® wrote:

I take you at your word that you realize they do have problems.... but I *HAVE* heard people who believe that because they bought a Toyota (or less often, a Honda) that they'll never have to get it serviced at all. Believe it or not...

Someone mentioned that maybe the bigger difference between Japanese and American cars is the dealer network rather than the manufacturer. That may be true. For example, I have never, never, never EVER (and never will!) darken the door of a dealer service department. And especially not for "routine maintenance." I do all that myself. Not that they're paricularly incompetent (although on the rare times I've been to a dealer for an oddball quirky electronic/computer problem, they seem as clueless as anyone else and I wind up figuring it out myself in the end) Its that dealer service departments often try to up-sell services that aren't necessary (eg. fuel injector "cleaning.") The only type of place that I consider more harmful to the well-being of my car (and wallet) than the dealer service department would be a place like Jiffy Lube.
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"Steve"

OK, that would be just dumb. Any mechanical device will malfunction, no matter how well built.

Hmmm I've only had bad luck with one dealer service department, and that was LARRY MILLER TOYOTA in the Phoenix area. Stay the hell away, or bring lots of cash.
Don't count on the car working when they're done, though....
Natalie
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Wickeddoll® wrote:

Larry Miller in the Phoenix area supposedly has a very good body shop, but for mechanical repairs Bell Road Toyota is better and AAA approved. One nice thing about AAA approval is that if there's a dispute, the customer can require AAA to arbitrate, and the decision is mandatory only on the shop, not the customer. It doesn't matter whether you're an AAA member or not. BTW, AAA has their own shop near Larry Miller.
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"larry moe 'n curly" ...
Wickeddoll® wrote:

Larry Miller in the Phoenix area supposedly has a very good body shop, but for mechanical repairs Bell Road Toyota is better and AAA approved. One nice thing about AAA approval is that if there's a dispute, the customer can require AAA to arbitrate, and the decision is mandatory only on the shop, not the customer. It doesn't matter whether you're an AAA member or not. BTW, AAA has their own shop near Larry Miller.
LMC
Yeah, I found that out too late; after LARRY MILLER TOYOTA ripped me off without fixing the '87's air conditioner properly.
Natalie
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You mean, like my friend with the new Honda with the pourous power steering pump housing, that leaks fluid all over his driveway ?
|I think it's cool. I'd love to drive an American car again, without having |to run it back and forth to the shop. Seriously, I'm willing to give them |another chance. | |Natalie | | |
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"Steven Stone" ...

Has your friend contacted Honda directly regarding this? Not the dealer - the company.
I've never owned a Honda, so I have no personal experience to share. Everyone who owns a Honda *I've* ever known, loved theirs. Of course that's a very narrow segment.
Also, is this a model-wide problem that people have battled without resolution? Or did your friend just happen to get a badly built car? Another factor is how well he/she maintained the car. That was apparently an issue with the sludge thing for Toyota, but again, I have no personal experience with sludge, not even the first Toyota we bought in 1987.
Natalie

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Wickeddoll® wrote:

I never *quit* driving American cars, and I'm *NOT* always running to the shop (436,000 miles on one, 320,000 on another, 244,000 on the newest). I've owned both American and Japanese cars, and the whole "japanese cars are better" myth is just that- a myth based on a brief period of time 25 years ago and perpetuated by incessant glossy ad copy. All the Toyota owners with burned-up engines are finally realizing that.
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"Steve" ...

My engines have never burned up, but you didn't say what type of domestic vehicles you've had. Even I would buy large domestic vehicles, as I've said many times.
It's the "low-end" economy domestics that gave many I knew of lots of grief.
Most consumers can't afford those monster-sized vehicles, so they *have* to try to get their money's worth from cheaper vehicles.
Natalie
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Wickeddoll® wrote:

Chrysler (including Dodge, Plymouth, and Eagle) midsize and full-size sedans.

ALL "low-end" cars are questionable. That's why they're "low-end."

Monster-sized? Only my '66 Polara counts as "monster sized." I don't own a Durago or Ram 3500 (or I could say Tundra, Sequoyah, etc.) after all.
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"Steve" ...

Exactly - not compacts. You've proven my point.

But as long as they run reliably, and cost little to operate, they're still a bargain.

They're still larger than the Toyotas that are the most commonly purchased, such as the Corolla.
Natalie
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Low end economy cars are typically bought by someone who can't afford a better car. These buyers are often younger people who are harder on cars and money is tight so maintenance isn't kept up with like it should be. I wouldn't expect a low end economy car from any company to hold up as well as their higher end luxury cars.
There are plenty of American low end cars that were reliable. Tons of Ford Escorts out there with a half gazillion miles on them. Cheap Saturn's had a small list of "common issues" but ran forever even after they started to smoke like a chimney. Chevy Cavaliers are like roaches.. they can still run for a few weeks after you cut their front end off.
Steve B.
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Well of course not, but my teenaged son was vicious with my Echo, and the worst thing that happened was sand in the bearings. His own car, a Mitsubishi Gallant, was far more neglected than my Echo had been, yet it always runs, too. I think an equally relevant angle to this, is that when something does go wrong, what sort of response do you get from the company? Not the dealer, the regional guys, or any of that. The actual company. I've found Toyota to be superior in meeting my needs, the few times I have a problem with their vehicles. My friends/family members with "economy" domestics are not so fortunate. Additionally, whenever I see a late-model vehicle on the side of the road with its hood up, it's always something other than a Toyota. I've never seen a late model Toyota on the side of the road, except when it's wrecked or has a flat tire. No open hoods. I'm not saying they never break down on the road, but I personally have never seen it. The only raised hooded-Toyotas I've seen on the side of the road are very old ones.
On the other hand, I'd have to say the same thing about late model *domestic large vehicles*. Haven't seen them on the side of the road with hoods up either. So, obviously, some companies are better at making certain vehicles than others.

I know people with domestic economy cars, who have had them a long time, but not without frequent problems. Yes, they managed to put some miles on them, but by paying far more in maintaining the car than I did for the same class of vehicle, despite the lower domestic purchase price.
Hopefully, the Fusion will lead the way in reversing that trend.
Natalie
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