22. mcbrue Jan 31, 10:45 pm
"Now if the company had the stealerships, they
would know how bad the kars are and would try to improve them so they
can stay in business."
I fail to see the connection. The manufacturers already have a wealth
of info from warranty repairs. They also spend buckoo bucks on
consumer research to find out what consumers think of their product.
Independent companies publish lots of reports on most cars made, citing
problem areas, typical costs to repair, etc.
The manufacturer is already responsible for a major component of the
repair cost, which is parts. People here bitch right and left about
what the dealership charges. But do you think the price is soley
determined by the dealership? They add their markup, but the
manufacturer is at least equally responsible, if not more so, for the
prices charged. Like most manufacturers, they charge top dollar for
parts they know you can;t get anywhere else. I just looked up a price
for a ceramic stove top for a friend who has a new Hotpoint stove. A
new top costs $225-275 plus shipping. The whole stove cost only $399.
I have also seen and heard of cases where folks came out ahead because
the dealership was willing to do work under warranty even though it
probably should have been denied. They did that because they could
get the manufacturer to pay for it, while the dealership still made
money on it and the customer got a break.
"So now here I am, looking at a brand new model full of computers that
one knows how to fix."
That reminds me of my high school chemistry teacher 35 years ago. He
was all pissed off that TV' tubes were being replace by circuit boards
with IC's, so he couldn't fix his own. The reality is, in that case,
the resulting TV's are far more reliable and about the same difficulty
In the case of cars, it's a mixed bag. I believe the onboard computers
have made them easier to fix. The computer's for example, can tell the
technician if the wire to the right front wheel ABS sensor is open or
shorted. It can tell if cylinder #4 has been misfiring or if the car
has not been running at normal temperature. That info certainly makes
the car easier to fix.
The downside though is adding more complex features, so that there is
more to go wrong. Some of them are mandated by govt: pollution
control, fuel economy, air bags, etc. Others are because people want
whizzy features. An example of that is Porsche has a headlight system
on some of it's cars that will automatically adjust the aiming up or
down depending on the pitch of the car due to
acceleration/deceleration. Now that is something that you and I would
probably agree on. For the limited usefullness, it's a lot of
complexity and if it breaks, it's gonna cost a lot more than it's worth
I think many of these whizzy systems being added will reduce the useful
life of these cars. I wouldn't want to own one with a lot of
complexities past a certain age. Because in many cases, we can't fix
them ourselves and they will cost a fortune to maintain. But I doubt
having the dealership run by the manufacturer is going to make any real