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(Detroit Free Press)   General Motors running ads admitting it made crappy vehicles in the 80s and 90s. More ads to follow in 10 to 20 years   ( divider line
    More: Obvious  
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14083 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 May 2003 at 5:44 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2003-05-30 08:18:20 AM  
Thanks to my 95 Chevy Lumina, i'll never buy another GM Product. I sold it and lost a fortune after it spent the first 6 months in the shop for various problems and had a long list of defects by the time it was at 40K miles. My biggest problem? Their attitude. The Chevy factory rep told me that it wasn't worth fixing my problems because the average dissatisfied customer tells 7 people they are unhappy with their car. (The most serious problem was a problematic anti-lock brake system that on 3 different occasions let me coast through stop signs because it thought the brakes were locked up and kicked in to prevent the car from stopping. Smaller problems were the 4 times the power windows broke, the door panels that fell off, the electric locks that wouldn't, the Fan blower motor that had a bad bearing, the rear seat that split in 4 places, even though my wife and I DON'T have children and the back seat that was used less than a dozen times.)

My current car is a diesel VW new beetle and while I've had some problems with it (Including it spending over 30 days in the shop in a 7 month period for electrical problems.) The difference? They fixed the problem and didn't charge me for it and were very apologetic about it and always provided a loaner car, etc to minimize the inconvenience. That and that I saw they were really trying to fix it, whereas the chevy people didn't give a shiat. they'd give it back to me and stuff wouldn't work because they had unplugged the connector for it accidentally and stuff like that.

The other advantage of a diesel. I average 49 MPG on my commute to work which is a long one. (My 2001 VW is already at 65K miles.) The mileage is saving me a fortune compared to gas engines.
2003-05-30 08:26:22 AM  
recording an average of 134 problems per 100 vehicles -- one more than the industry average

It looks like if you buy a new car you should expect to have at least 1.34 problems in the first three months. After making cars for so many years, shouldn't the standards be better than this?
2003-05-30 08:27:24 AM  
1987 Dodge 600 SE (way worse, computer flipped-out before 100k miles, had to keep foot on accelerator at all times to keep running, which meant braking with left foot...what fun! Engine rebuilt at 60,000...K-Cars...Ughh!)

My grandfather once had a 1987 Plymouth Caravelle (identical to the 600). Biggest piece of shiat ever. Left him stranded on the freeway when it was less than 2 years old.

Fortunately, he replaced it with a 1990 Toyota Camry. It lasted 12 years and 240,000+ miles. Only got rid of it because he couldn't drive anymore. It was running great when he did.
2003-05-30 08:33:24 AM  
As someone who deals with "Program Cars" every day for the last 10 years and exclusively with GM products from the Rental Fleets for the last 5, I can easily say that GM hasn't made anything "New" in all those years.

GM kept some cars WAY too long.

B-Body (Caprice) (1977-90)
C/D-Body (RWD Cadillac Fleetwood) (1977-92)
A-Body (Cutlass Ciera) (1982-96)
J-Body (Chevy Cavalier) (1982-96)
2003-05-30 09:02:39 AM  
Hey Labman,

I bought a 2000 New Beetle GLX back (Y2K Bug) in '99 and had very good luck with it. The 1.8T (originally put in the Audi A4) went like hell, got 30 MPG and never left me stranded. The only problem I had with the vehicle was the tree I slid into two winters ago. Totaled. ;-(
2003-05-30 09:16:56 AM  
I bought a pontiac phoenix in 1980. New tires after 20Kms! Constant stalling in the morning and in the winter. Absolute crapola. Fought with the dealer over warranty parts and service constantly. Sold it before the year was up. Bought a Honda Accord. Never looked back. Iv'e owned Toyotas and Hondas ever since. Great cars. Never ever buy GM. Even if the cars are better, the service shops are rip-off artists. Mr. Goodwrench indeed.

I do miss my old Maverick though.
2003-05-30 09:33:31 AM  
1997 olds achieva == piece of shiat

at 90K miles, everything electrical is going out on it. Power windows, fuses....
2003-05-30 10:55:02 AM  
You mean people actually buy American cars? Here I thought they were given away by auto-repair shops.
2003-05-30 11:15:18 AM  
05-29-03 06:04:37 PM Xj14y

But I do like the Aztek.

So, you're the one.

05-29-03 06:33:39 PM Withlovesarareku

If I ever get a car, it will most likely be a Malibu, a Cooper, or a Miata.

What grade are you in?
Cooper - Cool car, not practical, but cool
Miata - Chick car. Very small, but pretty fast and handles good.
Malibu - Of all the cars on the market in that price range, why would you pick a Malibu?

I am a GM loyal guy. Although I have owned many diffrent makes and models, I still think GM makes good cars and trucks. With all the car makers, they try to beat the clock. "SUV's are hot. Design one and we will rush it to market, then try to fix the problems and make it better later."

My best truck was a 2001 2500 Chevy Suburban LT. The damn thing saved my life when some asshat wrecked into me. I am still waiting for the insurance to pay so I can buy another one. Upside - quadra steer is now available.
2003-05-30 11:16:51 AM  
Yah, my 84 Vette is kinda a POS. Its really not a bad or unreliable car at all if you take care of them. Thats the porblem though is that the previous owners did not take care of it. So now I am selling it and I bought a Subaru WRX. Great friggin car!
2003-05-30 11:29:37 AM  
late 1970's - I owned '68 & '69 Firebirds. Both utter POS's. Anything that could break did - I had extreme problems with the exhaust system and carbs on both cars. Both caught on fire at least once.

early 1980's - Chevy Camero ('79 or '80). I think nearly everything broke in this car during the two years we had it. POS.

mid 1980's - Chevy Malibu ('82?). Semi-POS. Drove like a pig (horrid suspension) and was fairly tempermental. Left it in the Philippines.

late 1980's to early 1990's - Nissan Stanza ('84). Pretty decent car until the timing belt blew out while on the freeway. Got flooded out in a bad rainstorm and sold it off cheap immediately afterwards.

1993 to present - Nissan Pathfinder ('90). Best car/truck I've ever owned, 140k miles and going. Horrible suspension (bad Houston streets) but sturdy and reliable. The AC tends to break every couple of years, but that is normal down here during Texas summers. My sister drives a '89 Nissan SE truck (bought it new) and has never had any significant problems either. We'll both probably stick with Nissan's for the future.
2003-05-30 01:54:45 PM  
Interesting. I hated the Chevette and the Citation. I like the stuff we're
making now, at least most of it. I just think we need to learn how to make
money on a car the size of the Cavalier. If we don't have a good entry
level car - a car that a just out of college kid wants, then how will we
ever get them to switch from their Hondas and Toyotas?
Unfortunately, the only way we can see to do that is to have some Korean or
Chinese plant make it for us. Global economy sucks. Cheap labor overseas
has us at a severe disadvantage. That's why you should be driving a GM car
instead of a Mazda. Maybe when you get settled again.
2003-05-30 04:02:46 PM  
I didn't even realize i had another one posted!
2003-05-30 04:57:15 PM  
The Chevy factory rep told me that it wasn't worth fixing my problems because the average dissatisfied customer tells 7 people they are unhappy with their car.

Well, we just blew THAT statistic to hell, didn't we?
2003-05-30 06:46:28 PM  
Ishidan, your oil pressure reading zero.... don't you have a dipstick to check it manually?!? Or are such things missing on modern vehicles.. aaaa!
IrieTom, was that the same Saab that came with a crazy 2-stroke engine? Heavy on the oil, but damn near impossible to blow up and got a *lot* of power for a 1600cc. If so.. coolness.

Huh, story does seem to be, avoid american products, except for Fords.. which are far more of a global concern these days. Perhaps if more american auto makers started selling, well, outside of america, they'd find their standards having to be pulled up pretty quick (perhaps that's why hardly any US cars apart from novelties like the PT Cruiser disappeared in the early 80s). Really you put up with so much rubbish. But then so do we who buy fiats and rovers i guess!

Suzuki Swift = Geo Metro? My estimates of that car just dropped then. Swift is one of the few truly dross japanese cars (or was that the Alto, I forget.. one of the really teeny ones that cost far too much for something on the level of a much-cheaper Seiscento), been described as pretty nasty by euro reviewers, especially the old ones that were made into Metros. It's an old peoples car.. dont know if they last too long. Only ever seen a truly old one (mid 80s), someone kept it alive, but gave it a nice psychedelic graffiti paintjob over one half, stuffed it full of friends and went past one day. Certainly a lot less of them than any other japanese car roundabouts. If only they'd gone with importing and rebadging nissan micras..

Most jap, german (and scandinavian - built to withstand anything the peninsula can throw at them) cars will run through hell and high water with just a little decent servicing though. It's really wierd how many mark 1 (1978 thru 1984.. i think..) Golfs/Rabbits are still running around and even being used as tuning platforms today, and of course there's all those 70s SELs, 80s 3-series etc. Many other VWs (jettas excluded i guess), Mercs, BMWs, carefully-driven Porches even just need the oil and other consumable/corrodable parts replaced and checked on a token schedule (apart from the slightly stiff but perfectly workable gears, mine's got a noisy hydro-tappet.. and nothing else wrong.. whilst coming to the end of 65,000 pretty cruel miles. getting high 30s mpg most the time and not burning oil either).

((Well I suppose my dad would have something to say about BMWs and their reliability, but on the whole his seems like a fairly isolated case))

Besides the Germans, the more workaday Volvos just cannot be killed (sports ones are more fragile though), and if you want a car that will never ever wear out, it's probably a good idea to go for a Nissan.. If you'd bought a Bluebird in the middle of their production run, it'd still be purring as well as ever now, despite about 200k old, and comfortable as anything. They get used a lot for taxis.. possibly one of the old reliables thats actually got any kind of desirability apart from a first gen Golf (if you're a racer) or a Merc (if you're rich). Funny, never thought i'd say that about a nissan bluebird :)

Or just go the disposable route. Get an old ford (more than 10 years) for a couple hundred bills, for which you can even afford a fairly large or fast one. Put up with any crap it gives you until something serious happens (which may be a while, if they've survived this far it's probably one of the few that were built on a day when the workers were allowed coffee). Scrap it and get another. Realise you've saved a couple thousand off the purchase agreement for a new GM (or Vauxhall/Opel, as we call them here, though it does appear they stopped importing american parts and bodies a *long* time ago.. still pretty mediocre apart from the VX roadster) in the same period, though you got a similar driving experience and prestige out of it.

Well that's my 50c..
2003-05-30 07:04:13 PM  
PS Don't Ford have like really close links with Mazda now?

-dont even know if thats good or bad-
But the old 121 (before they rehashed their models this year) was literally an older model Fiesta with a Mazda badge (but were just as expensive as new ones and so sold really badly because of it - why not just get a secondhand ford?), much like the first generation Daewoos were all made with second hand Opel & GM tooling (and sold really well as they were cheap, loaded with extras and had great warranties). Seems that when that particular stock-clear (with mazda) ended, Ford really started pushing the Ka instead, based also on the old style fiesta. hmmm. So GM not the only ones endlessly recycling a platform.
2003-05-30 08:20:53 PM  
maby if you people knew how to work on cars you wouldent be knocking american cars. thumbs up to anyone who mentioned a car older than '75.
and if no one said it before, american cars are no longer made in america. most parts are manufactured and assembeled over seas since aroound 1980. what does that tell you. at least i know my ford was made in canada
2003-05-30 08:42:40 PM  

Maybe foreign labour would not be so cheap if the unions didn't demand so much money and push inflation in car prices at a 100% increase every 10 years.

My friend bought a stripper Nissan truck in 1991 for $4599 at Lamb Nissan in San Diego. I almost bought a 91 Chevy S10 Baja 4x4 for $12000, but changed my mind and bought a Beretta...however, that same 4x4 is near $25000 now.

Inflation sucks.
2003-05-31 12:16:40 AM  
Ishidan, your oil pressure reading zero.... don't you have a dipstick to check it manually?!? Or are such things missing on modern vehicles.. aaaa!

Oil PRESSURE, dumbass, not the existence or lack of oil. Sure, no oil = no pressure, but it's not the only possible cause.
That was the first thing I checked, make sure I hadn't just dropped the crankcase oil pan out on the road somewhere. Nope, oil still in the engine...just no pressure.

Ooo...oil pump breakdown, perhaps? Clog in the feeder lines? Or viscosity failure, which won't show up on the stick? That was my first thoughts, until I had it towed to the shop and the mechanic couldn't replicate the problem. Now I'm waiting for it to try that stunt again...
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