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(The Detroit_News)   U.S. automakers struggle with reliability, but so far have still managed to fend it off   (detroitnews.com) divider line 102
    More: Obvious, automakers, Consumer Reports, automakers struggle, Kelley Blue Book, reliability, Auburn Hills, General Motors Co., Acura  
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2004 clicks; posted to Business » on 29 Oct 2013 at 2:05 AM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-28 07:53:52 PM
+1 subby.
 
2013-10-28 09:27:58 PM
+1.
 
2013-10-28 10:39:25 PM
Late entry for HOTY!
 
2013-10-28 10:59:59 PM
Their first mistake was expecting their car to do anything except convey them from place to place.
 
2013-10-28 11:42:19 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Their first mistake was expecting their car to do anything except convey them from place to place.


Their second mistake was probably driving an automatic
 
2013-10-28 11:50:10 PM

omnibus_necanda_sunt: +1 subby.


This.

FTFA: Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co. saw the reliability of many of their vehicles suffer because of unresponsive infotainment systems and faulty voice recognition commands

I wonder why they just don't build something on top of Android like Amazon did? That's gotta be easier than rolling your own from scratch.
 
2013-10-29 01:07:48 AM
Isn't it time Fark had a religion tab?

/bicycle threads
//apple threads
///ford threads
////not sure about hamburger threads but probably those too
 
2013-10-29 02:10:29 AM
Headline: U.S. Automakers struggle with reliability

Actual f*cking article: Brands with recent recurring histories of major life-threatening defects like Toyota have better marketing than older brands like Ford and GM, and therefore idiots who don't actually research cars perceive the deathtrap Toyotas as being more reliable.
 
2013-10-29 02:11:06 AM

unlikely: Isn't it time Fark had a religion tab?

/bicycle threads
//apple threads
///ford threads
////not sure about hamburger threads but probably those too


The ramen threads get a little nuts.

/those damn Pastafarians! :)
//maybe just a food tab then...
 
2013-10-29 02:13:12 AM
LOL subby, +1.

"Newer audio and infotainment systems continue to create headaches for consumers"
Sooooo... not actual reliability, just UX frustrations, huh?

Reliability across makes is actually narrowing, the only way to really differentiate is through stuff like "infotainment systems".

images.newcars.com
 
2013-10-29 02:42:03 AM
Parents bought a Chrysler 500. Six years on, its falling apart.
 
2013-10-29 03:19:16 AM
I'm not too much of a fan of CR's car ratings. People disliking the car's infotainment system is somehow on the same level as having a shiatty drive train that frequently breaks down.
 
2013-10-29 04:08:11 AM
Wait till they see the new Mercedes infotainment system
 
2013-10-29 04:17:58 AM
i thought i read up on the car i bought fairly well. while in the service waiting room for the first recall on the car a cheeky salesman asked me how much i liked the car. i said it sucked the car didn't come with variable wipers and a locking gas cap. the bastard said i should have bought a better model. toyota-never again.
 
2013-10-29 05:15:45 AM

HotWingAgenda: Headline: U.S. Automakers struggle with reliability

Actual f*cking article: Brands with recent recurring histories of major life-threatening defects like Toyota have better marketing than older brands like Ford and GM, and therefore idiots who don't actually research cars perceive the deathtrap Toyotas as being more reliable.


Deathtrap Toyotas? You didn't really buy that crap about runaway throttles did you? I mean that woman who said her Lexus was a deathtrap that would randomly accelerate uncontrollably didn't mind selling it bto someone else without mentioning that to them and after 2 or 3 years they never had that issue.
 
2013-10-29 05:57:02 AM
Meanwhile, your Prius just failed the crash safety test.

/how many paramedics does it take to get the smug look off your corpse's face?
 
2013-10-29 06:29:32 AM

starlost: i thought i read up on the car i bought fairly well. while in the service waiting room for the first recall on the car a cheeky salesman asked me how much i liked the car. i said it sucked the car didn't come with variable wipers and a locking gas cap. the bastard said i should have bought a better model. toyota-never again.


Honestly. This bit of withholding options is pretty irritating. My $9999 Hyundai came with variable wipers, FFS, and it didn't even have a radio.

I don't mind that I bought the stripped model with absolutely nothing on it; that was the plan. If I had spent real money on it, though, I'd damned sure expect it to be reasonably well-equipped.
 
2013-10-29 07:21:28 AM
FTA: "Infotainment obstacles are likely to continue, Fisher said, based on results from a smaller follow-up survey of about 5,000 consumers. Younger drivers reported a higher instance of problems - the systems simply don't work - while older drivers said the systems were more complicated."

Yeah, the in car systems all suck.  As soon as the big three get their heads out of their asses and go with reliable underlying technology and simple user interfaces, this will all go away.  Some of their decisions have been mind-boggling.  As an example, GM's nav systems have gone from Google Maps and integration, the industry standard, to Bing.  Bing?  Seriously?  What the hell are these people thinking?  I haven't used my in car system since and will never buy another GM vehicle with one again.

Mechanically I have never had a problem with my GM car and I think that the quality issues in anything post-2010 are way overblown.  Damn their aesthetics are terrible though.
 
2013-10-29 07:57:10 AM

StopLurkListen: LOL subby, +1.

"Newer audio and infotainment systems continue to create headaches for consumers"
Sooooo... not actual reliability, just UX frustrations, huh?

Reliability across makes is actually narrowing, the only way to really differentiate is through stuff like "infotainment systems".

[images.newcars.com image 550x375]


Yeah, pretty much this.  Consumer reports has been looking for ways to dock American automakers even as their mechanical reliability equals or surpasses that of imports.  Biatching about UX problems is the way to go.

I think some of these new touchscreen systems are goofy, but I see why they're necessary.  Modern cars have more and more features and systems, and you can't just have a physical button or knob for each system anymore---it would mean way too many buttons that were way too small, harming usability.  A touchscreen fixes those problems, since you can configure it an infinite number of ways and get the screen to display what the driver wants to see---ideally.  But there are teething problems, as with all new technologies.  They'll get it figured out in a few years, I'm sure.
 
2013-10-29 08:01:19 AM

HotWingAgenda: Brands with recent recurring histories of major life-threatening defects like Toyota have better marketing than older brands like Ford and GM, and therefore idiots who don't actually research cars perceive the deathtrap Toyotas as being more reliable.


Coming from the Detroit News, so you know the source is unbiased!

/ No industry has scorched-earth marketing quite like auto.
 
2013-10-29 08:39:02 AM

HMS_Blinkin: StopLurkListen: LOL subby, +1.

"Newer audio and infotainment systems continue to create headaches for consumers"
Sooooo... not actual reliability, just UX frustrations, huh?

Reliability across makes is actually narrowing, the only way to really differentiate is through stuff like "infotainment systems".

[images.newcars.com image 550x375]

Yeah, pretty much this.  Consumer reports has been looking for ways to dock American automakers even as their mechanical reliability equals or surpasses that of imports.  Biatching about UX problems is the way to go.

I think some of these new touchscreen systems are goofy, but I see why they're necessary.  Modern cars have more and more features and systems, and you can't just have a physical button or knob for each system anymore---it would mean way too many buttons that were way too small, harming usability.  A touchscreen fixes those problems, since you can configure it an infinite number of ways and get the screen to display what the driver wants to see---ideally.  But there are teething problems, as with all new technologies.  They'll get it figured out in a few years, I'm sure.


Consumer Reports "docks" American automakers because some of them need to be docked.  GM cars are still largely designed-by-committee pieces of shiat that, while marginally better than model years past, still lag behind their competition.  Ford, although they've made HUGE improvements in their reliability as compared to years past, continue to bang their heads against a wall over something so simple that every Android/Apple phone can do it 100x better, all someone at Ford has to do is pick up a phone and outsource their development.  They don't because they want full control, so I'd expect them to come up with a solution that fits their $2500 price tag that's not so riddled with bugs as to be non-functional.  Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge should be just shot into the sun.
 
2013-10-29 08:55:18 AM

HotWingAgenda: Headline: U.S. Automakers struggle with reliability

Actual f*cking article: Brands with recent recurring histories of major life-threatening defects like Toyota have better marketing than older brands like Ford and GM, and therefore idiots who don't actually research cars perceive the deathtrap Toyotas as being more reliable.


My 2004 Matrix is a hair shy of 215K miles, so your HURRDURRR is invalid.

/My '95 Saturn SL2 barely made it to 125K, and started falling apart at 110K
//Will never buy American ever again.
 
2013-10-29 09:21:40 AM

StopLurkListen: LOL subby, +1.

"Newer audio and infotainment systems continue to create headaches for consumers"
Sooooo... not actual reliability, just UX frustrations, huh?

Reliability across makes is actually narrowing, the only way to really differentiate is through stuff like "infotainment systems".

[images.newcars.com image 550x375]


Initial quality and reliability are not the same thing.
 
2013-10-29 09:30:17 AM
What I keep hearing from US automakers is "We're just as good as Toyota/Nissan/etc."  What they don't get is that even if you're just as good, I still have zero motivation to switch.  What I want is "better than...", and a quantifiable, verifiable "better than," not just "we think we're just awesome and you should too!"

/ drives a Prius
// 145,000 miles and still runs like a champ
/// suck it GM
 
2013-10-29 10:09:56 AM

kregh99: What I keep hearing from US automakers is "We're just as good as Toyota/Nissan/etc."  What they don't get is that even if you're just as good, I still have zero motivation to switch.  What I want is "better than...", and a quantifiable, verifiable "better than," not just "we think we're just awesome and you should too!"

/ drives a Prius
// 145,000 miles and still runs like a champ
/// suck it GM


But haven't the domestics been routinely been beating imports for reliability and satisfaction for a decade? And it's mostly morons who are still occupying a 1990's mindset on this kind of thing? And whenever the imports beat out domestics, its mostly on stupid shiat like infotainment systems? And of course, they're still comparing luxury and basic badges from all makers like they're equivalent? Not you of course. 145,000 miles is super impressive. Most cars crap out around eight thousand or so.

/if someone could show how a corolla was #1 in America and ignore all the crashes to try to disprove my point, that'd be great.
 
2013-10-29 10:11:28 AM
Have Lincolns ever been anything other than overpriced POS death traps?
 
2013-10-29 10:22:22 AM

DjangoStonereaver: HotWingAgenda: Headline: U.S. Automakers struggle with reliability

Actual f*cking article: Brands with recent recurring histories of major life-threatening defects like Toyota have better marketing than older brands like Ford and GM, and therefore idiots who don't actually research cars perceive the deathtrap Toyotas as being more reliable.

My 2004 Matrix is a hair shy of 215K miles, so your HURRDURRR is invalid.

/My '95 Saturn SL2 barely made it to 125K, and started falling apart at 110K
//Will never buy American ever again.


My prius is at 150k, no issues whatsoever. Still has the same poor ride quality and handling as always, but I don't really care about such. It actually does okay in the snow once you get some decent tires (though they do hurt the gas milage a bit). Plus its nice to never have to put more than 7 gallons in the thing. Wife's car is a hybrid highlander of a similar age with 120k on it and is still an excellent car.
 
2013-10-29 10:29:20 AM
The American car manufacturers have completely polluted the opinions of at least 2, maybe 3 entire generations of Americans with poorly produced shoddy crap vehicles.  The only people who think that American means quality and foreign means bad are over 60 years old.  Everyone else has never known an American car manufacturer that could put together legos competently and has only known foreign (esp. Japanese) cars that are cheap, work, and don't break.

Right now, Ford or Chevy or GM could produce a solid gold piece of perfection, but I wouldn't believe it for a few years.  It's like convincing a football fan that the Cleveland Browns are a legit contender.
 
2013-10-29 10:31:31 AM
There is a reason Toyota kicks everyone's ass in the electronics - also the reason I no longer buy domestic. They have invested shiatloads into their R&D and actually have functional design in the interior instead of throwing some plastic trim, baubles at the problem (Ford, Chrysler, GM).

The easiest example of this I can think of is the cellphone holder in my Toyota - the charging cable remains entirely hidden away and yet the phone has its own spot out of the way of everything else - its the little things... Also the user interface on the main computer doesn't look/feel like it was designed by poo-flinging monkeys (Ford, cough, cough).
 
2013-10-29 10:37:37 AM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: omnibus_necanda_sunt: +1 subby.

This.

FTFA: Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co. saw the reliability of many of their vehicles suffer because of unresponsive infotainment systems and faulty voice recognition commands

I wonder why they just don't build something on top of Android like Amazon did? That's gotta be easier than rolling your own from scratch.


In Ford's case the fault is purely on the shoulders of Microsoft. They have some competent touch UI designers over in the Win Phone division that can build a responsive, easy to read interface, but unfortunately the guys over at Sync never talk to them because the company is so siloed. It's so bad that the Sync guys don't even make a Windows Phone app, despite having companion apps for iOS and Android. It makes no sense at all.
 
2013-10-29 10:38:57 AM

Elzar: There is a reason Toyota kicks everyone's ass in the electronics - also the reason I no longer buy domestic. They have invested shiatloads into their R&D and actually have functional design in the interior instead of throwing some plastic trim, baubles at the problem (Ford, Chrysler, GM).

The easiest example of this I can think of is the cellphone holder in my Toyota - the charging cable remains entirely hidden away and yet the phone has its own spot out of the way of everything else - its the little things... Also the user interface on the main computer doesn't look/feel like it was designed by poo-flinging monkeys (Ford, cough, cough).


Doesn't Ford use Microsoft's ActiveSync?

/Same monkeys, different cage?
 
2013-10-29 10:45:43 AM
The Sync system works pretty well.
 
2013-10-29 10:51:16 AM

DoomPaul: I'm not too much of a fan of CR's car ratings. People disliking the car's infotainment system is somehow on the same level as having a shiatty drive train that frequently breaks down.


Yeah no shiat. I really dont care about the infotainment system in a car, as long as the important parts work I am fine. When I got my car a year ago they tried pushing the state of the art bells and whistle infotainment package on me. I forget how many thousands more that would bring the price up to. I passed on it.
 
2013-10-29 10:51:52 AM

The Muthaship: The Sync system works pretty well.


Mine too.

Connects to my phone. Decent navigation. Sirius radio and sirius travel services. No problems at 45K miles.
 
2013-10-29 10:54:38 AM
Sure some people like domestic cars and some imports.

At least we can all agree that Chicago "pizza" it revolting.
 
2013-10-29 10:58:46 AM

Champion of the Sun: kregh99: What I keep hearing from US automakers is "We're just as good as Toyota/Nissan/etc."  What they don't get is that even if you're just as good, I still have zero motivation to switch.  What I want is "better than...", and a quantifiable, verifiable "better than," not just "we think we're just awesome and you should too!"

/ drives a Prius
// 145,000 miles and still runs like a champ
/// suck it GM

But haven't the domestics been routinely been beating imports for reliability and satisfaction for a decade? And it's mostly morons who are still occupying a 1990's mindset on this kind of thing? And whenever the imports beat out domestics, its mostly on stupid shiat like infotainment systems? And of course, they're still comparing luxury and basic badges from all makers like they're equivalent? Not you of course. 145,000 miles is super impressive. Most cars crap out around eight thousand or so.

/if someone could show how a corolla was #1 in America and ignore all the crashes to try to disprove my point, that'd be great.


while the Toyota models were dropped due to crash safety concerns, the Nissan Altima and V6 Accord were dropped due to reliability concerns.

as a city resident, I have the view that if the car is a popular choice for a taxi, it is probably extremely reliable given how much abuse taxis take. so while that does speak well for the Crown Vic & Town Car, it also speaks well for the Ford Escape and Toyota Prius. some of the other approved models are ignored, such as the Altima and Taurus.
 
2013-10-29 11:01:00 AM
Here's my very complicated and advanced infotainment system:

i7.photobucket.com
 
2013-10-29 11:07:46 AM

Prophet of Loss: Parents bought a Chrysler 500. Six years on, its falling apart.


I bought a Chrysler 300 back in 2000.  Six years later it was costing $4k a year to keep on the road when the front windows fell out.

Think about that.  The front windows falling out of a car.  How bad does your build quality have to be for the windows to fall out of the car during normal use?
 
2013-10-29 11:09:21 AM

SpectroBoy: Sure some people like domestic cars and some imports.

At least we can all agree that Chicago "pizza" it revolting.


1.bp.blogspot.com

Chicago deep dish is quite tasty.

It isn't pizza by any stretch of the imagination, but it is yummy.
 
2013-10-29 11:10:45 AM

SpectroBoy: No problems at 45K miles.


I'm on 109k.  Not only does the Sync system work well (and is easy to use for a tech moron like me), but the vehicle has been bulletproof so far.

/Overpriced, POS death trap Lincoln....
 
2013-10-29 11:15:30 AM

DjangoStonereaver: Elzar: There is a reason Toyota kicks everyone's ass in the electronics - also the reason I no longer buy domestic. They have invested shiatloads into their R&D and actually have functional design in the interior instead of throwing some plastic trim, baubles at the problem (Ford, Chrysler, GM).

The easiest example of this I can think of is the cellphone holder in my Toyota - the charging cable remains entirely hidden away and yet the phone has its own spot out of the way of everything else - its the little things... Also the user interface on the main computer doesn't look/feel like it was designed by poo-flinging monkeys (Ford, cough, cough).

Doesn't Ford use Microsoft's ActiveSync?

/Same monkeys, different cage?


Ford's system also had inputs from Continental AG, Nuance, Navteq, and Sony

way too many cooks in the kitchen
 
2013-10-29 11:18:15 AM

HMS_Blinkin: I think some of these new touchscreen systems are goofy, but I see why they're necessary.  Modern cars have more and more features and systems, and you can't just have a physical button or knob for each system anymore---it would mean way too many buttons that were way too small, harming usability.  A touchscreen fixes those problems, since you can configure it an infinite number of ways and get the screen to display what the driver wants to see---ideally.  But there are teething problems, as with all new technologies.  They'll get it figured out in a few years, I'm sure.


I think they will get it figured out, but I'm still not sure why EVERYTHING needs to be run through the touchscreen.

My Jeep Grand Cherokee (2011) has the nav/stereo functions through a few buttons, a knob, and the touchscreen. HVAC controls are separate and easy to adjust- no needing to fiddle with paging through things to make changes to either.

My wife's Infiniti G37x shows the HVAC info on the touchscreen, but controls are still separate from the stereo/nav. Again, easy.

Part of the user interface issues seems to be trying to make the same set of controls do EVERYTHING. That's not how drivers are used to handling it and it requires attention to be taken away from the road. Sure, it makes for a clean design, but if you're in the stereo controls it isn't that quick to bump the fan speed down a notch or two or vice versa with the volume.

I agree that they'll figure it out, but they would be doing buyers a favor if they'd do more thinking while still retaining some of the "old" ways for the time being.
 
2013-10-29 11:35:21 AM
In February I had two choices of vehicles that fit what I needed: Ford Fusion Hybrid or Camry Hybrid.

Bought the Camry Hybrid and love every detail and every minute driving it.

/Our 2002 Camry is nearly perfect at 191,000 miles.
//Traded in the 2004 Taurus at 78,000 miles. Hated that many little things were going on it, and the overall ergonomics sucked.
///Worst purchase the wife made ever--she's not allowed to buy cars anymore.
 
hej
2013-10-29 11:41:51 AM
Foreign automakers are struggling with the infotainment reliability as well.
 
2013-10-29 11:42:54 AM

Marcus Aurelius: Prophet of Loss: Parents bought a Chrysler 500. Six years on, its falling apart.

I bought a Chrysler 300 back in 2000.  Six years later it was costing $4k a year to keep on the road when the front windows fell out.

Think about that.  The front windows falling out of a car.  How bad does your build quality have to be for the windows to fall out of the car during normal use?


Meanwhile, I have a 10 year old Camry that has been through a fairly major accident but is still ticking along, mostly trouble free.
 
2013-10-29 11:48:21 AM

starlost: i thought i read up on the car i bought fairly well. while in the service waiting room for the first recall on the car a cheeky salesman asked me how much i liked the car. i said it sucked the car didn't come with variable wipers and a locking gas cap. the bastard said i should have bought a better model. toyota-never again.


Locking gas caps are $9.95 at Pep Boys.
 
2013-10-29 11:59:48 AM

Comic Book Guy: GM cars are still largely designed-by-committee pieces of shiat that, while marginally better than model years past, still lag behind their competition.


Don't confuse design and execution with reliability, which is what the discussion is about. Your feelings about design are valid consumer feedback when the discussion is about UX.

pheelix: Initial quality and reliability are not the same thing.


I welcome your input, can you elaborate? I'd like to see some numbers.
 
2013-10-29 12:06:21 PM

StopLurkListen: Comic Book Guy: GM cars are still largely designed-by-committee pieces of shiat that, while marginally better than model years past, still lag behind their competition.

Don't confuse design and execution with reliability, which is what the discussion is about. Your feelings about design are valid consumer feedback when the discussion is about UX.


You have a point when you say that having a engine throw a rod or a transmission gear eat itself is much more catastrophic than the Touch system not working, but seeing as that's a subsystem of the car itself (in that it's slowly taking the place of physical buttons like HVAC), the reliability and ease-of-use of that UI plays a larger and larger role, and a company with the resources of a Ford shouldn't be charging people $2500/3K a pop so they can play beta tester to half-baked software that they're trying to roll themselves.
 
2013-10-29 12:19:02 PM
My Nissan's Nav/Stereo system is a touch screen. There are no knobs, but there are a couple of buttons - I think for volume and to switch the Nav off and on. I hate it. When the sun hits it at certain angle (which happens a lot in AZ), I can barely even see the thing. I would have been perfectly content not to have this stereo, but there was some other option I wanted (maybe the sunroof?) that came packaged with it. I love my car, but I hate the system in it. I keep telling myself I need to replace the audio system with one I like, but I have a problem tossing out something I paid for that still works.

I hate that options are always packaged now. I know they do it because it'd be damn expensive to offer every single option by itself, but the packages they put together often make no sense. Just because you want one thing doesn't mean you'll necessarily want another. I had a Mazda a few years ago that required me to have leather seats if I wanted a V6 (don't know if they're still doing that). I live in the desert where it's crazy hot in the summer, and I hate leather seats. But I much preferred the V6 to the 4 cylinder when I test drove the car. So I got the V6 with the leather seats, which I regretted every time it was hot outside.
 
2013-10-29 12:22:31 PM

Comic Book Guy: StopLurkListen: Comic Book Guy: GM cars are still largely designed-by-committee pieces of shiat that, while marginally better than model years past, still lag behind their competition.

Don't confuse design and execution with reliability, which is what the discussion is about. Your feelings about design are valid consumer feedback when the discussion is about UX.

You have a point when you say that having a engine throw a rod or a transmission gear eat itself is much more catastrophic than the Touch system not working, but seeing as that's a subsystem of the car itself (in that it's slowly taking the place of physical buttons like HVAC), the reliability and ease-of-use of that UI plays a larger and larger role, and a company with the resources of a Ford shouldn't be charging people $2500/3K a pop so they can play beta tester to half-baked software that they're trying to roll themselves.


No, I'm differentiating between how it's designed, and things that don't work as designed. "Touch system not working" is a reliability failure. "Touch system being unweildy, unintuitive, or confusing" is a design failure.
 
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