In the road of life…

…there are drivers and there are passengers.

And according to the QC lists, the Volkswagen drivers are an extremely disillusioned and unsatisfied lot. Reports of poor customer service, faulty parts, replacements required after low mileage and more abound.

Problems include

  • Fuel pump failures
  • Headlight, window, mirror and fuel gauge problems
  • Transmission failures (as in transmission has to be replaced)
  • Catalytic converter failures
  • Engine misfires

So much for “German Engineering” eh.

Well no, I know that every car model has its share of problems, but I thought I’d like to bust the bubble, the aura of excellence that the phrase “German Engineering” conjures. People are genuinely unhappy with their VW purchases and many mention that they’ll never buy a VW product again. I wonder what that means for Audi, which is after all, in the same company?

Actually, that brings to mind a point that’s ticked me off quite a bit. Often, people are more than willing to lump _all_ North American cars under the heading “Unreliable”. Now, I’m not going to be a GM/Ford/DC apologist or attempt to deny the cookie cutter, low reliability models that have been produced by each company, but people:

Evaluate individual cars on their merits!

You’ll find some extremely surprising tidbits. For example, that certain Buick models tend to have good reliability, that GM is actually the only North American car maker with a better than industry average initial build quality rating et. al. Don’t just say “I won’t buy North American”. You’re probably just cheating yourself in the end…

Comments

  1. Scott - August 4, 2004 @ 13:00

    Yeah, good points, Allen; you can’t lump all models of a company in together. A friend of mine once trashed Chrysler with the blanket statement, “All Chryslers suck,” and after calling him on it, he couldn’t justify it…

    But. On the individual merit of my 1996 Dodge Neon, I would discourage any who are considering the purchase of a Neon. Perhaps the new Chrysler models are more reliable, but I’m considering a trade-in next co-op term if I have any more problems with it before then.

  2. Allen George - August 5, 2004 @ 11:50

    Yeah, I often hear the phrase “I’ll never buy American” when it comes to cars. However, certain Japanese models are just as bad in terms of reliability.

    At any rate, over the past decade, the Big Three have been putting serious money and focus into improving quality. While none are at Toyota levels yet – they have improved.

    What’s really killing them are two things:

    1) Their past performance
    2) An aging entry level lineup

    GM’s got the Cavalier (honestly – I would never buy it) and although it may be popular, it’s not the cream of the crop. Probably a big reason why their sales slid _19%_ in July.

    Having driven a 2003 Dodge Neon from the rental car agency I can say that I’ll never buy a Neon. Oh it was good enough, but at 80 mph, it started shuddering… Not to mention the fact that if you tried to sit in the back seat for hours…

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