Can You Trust Your New Car?

Martin Winterkorn CEO Of VW - Is That It? - No Accountability?

Martin Winterkorn CEO Of VW – Is That It? – No Accountability?

Car manufacturer recalls are becoming normal these days as one after another, customers find faults with their new vehicles. The biggest scandal to hit the manufacturing industry currently is of course the Volkswagen emissions cheat that has put the company in an unenviable position.

Emissions Test

Emissions Test

This scandal is not directly dangerous to those in the vehicle for they have been fitting parts to cars that cheat the emission regulations and this act not only affects Volkswagen but also Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, and overseas-brands SEAT and Skoda. So from this you can gather that a great many vehicles have been affected.

The sad thing is that air pollution has become a major worry today with the number of vehicles on our roads which are causing many diseases like cancer among those who breathe in the fumes daily. From this you can understand that cheating an emissions test is putting people’s health at risk, although not directly. But Volkswagen are not the only ones, for many other companies have had to recall their products for one reason or another.

New cars cost a fortune these days, but sadly times have changed for it is difficult to have 100% faith in what you have bought. Eleven vehicle manufacturers have issued recalls because of faulty Takata airbags in their vehicles that have killed more than 10 people and caused the recall of 34 million vehicles. Drivers were killed when a faulty airbag exploded in front of them and sent shrapnel into their face and bodies.

Result Of Toyota Gas Pedal Fault

Result Of Toyota Gas Pedal Fault

Among some of the worst problems associated with manufacturing errors were the Toyota ‘out-of-control’ gas pedal in 2009 and 2010 which resulted in 30 deaths. In 1980 Ford recalled more than 21 million cars for a fault that allowed the gearbox to slip from ‘Park’ into ‘Reverse’ causing more than 6,000 accidents, 1,700 injuries and 98 deaths. In 1995 car makers Honda, Nissan, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, GM, Mazda, Suzuki, Subaru and Isuzu were caught out by a seatbelt failure where the release button jammed and people were trapped in the car by their seatbelts. Since 1980 a total of 50 million cars have had to be recalled by the manufacturers for serious defects.

These are all manufacturing faults that are causing problems for motorists across the world. It makes me wonder how far this trend will go? Are we at some time in the future going to be travelling at 120kph down a motorway when one or all four wheels fall off the car?  It makes you wonder.

VolkswagenIt is a sad indictment of today’s world that manufacturers will take any risk to save a few pounds to increase their profits. Years ago when I was young you bought something knowing you would get literally years of use out of the product because it was made properly without any shortcuts, or as today, a built-in life of a year or maybe two if you are lucky.

The main problem is that people today are fixated on money, and the more they have the more they want. All manufacturing companies take shortcuts, or use items in the manufacture of their product that they know will have a limited life.

I worked for a well-known copier manufacturer in years gone by as a Quality Test Engineer and carried out tests on parts used in the machines to see how long they would last. I also carried out quality tests on products being used to build the machines on the manufacturing line. Many times I found unsatisfactory parts, but was overruled by management who went ahead and fitted them anyway.

Faulty Airbag

Faulty Airbag

That was a long time ago, but now the situation is even worse, as indicated by the use of the Takata airbags which obviously had not been quality tested sufficiently. It is an epidemic where manufacturers concentrate on profit instead of reliability, for they do not care if what you bought breaks down after one year, because they know people these days will just go out and buy a new one. Such is modern life and the sad thing is, no-one seems to be held accountable.

Roy.

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