AD #1489 – OEMs Irk Suppliers, Mazda Teases New Compact Crossover, More Volt Details

October 29th, 2014 at 11:55am

Runtime: 8:39

- Chrysler Cans Quality Exec
- OEMs Say Suppliers Making Too Much Money
- Shortage of Takata Air Bag kits
- AutoNation Suspends Sales of Takata Vehicles
- More Specific Chevy Volt Details
- Mazda Teases New Compact Crossover
- 2015 Dodge Charger – Seat Time

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37 Comments to “AD #1489 – OEMs Irk Suppliers, Mazda Teases New Compact Crossover, More Volt Details”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Chevies new 1.5L in the Volt will also run on reg gas,not premium like it’s predecessor.

  2. Don B. Says:

    Does Doug’s termination have to do with the recent recalls on Dodge trucks? Or there other factors we don’t know?

  3. Jon M Says:

    So Doug Betts did very well at Toyota that Nissan lured him away, followed by Chrysler. Now all of a sudden a company that could never be accused of making quality vehicles fires the guy because of low ratings. Well, Mr. Betts may have been head of quality and charged with such duties, but he still had senior managers to whom he had to answer. From this report, it sounds to me like Mr. Betts wasn’t the real problem; he was instead an easy target. And that of course, will solve the problem ;-)

  4. RumNCoke Says:

    Chrysler has a Head of Quality? Really?

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Chrysler quality is just fine. Except for the A/C not working, my 25 year old Caravan is doing great.

  6. Mike Says:

    I wonder if Takata feels like they were overpaid for all those air bags that are now coming back to them? There is enormous risk in being an Automotive Supplier; ask Firestone. The problem is that the cost of this “risk” was never baked into the sales price. The supplier is supposed to make perfect products that have been fully vetted by the DVP&R. Of course it is never as good as all of that and Takata is now finding out that the profits they made for working hard all of those years are about to be lost.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6, A lot of the Firestone problem had to do with Ford’s telling customers to under-inflate the tires, so their trucky Explorers would ride better.

  8. Mike T Says:

    “go pound sand”. That is EXACTLY what the suppliers should tell the OEMs. If you have ever had any knowledge of how the OEM (particularly the big three) treat the suppliers at bid time, this is perhaps too nice a comment. Add that to the fact that when I need a replacement part for a car and go to the dealer, they want me to pay $150 for a part they paid under $10 to the supplier for.

  9. Mike Says:


    I had a friend in the tire business who told me that part of the Firestone problem was also a cost down decision, signed off on by the Ford Engineer, to remove a layer from the tread recipe. I’m sure the under inflation was also part of it. How much did it cost Firestone in the end? I think I heard $3 billion. If so I wonder if the previous 10 years worth of profits as “allowed” by Ford would cover it? When thinking of “too much profit” as the supplier’s, the OE’s need to be thinking of the supplier’s business plan. If it does not make sense to take these risks, the remaining suppliers might be smart enough not to do it.

  10. MJB Says:

    #3. Disco!

    Kinda like if the 2008 Detroit Lions (with their 0-16 record) went and hired Bill Belichick, then fired him the following year because they didn’t make the playoffs.

    You can’t always blame the head guy. If you suck, you suck.

  11. Bradley Says:

    Typo in the Headlines “Madza”.

    That a boy! Chevy that is how you do a press release on your new Volt.

    FYI, I would actually prefer an engine that requires high-octane.

    I do not with to have an argument about if its worth the money or not, but its what I always buy. I have never had engine/fuel problems and I always received high than advertised MPG.

  12. Bradley Says:

    with = wish

  13. C-Tech Says:

    After working on a number of Chrysler vehicles through the years the quality problems seem to have to do with changes made after testing. The 2.7L engine problems all cropped up in vehicles under 70k miles. If they passed the 100k test, their must have been a change in specs after the test but before production. Another quirk in the system is getting these complex systems to work together.

  14. HtG Says:

    Pounding Sand

    Like Lenin said, it’s a question of who can do what to whom.

    Too much profit? NUTS!


    10 In other sand news, I think it was Bloomberg that had a piece yesterday about how regular gas was declining in price more than premium blends because local sources like Canada made crude that was easier to make into lower octane blends.

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG let’s hear it for the common man car that accepts regular and does not require premium gas, so much for economy!

  16. Ed Says:

    With gas prices dropping and the domestic supply in surplus, now is the time to develop a gas formula plan nationwide that reduces the number of them based on region and season, this consolidation would make the national supply more uniform and cut out big problems with the lack of refining capacity. Sometimes you need to bite the bullit for the long term. Ed

  17. Drew Says:

    @7 Kit and @ 9 Mike – You are both wrong. There were 2 tires sourced to the Explorer – the infamous Firestone and the steady Michelin. The Michelin tire had none of the problems of the Firestone, and no difference in air pressure. Firestone’s manufacturing was not in control — all of the problems were traced to one Firestone plant, which let a few inmates out of the assylum.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17, Are you saying the Firestones would fail if they were inflated to a “normal” pressure of, say, 32 psi? I’d heard that they wouldn’t.

    In any case, the Firestones were substandard compared to the Michelins.

  19. Drew Says:

    @14 HtG – Last night, I noticed the local price of regular gas was $2.98/gallon. The price of diesel was $3.98/gallon. At this fuel price gap, the annual cost of fuel would never payback for a diesel engine. The only way a consumer could justify the acquisition price premium for a diesel engine would be through a combination of retained resale value, longer durability (perhaps this used to be true, but today’s gas engines are awesomely robust), and functional towing needs. If the consumer (who doesn’t have extraordinary towing needs) factors in the higher cost of maintenance (diesel oil changes are punitive), you can kiss goodbye any further US growth in diesel sales.

  20. Drew Says:

    @18 Kit, I know there were manufacturing defects in the Firestone tires. I know the Michelins did not have the defects and were more robust for varying PSI. I also know many tires are driven in an under-inflated manner in the real world without the issues encountered by Firestone.

    There were many tragedies from the Firestone issue… the accidents, the lives affected, the excessive new regulations, and the shameful way in which Firestone threw Ford under the bus. Ford spent billions when they bought back tires… many of which were good tires, but Firestone hid the manufacturing quality data which would have allowed a more focused recall.

    I have bought replacement tires many times since the Firestone issue. I have bought Michelin, Continental, and Goodyear… but never Firestone or Bridgestone. Initially, the Continentals seemed the best (quiet, ride quality), but they didn’t wear as well and the ride quality deteriorated. I’d say the Michelins are the most consistent (good/acceptable in all tire attributes).

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20, I guess there had been problems with Firestone radial tires long before the Explorer thing. A friend had Firestone 500 tires on his 1977 Corvette recalled years before.

    I agree that Michelin tires are the most consistently good overall for general use. The last car tires I’ve bought were Continental and Pirelli, based on reviews and price, they might have been Michelin, except for price. I put Pirellis on the MINI, and after the OEM run-flats, they are great. I don’t drive the car a lot of miles, so they should last me a few years, even with so-so tread life.

    I’ve had Bridgestone tires on motorcycles, because that is what they came with. Luckily, I’ve had no failures. A tire failure on a bike makes a tire failure on a car trivial in comparison.

  22. cwolf Says:

    The Volt is to also have a lower center of gravity, which I take means the battery sits lower. Sure, handling will improve, but will this also allow for a full back seat? Hope so!

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22, If by “full” back seat, you mean 3 passenger, I’ve read that it probably will.

    I’m surprised that so many people even care about that. When is the last time you have seen 3 people in the back seat of a Civic or Corolla? I don’t see that very often.

  24. HtG Says:

    LA sounds like it’ll be pretty interesting. We need to see John sit in the new Miata, is all I’m saying. :)

    Also, the comedy stylings of Charlie Vogelheim wouldn’t hurt. :)


  25. cwolf Says:

    I know Bejma said awhile back that GM was taking measures to improve supplier relations and M. Barra stated pretty much the same, but I haven’t seen it happening. Besides the typical cry of a part being too costly, they now want tighter tolerances on those THEY requested during the last contract. My plant, once a GM plant,is reaching out to other OEM’s to gain other business, however, GM now threated to eliminate all future business if we deal with any other,yet have not pledged to make up the difference in volume. “Poundin sand” was not the wording used by the owners!

  26. HtG Says:

    F1, again

    The story today is that Sergio Marchionne will be in Austin this weekend to make a pair of announcements.

    You all know Ferrari is very important, right?

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Is Ferrari dropping out of F1?

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Or maybe Sergio is selling them to VW, and they will become the new Audi team.

  29. HtG Says:

    What, and walk away from their skim?

    Very important

  30. HtG Says:

    Yeah, VW will paint all their unsold Lambos red and double the waiting list.

    Such a prima donna club, F1 don’t even know when their tights are drooping

  31. HtG Says:

    So, turn 1 on Sunday, Nico challenges Lulu, one is ahead and the other strategizes to get ahead at the undercut. Steve Matchett busts his belts ‘Ooohin and Aaahing’ for an hour and a half. Where do I pay?

    Is Hobbs still awake?

  32. cwolf Says:

    I have not heard of any changes in Takata’s leadership over the airbag issue, but to make heads roll, perhaps charging Takata for offering free loaners until defective autos are repaired might get their attension.

  33. HtG Says:

    Wow, I just had to moderate myself. Went a little nuts. I need a little CK raging.

  34. LV curious Says:

    The Ford Explorer had a higher risk of rolling over – so the Ford engineers recommended to reduce tire pressure to widen the contact patch a bit, and to lower the ride. That worked well until there was a manufacturing defect in the tires, and the tread separated due to increased flexing at the contact patch / rest of tire interface. So the tread delaminated from the rest of the tire, and the inegrity of the tire was lost. That resulted in some fatal accidents.

  35. Brett Says:

    Regular gasoline in Daytona Beach, Florida can be had for $2.84 a gallon. Diesel (on road) can be had for $3.48 a gallon.

  36. w l simpson Says:

    Care quality determines the lifespan of a car more than build quality.

  37. Dave Says:

    Dodge Quality?? Lets see the 2009 Charger I drove at work, hemi, had 3800 dollars of engine work at 36000 miles, valve springs, valves, and lifters replaced. The driver’s door just cracked around the lower hinge and needed a new door not rust bad metal. The 2012 I drive now with 25000 miles just had both motor mounts go bad..Needless to say we are done with Dodge and will be ordering another make.