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Episode 276 – Germany Upset At GM, Toyota’s Pedal Solution, Chrysler Eyes Quality

November 20th, 2009 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:06

A number of German politicians say GM should not get any government aid to restructure Opel. Toyota may modify the gas pedals on its vehicles due to its massive recall. Chrysler is changing the way it will improve quality. All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s Autoline Detroit about when the technology for autonomous cars will be ready.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Germany plays hard ball with GM over aid to Opel. Toyota is going to modify the gas pedals on its vehicles. And Chrysler is changing the way it will improve quality.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Friday, November 20, 2009. And now, the news.

A number of German politicians say GM should not get any government aid to restructure Opel, the Wall Street Journal says. They’re still furious that GM backed out of the deal with Magna. But the Journal says those politicians may be losing the only leverage they have to preserve as many Opel jobs as possible in Germany. The other European countries where Opel operates, including the UK, Spain, Belgium, and Poland are interested in providing aid to GM.

And speaking of GM, it says car sales in the American market in November could hit an annualized sales rate of 10.8 million units. That would make it the first year-over-year-sales increase this year not counting the months when the cash for clunkers program was running. However, Edmunds is predicting that sales will drop to an annualized rate of 10.3 million, half a million units under GM’s prediction. And JD Power is even more bearish. It says sales will hit a 10.2 million rate.

Toyota may be close to announcing a solution for its floor mat/unintended acceleration problem that led to a massive recall of its vehicles. According to Edmunds Inside Line, the company may make the pedal shorter in order to fix the problem. The company has set aside $5 million to help cover the cost and would make the change for free at its dealerships. However, Toyota says it’s not ready to announce anything yet and is still talking about the issue with NHTSA.

Chinese automaker BYD announced plans to expand into solar energy. According to Gasgoo.com, the company’s plan includes building a solar power station, energy storage units and power plants. In the future, BYD says that “solar energy could become one of the driving forces of its electric vehicles.”

Historically, quality issues have been a big source of trouble for Chrysler. But according to an article from the Detroit News, the company is making a big push to improve. Doug Betts, Senior Vice President of Quality, says they’re attacking the problem and changing the company’s culture. One way they’re doing it is by grouping engineers by area of expertise, like brakes, or suspension, instead of by vehicle line. And Chrysler is adding more engineers to the quality department, bringing the number up to 1,700 up from just 200. Doug Betts knows what he’s doing. He used to work at Toyota and Nissan. But I was there 10 years ago when Dieter Zetsche promised that Chrysler would catch Toyota in quality in five years. And I was there eight years later when Bob Nardelli promised the same thing. So you can understand why I’m skeptical when I hear Chrysler say yet again that it’s going to have really good quality.

Denmark just opened a new biofuel refinery, and the event warranted some royal attention in the form of Prince Joachim, fourth in line to the Danish throne. Located adjacent to a coal-fired power plant, the new facility will produce cellulosic ethanol as well as powdered lignin and C5 molasses – the former can be burned to generate power and the latter used for animal feed. When it’s up and running, the refinery should produce nearly five and a half million liters of ethanol per year, which is about 1.5 million gallons.

Coming up next, a look at when the technology will be ready for autonomous cars, vehicles that can drive themselves

On Autoline Detroit this weekend we have Dr. Alan Taub, the head of research and development at General Motors. In the following sound bite, he talks about when we can expect to see autonomous cars on the road. And he starts out by recounting how the technology was proved out at the Darpa challenge a couple of years ago.

Indeed, the race is on to see which region in the world will emerge as the leader in autonomous technology. By the way you can see the entire video at AutolineDetroit.tv right now.

Ok, it’s Friday and you know what that means. It’s time to answer the trivia question we posed. And that question was, what do the letters REO stand for in the name REO Speed Wagon. And the correct answer is Ransom Eli Olds, the founder of Oldsmobile, not the rock group. As always we randomly selected this week’s winner from the pool of correct responses. And the winner is Barron McGinnis of Knoxville, Tennessee. Congratulations Barron, you’ve just won this collector’s edition Autoline Detroit coffee mug.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next week.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog, The Auto Channel, WardsAuto.com and WWJ Newsradio 950

47 Comments to “Episode 276 – Germany Upset At GM, Toyota’s Pedal Solution, Chrysler Eyes Quality”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I hope the quest to improve the Chrysler lineup in quality includes Jeeps.As much as I love my JK,there is plenty of room for much needed improvments in both interior materials,insulation for the freedom top,and some badly needed improvements in the drivelines.I hope this time they are telling the truth.

  2. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Today the show should have been called sci-fi Friday, Chrysler improving quality, self-driving cars, you forgot flying cars and cars that run on water. By the way, instead of autonomous cars, why not mass transit?

  3. John Says:

    “In the following sound bite, he talks about when we can expect to see autonomous cars on the road.”

    UGH !

  4. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Those folks that think autonomous cars are going to be common place must be the same people that believe we’ll send men to Mars and set up lunar colonies. WAKE UP AND READ THE FREAKING NEWS!

  5. HtG Says:

    So what Taub is saying is that GM would like to get the US in a micturating contest with Japan and Germany for autonomous dominion?

    Raise a gas tax and make cars light. Why can only Honda and Nissan (Versa) make cars that weigh ~2500LBS?

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    It seems there is a certain automotive mentality that continues to try and take us(the driver) out of the driving equation.For the life of me I can’t understand their thinking or motivation to try to do this.What would be the point of owning a car anymore? I think they have way to much time on their hands to dream this crap up and then want to implement it.

  7. Salvador G. Says:

    JohnMcElroy, tell me again why we can’t -add comments on Autoline Detroit?? obviously, we can comment here on Autoline Detroit, but generally it’s not the same.

    Anywho, usually the best way to improve on car technology is through racing, so; does anyone here know in what form of racing is Chrysler currently taking part to improve the quality of their technology??? -and if anyone says NASCAR -please go jump in a volcano.

    And also, why do they mean by shorter pedal, ok -that just doesn’t sound like a good idea to begin with; I can probably think of 5 different ways to fix that mat problem from the top of my head that doesn’t involve making a shorter pedal.

    Finally, when are we going to kill that Opel story, I feel like a survivor of WWI – I don’t even remember when it started or why??

    -

  8. Jim Sachetti Says:

    “# Pedro Fernandez Says:
    November 20th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Those folks that think autonomous cars are going to be common place must be the same people that believe we’ll send men to Mars and set up lunar colonies. WAKE UP AND READ THE FREAKING NEWS!”

    EXACTLY!!!!!! Thanks, Pedro! It SICKENS me to hear the same old retard for a SECOND show this sunday, and guess what, I SURE WILL NOT, John!

  9. Jim Sachetti Says:

    Their house is on freaking FIRE and SINKING ands what do the morons at GM do?

    Instead of maximizing MPG and interior quality and above all RELIABILITY, they got this MORON talking about Autonomous vehicles??????

  10. Nick Stevens Says:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/11/20/video-disgruntled-volvo-owner-starts-blog-crafts-lament-in-her/#continued

    You didn’t believe that Volvo sucks? Even the Swedes are finally admitting it…

    Enjoy!

  11. Jonathan Says:

    They forgot to mention cars that fold up into a brief case.

  12. Jonathan Says:

    I can think of an easier way to fix the toyota floor mat problem, it is called 4 screws.

  13. Chuck Grenci Says:

    You owe it to yourselves to at least watch the newest Autoline Detroit. Okay, so it sounds science fiction, but so did Dick Tracy wrist radios (and now cell phones have blown that concept into the dark ages). Being on the cutting edge is good, as long as you don’t jeopardize your present. As John Mc. said on Autoline Detroit, GM is still leading in some of the future technologies that will become inevitable. I ask this question, how many of the skeptics (of going forward with far out technologies) would chatise GM if Toyota came up with the technology and GM had been asleep at the wheel. I think it was Humphrey Bogart line, where he said, “you make your choices and you take your chances”.

  14. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    Chuck:

    Even if you follow your own advice and watch it and give us a half-page excellent executive summary (which is all we need), I doubt there is anything worth the trouble in there. After all, we have heard this GM clown before. One half-hour wasted is Enough.

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    JMO, not worth arguing. Though I think you have to have forward thinkers or you’re bound to stagnate in the present. I respect your opinion as well.

  16. G.A.Branigan Says:

    GM is good at blowing it’s own horn,they’ve been doing it for years and we all see where it got them.Last time someone was on from Ford,they eluded too some nice new technologies they were developing,yet notice they don’t go and announce every little thing,they produce.GM is trying to bolster whatever they can,whenever they can whether it’s true or not,or it’s decades down the road.Don’t worry though…….they will dry up and blow away like an unwanted stench.

  17. Nick Stevens Says:

    GM is a sinking Titanic that is held alive by our hard-earned taxpayer money. I think they should concentrate in building superior products and not on that sci-fi BS. Even the stupid Volt is all talk and no real superior product, and will need to be subsidized by the taxpayers to a HUGE $7,500 per vehicle, maybe twice that when it is actually produced!

    I hope that the Chevy Cruze, a far more crucial vehicle to GM than the stupid Volt, and the Ford Fiesta, meet their overblown expectations and prove to be CASH COWS and VOLUME LEADERS. Only with SUCH cars will GM and FOrd exit this crisis. As for Fiat-Chrysler, even the biggest optimists should be very, very worried.

  18. Andrew Charles Says:

    Autonomous cars are an industry-wide initiative, as it needs to be. All the major car companies are working on different aspects, but co-operate to ensure interactivity in key areas. As to why? It’s regulatory driven to a great extent. Safety has increased to a point where the only way to reduce casualties is to prevent accidents by intervening when the driver does something stupid. There are none of you who can’t deny that you’ve had at least a close call. Increasingly systems are in place that will allow the car to intervene to prevent accidents due to driver error or inattention. Lane detection systems, road sign recognition, active radar, navigation systems, ABS, ESC, active steering etc.

  19. Drew Says:

    Why are most newer cars between 500-1000 pounds overweight??

    C’mon now….the Mustang, Camaro, Taurus, LaCrosse, and more are all OVERWEIGHT WHALES!

  20. Max Christensen Says:

    To ALL of you talking about the quality of Chrysler products ……. have you driven one lately??? I bought a new Dodge Avenger (which according to some in the automotive press is the worst car since the Yugo) in August of 2008. I do drive a lot of miles and it currently has over 33,000 miles on it. The material used in the dash could certainly be better as it does scratch very easily, but other than that …….. I’d put it up against any car on the road, ESPECIALLY in that price range, for quality, reliability, and overall “new car performance”! I honestly have not had ONE problem, not ONE rattle, not ONE squeak, not ONE trip back to the dealer for ANYTHING! Perhaps I’m just lucky and got a good one, but again, other than the dash material, how do you get any better quality than that???? Plus, even Avenger and Chrysler detractors will admit, it’s one hell of a good looking car!

  21. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    All this technology and the bottom line is driver responsibility, I wish I had a dollar for every time I see some idiot texting, eating, putting on make-up or being involved in a heated phone call where driving is the last thing on their mind. A nice hefty fine and points on your license for careless/reckless driving may go further than more expensive technology. Besides don’t they see the ever declining car sales will get worse the more tech (cost) they put into new cars. As far as autonomous cars, I kind of like driving myself, thank you.

  22. Terry Lilly Says:

    Amen Max, I agree.
    We have a 2006 Dodge Charger RT, and aside from some of the interior materials being a bit cheapish, the car has been great. The powertrain is exeptionally smooth, powerful, and the mileage is commendable for the hp level. It looks great and has much more character than the “used bar of soap” type cars and crossovers that are so prevalent now.
    And no, I’m not a Chrysler fanboy. I usually buy Fords.

  23. Andrew Charles Says:

    I like John’s suggestion for the weekly show that V2V be added to cell-phones. Not only could it make an affordable aftermarket option for vehicles, but would include pedestrians in the communication flow. Not only could you be informed of the location and behavior of other vehicles, but also (anonymously) anyone carrying a V2V enabled cell phone, and vice versa. Imagine a cell-phone that warned you before you step out in front of a bus.

  24. HtG Says:

    I can appreciate that lots of people find driving boring. I listen to the radio because I get bored. I also drive too fast from DC to New York because the forced alertness makes the ride interesting. So if driver aids keep distracted drivers from being dangerous, then maybe they should be attainable for people who drive only because they have to.

    ‘Ever seen someone reading the NY Post, and crawling along in Jersey rush hour traffic?’

  25. Jim Haines Says:

    I feel that most of these techno projects give off many other uses than just the end thought like driver-less car type of systems offer. Many tech projects in the past from the military to the space race gave us many common place technologies that no one had thought of before ie loctite, heat shrink tubing, teflon and carbide tooling and so much computer stuff its too much to list. So research never is a bad thing.

  26. Stas Peterson Says:

    Autonomous driving IS the 21st century version of “mass transit”. No matter that myopic fools seem to pine for the 19th century days of the steam locomotive, belching steam, cinders and soot into the sky and want its somewhat modern return, for the OTHERGUY to use as it moves passengers at prodigious speeds like 30 mph. From where they are not; to where they don’t really want to go.

    I myself are fond of 18th century version of “mass transit”. I prefer a return of Wells Fargo Stage Coaches! All natural, and nice and green. It uses the latest, fashionable, bio-fuels like grass and grain.

    But autonomous automobiles are the mass transit technology that is coming. But it will happen elsewhere. Our cabal of attorney-hacks would second guess and bankrupt, on every failure.

  27. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @Max Christesten: I have an 08 Jeep JK.Before that was a 06 Jeep,then before that was a 01 Jeep.As you can tell I like jeeps.Like you,I find the interior plastic scratches way to easy,and looks as cheap as it really is.There are other quality issues too,but not near as bad as GM junk.I know,I also had a 07 Colorado that was pure trash.Chrysler products have received more then their fair share of critics,imho.I would rank the big 3 in the following order:#1=Ford,#2=Chrysler,and bringing up the rear would be #3=GM.

  28. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Lmao@ John Mc Elroy Chrysler, Quality?

    I grew up on the East Coast, where Chrysler (That has a few east coast plants and many suppliers) was the Only American car of choice. Chrysler started out as an East Coast company, and they look very good on the beach as well. The One thing nobody talks about is Chrysler’s Coastal Roots, That is what the company needs to harness not just from an engineering standpoint, but from a marketing standpoint as well.

    They were POSs and everybody knew that, but people bought them out of Patriotism. They cant depend on that patriotism forever, as the proof is in the pudding.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Chuck Grenci Says:
    November 20th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    “Okay, so it sounds science fiction, but so did Dick Tracy wrist radios (and now cell phones have blown that concept into the dark ages).”

    I wish we had Dick Tracy wrist radios. I use a cell phone only as a phone, and not too often at that. A very basic cell phone that could be worn on the wrist would be ideal for me, but no one makes one that I know of.

  30. Salvador G. Says:

    Kit Gerhart Says:
    November 20th, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Chuck Grenci Says:
    “Okay, so it sounds science fiction, but so did Dick Tracy wrist radios (and now cell phones have blown that concept into the dark ages).”

    I wish we had Dick Tracy wrist radios. I use a cell phone only as a phone, and not too often at that. A very basic cell phone that could be worn on the wrist would be ideal for me, but no one makes one that I know of.

    Until the day they invent an autonomous car that can give me oral sex. pay my taxes, have my children, have great boobs, build me a house, etc, etc… I’ll think autonomous cars are a waste of time and money.
    But that’s just me. :P

    -

  31. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    “Thin air” is the perfect tittle for this week’s show, because I think this guy has been breathing thin air a little too long.

  32. Jim Sachetti Says:

    “Max Christensen Says:
    November 20th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    To ALL of you talking about the quality of Chrysler products ……. have you driven one lately???”

    I did not notice any talk about Chrysler quality before you posted this in today’s show (Friday’s), but to answer your Q, I did drive a Crysler product recently (the Dodge Avenger version), an unfortunate rental for two days, and I was really, truly APPALLED at its cheapness, abysmal fit, finish, materials and horrible ergonomics, blind spots etc. It only had a few miles on so it did not break down too, but if the past is any guide, I would not be surprised if it is atrocious too.

    HArd plastics?? COme on, people, this is 2009, NOT 1989, and the car is NOT a Yugo or a first gen huyndai Excel!

    And after all, these two could be had for $4,000 and $5,000, while the ugly Avenger will probably go for $20,000!

    Ludicrous.

  33. John Says:

    How about we spend less time thinking like “George Jetson” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jetsons ,

    And, spend more time on the common sense solution to our foreign oil dependence problem that is staring us directly in the face.

    The Automobile is an extension of our personal FREEDOM and designing an electronic tether so that morons that have a lack of oxygen to the brain can be protected from themselves is a marxist idea.

    The basic principal of business is “find a need and fill it” , NOT, “take a political agenda and force regulations on an industry to acquire the desired marxist result”.

    Somebody please provide some Oxygen to those breathing “thin air” so that they can focus on the problem at hand.

    The U.S. has ALTERNATIVE FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE PROBLEMS. Build a Hydrogen/CNG refueling network. Focus thought and energy on Bi-Fuel vehicles that could burn gasoline, ethonol, and CNG.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bi-fuel_vehicle

    http://www.anga.us/

    Tell Washington regulation marxists to go to hell.

    This is OUR Country.

    FREEDOM is driving YOUR car without a tether.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What is wrong with hard plastic in a car? It is much more durable than most alternatives, and if done right, it can look just fine. Both my ’06 Chevy Malibu and my ’06 Mini Cooper have quite a bit of hard material in their interiors, and it doesn’t bother me at all.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    According to Consumer Reports, the Avenger has their best possible rating for controls and displays, better than Camry. At least there is one area where the Avenger is better than what is widely considered “best in class.” In general, though, Avenger and Sebring are below the class leaders in most areas, and the people who buy them probably do so for their less boring styling than most other mid-size front drive sedans.

  36. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Well, the rental car agencies need cars too! hence the Sebring/Avenger were made from an extended Dodge Caliber platform which explains their inherent deficiencies compared to other cars in their class which started out as midsize from their conception. Most guest on Autoline have said the big weakness of Chrysler is in the small and midsize segments.

  37. Jim Sachetti Says:

    Clarkson of “Top Gear” fame considers the Sebring the worst car in the whole world. While this may be an exaggeration (and I’m sure chrysler fans will claim he’s biased… as if he gives a damn), it is down there. And the Avenger looks MUCH worse than the sebring.

    I am 100% STUNNED that Consumer reports would praise anything about that dog, but even if it did, apparently it did not help its sales one bit. It is ludicrous to think the Avenger or the Sebring are even cl,ose to the Camry, which sells 400,000 and 475,000 copies a year, and each at far higher actual prices than the Avenger, which is a small Charger wannabe, with all the negatives that come with it (blind spots etc).

    And if Kit does not understand what is wrong with hard plastics, he is beyond hope. If he likes them, he can save a ton of $ and buy himself any 80s POS vehicle for $1,000 or less.

    Besides their ugliness to the touch and appearance, hard plastics are SAFETY HAZARDS, Kit. And that is just the tip of their iceberg. Have you read no car reviews in any car mag (like Car and Driver) the last 25 years?

    PS since you got Comsumer Reports there, what did it say about the Avenger’s predicted reliability? LOL…

  38. Jim Sachetti Says:

    Salvador G: “Until the day they invent an autonomous car that can give me oral sex. pay my taxes, have my children, have great boobs, ”

    OK if these boobs are from chrome and welded to the front fender? Then an Autonomous Caddy Eldorado 53 or so is the one for you.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Jim Sachetti Says:
    November 22nd, 2009 at 11:50 am

    “And if Kit does not understand what is wrong with hard plastics, he is beyond hope. If he likes them, he can save a ton of $ and buy himself any 80s POS vehicle for $1,000 or less”

    I don’t particularly “like” hard plastics in car interiors, but I don’t find anything wrong with using them for things like door panels, where they are functional and can look just fine. My ’06 Malibu, with its hard plastic on the door panels, has very little in common with 80′s cars except for 4 wheels and an engine. The Malibu is much safer, goes better, stops better, is quieter and more comfortable, and gets better gas mileage than 80′s cars in the same market segment. The hard plastic door panels don’t change that.

    Also, I have read Autoweek regularly for about 30 years. They have reviews of cars that are new to the market. I also read reviews in C & D, Motor Trend, etc., and reviews on web sites like Edmunds. While I’m well aware that the Avenger and Sebring are probably worst-in-class, Consumer Reports correctly rated the displays as easy to read the the controls intuitive and easy to use. And yes, Jim, I know that CR rates the Avenger as unreliable. They also rate ’06 Minis as unreliable, but I took my chances and bought one anyway. Look at it this way. Worst-in-class, whether the appearance of interiors in the Avenger/Sebring, or the reliability of cars in general, has come a long way in the last 20 years. No, I wouldn’t buy an Avenger; there are way too many better cars in its class, but if I rented one and it didn’t break down, I would be satisfied with my rental experience.

  40. Max Christensen Says:

    @ Jim Sachetti
    Go suck an egg on everything you said, and there was far too much BS to go into each and every detail. And it was obviou from your first sentence that either you don’t know what the hell you are talking about, or you can’t read:

    “I did not notice any talk about Chrysler quality before you posted this in today’s show (Friday’s),………” Did you not see or read post #2 from Pedro????

    The Avenger has it’s share of low points – the dash material, and yes, it does have some blind spots – but find me ONE car that has ever been made that didn’t have some sort of low mark against it???

    As to reliability, Chrysler’s warranty claims dropped over 30% last year, and the company in fact had the best year ever so far as warranty claims are concerned – and THAT is a fact! And the experience I’ve had with my car would tend to bear that out ……… again, NOT ONE PROBLEM in over 33,000 miles! How many of you have ever bought a NEW car and been able to say that, regardless of brand????

    And one more thing, as to Consumer Reports – I wouldn’t use that rag to line the bottom of a bird cage as it’s such a POS publication and always has been! And as to what they say about the Avenger’s predicted reliability – they are always about 3 years behind the curve on that sort of information, so Chrysler’s strides in improving reliability won’t actually show up in that POS magazine for another couple of years.

    And one more one more thing, I have a friend who bought a new Camry about the same time I bought my Avenger. Granted, it seems a little nicer on the inside – but when he rides with me, he remarks about how easy the controls on my dash appear to be, and he also remarks about how nice my car rides. AND, I get better gas mileage than he does ……. about 2 mpg better on average.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There is a certain amount of usefulness in Consumer Reports reliability data, but, as Max says, it is not current for new cars. Also, the way the questionaires are worded allows for a lot of subjectivity in people’s responses. I find CR’s car tests to be somewhat “entertaining,” but I don’t use their recommendations in my car buying decisions. If I did, I wouldn’t have recently bought a used BMW Mini, and I wouldn’t have bought the Malibu I got new about 4 years ago.

    To me, the most useful Consumer Reports car information is fuel economy data. I feel that their tests, along with EPA numbers give a better basis for comparing real world fuel economy of cars than the EPA numbers alone.

  42. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    “Max Christensen Says:
    November 23rd, 2009 at 9:17 am

    @ Jim Sachetti
    Go suck an egg on everything you said, and there was far too much BS to go into each and every detail. And it was obviou from your first sentence that either you don’t know what the hell you are talking about, or you can’t read:.. ”

    Go take an anger management course, you vulglar clown. ANd why don’t you go suck its instructor as well, since this is the only language you apparently understand.

    Everybody BUT you in this forum behaved properly and did NOT launch any vulgar personal attacks on anybody else, before you opened the sewer you got for a mouth, and with little or any provocation.

    If you continue this disgusting behavior, you can be assured I will keep going medieval on your ignorant carcass, PUNK!

  43. Jim Sachetti Says:

    “Kit Gerhart Says:
    November 23rd, 2009 at 10:08 am

    There is a certain amount of usefulness in Consumer Reports reliability data, but, as Max says, (I would not quote this vulgar clown for anything, BTW) it is not current for new cars.”

    Well, guess what, the vulgarian Max Christensen is wrong again. Consumer Reports openly and honestly does NOT render judgement on a brand new model as far as its reliability. Check it out. SOmetimes this looks ridisulous, because it is a new model but from a maker that has a very clear (good or bad) reputation for reliability, but even then COnsumer Reports refuses to rate the new model.

    I agree with Kit that the MPG CR uses are its own, real, and not lab figures after arbitrary massaging as the EPA numbers. My only comment would be that CR highway numbers may have been too optimistic in the past, probably because they drove their cars at the speed limit, they got 54 HWY with the old Golf Diesel.

    If one reads a thorough comparison test in a mag like Car and Driver, and then looks up the detailed reliability and cost, owner-reported data at CR, then one is in far better shape in making an informed decision, far better than based on anecdotal evidence on one or two buyer’s experiences out of the 475,000 every year that buy a new Camry, and, regardless how boring a vehicle the Camry is, it suits their needs perfectly and is bulletproof reliable and of the highest quality.

    No matter what vulgar clowns like Max Christensen or your garden variety soon-to-be unemployed Chrysler worker claims.

  44. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Hey guys, just remember that there are as many models of vehicles as there are tastes and priorities. One man’s prized wheels is another’s rolling pile of shit.

  45. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Now GM wants European countries to pony up 4.5 Billion to pay for their restructuring plans, what’s next Africa? So. America? Uranus?

  46. Max Christensen Says:

    Telling someone to go suck an egg is vulgar???? Wow, you guys need to get out into the real man’s working world and we’ll show you vulgar!

    I still stand by everything I said…….

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro Fernandez Says:
    November 23rd, 2009 at 11:10 am

    “Hey guys, just remember that there are as many models of vehicles as there are tastes and priorities. One man’s prized wheels is another’s rolling pile of shit.”

    Now THAT is vulgar (not really):-)