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Discussion Starter #1
I know, I know, that's the wrong question to ask in a Ford forum. But I'm a car enthusiast first and foremost and would likely ask this in any forum.

In light of the most recent Cruz ignition problems/deaths and how GM handled it, would you now consider buying a GM product? I wouldn't. That whole screw up where they knowingly didn't fix the problem put the nail in the coffin for me. It makes me wonder what else are they covering up and not fixing.
But I feel this whole screw up is part of a bigger problem that is very pervasive through all American car companies. They're all about the bottom line and will do anything to satisfy it, even if it means knowingly people will die. It's sickening. Very sickening.

IMO part of the problem is all the American guys at the top, incuding the CEO, are bean counters (finance guys/accountants). That's all they've ever been trained to care about throughout their whole lives. Dollars and cents. Not products. Certainly not people. By comparison, the German car companies do not have finance guys at the top. Instead, they're run by guys who have technical backgrounds. Two examples come to mind.... Martin Winterkorn of Volkswagen has a Phd in metallurgy from the Max Plank Institute, and Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche holds a doctorate degree in engineering. They're product people, first and foremost, and that mentallity trickles down throughout their organization.

Don't get me wrong, German designs are far from perfect (God knows I certainly know this from first hand experience) but I don't think something like the Cruz screw up would have advanced un-addressed in Germany as much as it did in the USA. For one, the German gov will jail engineers if they're found guilty of designing a faulty injury-prone product. (I keep comparing to German car companies because it's what I know from personal experience. Plus I'm an engineer myself) Also, I've seen German car company recalls. When they want to fix something, they really go all out to fix something. But they have to want to fix it badly. Some fixes do drag on forever.

I just think the whole GM Cruz scandal is the tip of the iceburg. There's a whole lot we're not seeing. I don't see how anyone can now buy a Cruz knowing what they know now. But GM will sell thousands of Cruz's no doubt. They'll sink the price so low that they won't be profitable and the US government will come to rescue and bail them out. The US government will reward GM for building a shitty product once again. They've done it before. Kudos to Ford for not going the bailout route.

Thoughts? Has this whole Cruz/deaths scandal turned anyone else completely off to GM?
 

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I wouldn't buy a GM car anyway, nor Chrysler. I have had all of them at one time or another, and found Ford to be the most reliable. I have a local Ford dealer that I can trust not to rip me off that I have used since 2006 for buying and service. I would, however, buy a GM classic. I had a 1972 El Camino that I had to sell during hard times in 2008 but in the future would like to get a 1968-72 Nova.
 

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I did; I just bought a 2014 Corvette. Ford has had its share of recalls too. This is way too blown out of proportion. Every automaker makes cost-benefit analyses. The calculus will change going forward.
 

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Not sure where you're going with the discussion about CEOs being or not being bean counters. They're all bean counters, regardless of their background. That's the nature of a company's top brass. They're there to steer the company in the direction of profitability. Period. And it's not like VW is the epitome of reliability these days. The countless horror stories of electrical gremlins plaguing VWs led me away from their dealerships.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think the Cruz thing is blown out of proportion. 12 deaths have been linked to the faulty ignition. I don't think the parents or spouses of those deceased feel it was blown out of proportion. What would it have taken to fix the problem? An extra $5, $15, part or a delay in production? Whatever it was, it's not worth one death. Other car companies can design proper ignition switches without killing its drivers, GM should be expected to do the same. The bar is not even set very high. It shouldn't be lowered for one car company because of inept managers and designers.

User8, where I was going was about corporate culture and the "type" of people running the show. My personal preference is to have engineers designing my car, not accountants. That's just me. It's not by coincidence those guys have engineering PHd's. But forget the Germans. Even the Japanese have a better corporate culture that is very very product focused. They introduced the concept of STOPPING an entire assembly line if any worker detected the slightest flaw. Even the lowly guy earning minimum wage has the power to stop the line and control the quality of the car. That was an entirely new concept to Americans some decades ago when Americans copied it from Toyota. Can you imagine telling a finance guy that we're stopping a full assembly line for 15 minutes at a cost of $10,000 just because the assembler Jimmy discovered a screw was turned only 12 revolutions instead of the specified 13-14 revolutions?
 

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I don't think the Cruz thing is blown out of proportion. 12 deaths have been linked to the faulty ignition. I don't think the parents or spouses of those deceased feel it was blown out of proportion. What would it have taken to fix the problem? An extra $5, $15, part or a delay in production? Whatever it was, it's not worth one death. Other car companies can design proper ignition switches without killing its drivers, GM should be expected to do the same. The bar is not even set very high. It shouldn't be lowered for one car company because of inept managers and designers.

User8, where I was going was about corporate culture and the "type" of people running the show. My personal preference is to have engineers designing my car, not accountants. That's just me. It's not by coincidence those guys have engineering PHd's. But forget the Germans. Even the Japanese have a better corporate culture that is very very product focused. They introduced the concept of STOPPING an entire assembly line if any worker detected the slightest flaw. Even the lowly guy earning minimum wage has the power to stop the line and control the quality of the car. That was an entirely new concept to Americans some decades ago when Americans copied it from Toyota. Can you imagine telling a finance guy that we're stopping a full assembly line for 15 minutes at a cost of $10,000 just because the assembler Jimmy discovered a screw was turned only 12 revolutions instead of the specified 13-14 revolutions?
And, if the engineers ran the show, cars would cost at least 10% more than they do today, and the wide majority of Americans would go nuts. Then a whole bunch of autoworkers would be out of work, as everyone would be buying the (cheaper) cars made in other countries. The odds of something bad happening to you because of any of these recalls is microscopic.
 

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Personally, neither GM or Chrysler.
GM has had ignition switch problems for years, just ask anyone that ever couldn't start their car because the Securlock resistor in their switch went bad and while they do have a few things Ford could learn from you have to wonder how much is intentional. Do a search on the lower intake manifold gaskets in the 3.1 V6 family (3.1, 3.4, 3.8, 2.8) there is just no way that a gasket with a history of failure could be made out of plastic (when the 3rd party ie FelPro & VR were metal) for over 10 years and not be engineered to only have a 50,000 mile service life.

Chrysler has a history of making a pretty car that doesn't seem to hold up for any length of time. The best example I have of this is being in a PepBoys, and seeing two 2012 Dodge Chargers in at the same with both lower ball joints rusted out.
 

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The bottom line for me is whether a manufacturer takes responsibility, versus denying or trying to cover up serious safety issues. From the few articles I've read, it appears as though GM tilted strongly toward denial for a long time.
 

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In terms of GM I have owned three GM cars. All three were Saturn's. An SC2 which wore like iron, a Sky that I loved and a 2005 Ion my wife currently drives which has had it's problems including now multiple recalls. The recalls don't bother me but the fact that GM basically put my wife's safety at risk to save a few bucks does. You do that and you lose my business. It's that simple. Had the people who made my new stove knowingly made it faulty and covered it up I would never buy another appliance from them either.
 

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Full Disclosure: I worked for GM for 5 years. I do think GM buried a lot of their old cost cutting practices with the Cruze, Sonic and Spark. Those three cars showed they can do a small car with quality. Until recently, I did have an '09 Cobalt in the family, and it was basically a good car with decent features for its price point, but was obviously a cost cutter special. I no longer own it, due to an accident in which the airbags did go off, and it also did have a lot of stuff on the key ring. The occupant was also wearing a seatbelt, which it should be stated, was not the case in a number of the Cobalt/Ion accidents with the bad ignition switches. My current '09 Saab has been nearly flawless in four years and nearly 80K miles.
In some areas, like OBD and Torque Security, I think GM is world class. After all the Toyota investigations, I was surprised how un-redundant 'Yoda's torque security and embedded control system designs were. During Toyota's sudden accel incidents, GM was consistently the lowest among all the major OEMs for unintended accel issues. And Toyota just announced another 6.4m recalls. GM's short and long-term quality has also been steadily improving. Unfortunately, GM apparently made a lot of questionable decisions heading into, and during the bankrupcty. Frankly, as much as I like Bob Lutz, he was the Product Development Chief during this time period and he should be called on the carpet along with the other mid- and senior-level product managers during this investigation.
 
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Ford did the same with their rolling crematorium called the Pinto.
Toyota did the same with their jamming gas pedals.
And on and on.
Yes, but/and the key question is what happens going forward. The Pinto fuel tank nightmare was in the 1970s. So the logical question is how has Ford handled any real safety issues since? Same question for any manufacturer.
 

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It is all disappointing. I own a Cobalt with major power steering issues (it randomly goes out while you are driving) - but GM has not recalled our model year. Only one model year has been recalled for the very same issue we are having with ours. I believe they continue to brush issues under the rug and have not come clean about the full breadth of the issue.

As for Ford, the jury is still out - while I feel VERY fortunate that they came clean on the issues with my 2013 Escape - and bought my vehicle back... I cannot explain why others here on this forum have not been treated the same way and no buybacks have been happening for them. Some of them have far more issues than I ever had. Is it simply my state lemon law that forced their hand?

The issues with the Escapes with 1.6 ltr engines have been troubling. I do applaud Ford for recognizing a safety issue early on and telling us on their own accord - and also renting us vehicles while they determined a fix. However, I seem to recall an issue awhile back with Explorers and tires that were causing bad accidents, and of course the Pinto thing. Maybe Ford learned from these lessons and GM is now learning theirs?

At the end of the day, I am not sure we can trust ANY corporations with our saftey when the number one priority for all of them is the almighty dollar.
 

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GM has been mismanaged from the top for years, it's been common knowledge within the industry. They thought they were too big to fail, after all at one point they were the worlds largest corporation. The lower level people have done and still do a great job, that's why GM is as successful as it is.
This is the reason I believe the current recall was ignored as long as it was, and why they took tax payer money ( your money and my money) to bail them out, and why I believe we will probably never see another dime of it.
It cracked me up, shortly after the government appointed GMs CEO he had the stones to come on national television (in a paid commercial) and say that they have done so well that they payed all the money back! A short time later we find out that they only played one third of the money back, and they used stimulus money (again our money) to do it!
All this is why I'm proud to own a Ford. They were in trouble too, but took no tax payer dollars, they restructured and made it work. I think they have wind up better off for it, and I for one am putting my money where my mouth is with a new Ford in my driveway. I will never buy another NEW GM vehicle. I'm very happy with my decision.
Mark
 

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I had an previous gen Impala and liked it.. was a decent car.. but at 6years/60k the check engine light came on issue after issue and the ac blend doors broke.. I just unplugged them and left them in the cold position..haha.. if it had held up I would have considered the new Impala since they look fantastic from the front. However, I had a Cobalt before the Impala and the power windows worked when they wanted to, the key/brake shift interlock didn't like one another, etc.. they fixed one part.. had the same issue the next day they replaced the other part.. my dad's 04 Colorado has been trouble free minus one sensor and an 800 buck starter... tires and brakes. The 800 bucks for the starter blew my mind.. but dad paid it...
 

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Yes, but/and the key question is what happens going forward. The Pinto fuel tank nightmare was in the 1970s. So the logical question is how has Ford handled any real safety issues since? Same question for any manufacturer.
The Pinto had two problems that were caused by top brass at Ford. "A few lawsuits will cost less than fixing all those cars".

In a rear end collision:

A protruding bolt that would puncture the gas tank and sometimes make a spark that would ignite the fuel that was squirting out of the tank.
Even worse, the body was so weak that the impact would would distort the body in a way that would jam the doors shut.

A recipe for total disaster - fire everywhere and no way out.
 

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My wife had a Pinto before we got married. She loved it and served her well until her brother borrowed it and totaled it. She then got another big GM mistake that no one has mentioned yet -- a '80 Chevy Citation. Talk about horrible cars... that one was pathetic.
 

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I love my Escape so if GM made the Escape I would have bought from them. I still do buy from companies that ticked me off. The basic question I ask myself is whether this will hurt them more than me - typically it's me especially if there is a price point involved. I ignore their indifference or dismissive attitude because its not personal - companies have no feelings for individuals. Regardless of the Supreme Court ruling that they are 'persons'.
 
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