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Let's speak about the quality in our products and more...

Discussion in 'Rumors and Speculation' started by Mr.Source, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Socially Unacceptable
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    The buttons on the right spoke are the same. I'd guess they're different on the left due to options, though I couldn't say for sure because I haven't been in a GM showroom in quite some time.

    The differences are so minor I'd say they're the same.
     
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  2. aldo90731

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    Nothing a twenty-dollar eBay chrome piece can't fix :D

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Christopher

    Christopher Socially Unacceptable
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    Something happened on my drive home from the NYE gathering with my family the other night that brought this thread to mind.

    I tapped the 'cool' button for the driver's side cup holder and it didn't function. Normally when you depress the button, either to heat or cool, there is a click and the light ring lights up either red or blue. Nothing happened. No click. No light. The passenger side worked just fine.

    As I'm cruising down the highway I'm thinking that the car is 5 years old, it has about 67,000 miles on it, this isn't a critical component, it is stupid that this isn't working because despite the age and mileage I feel this kind of failure is ridiculous, and finally I'm really glad that I have the lifetime warranty on the car because this is going to bug the heck out of me and will cost a stupid amount of money to fix.

    At some point we pulled into a rest area for a short break and when we left I hit the button again. It worked. And it has worked every time I've gotten in the car since then. Why? I don't know. Some stupid computer glitch that was fixed when the car was restarted I guess.

    And that actually bugs me more than when the temperature sensor failed on the car in 2016 and it forced me to spend the night in Joliet, Illinois. When that happened I thought, "Eh, things happen. Parts fail." When this happened I thought, "Are you kidding me? This stupid switch failed? No wonder people think Chrysler is junk." Don't ask why I felt that way, I can't explain it.
     
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  4. aldo90731

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    It has to do with annoyance, inconvenience and preconceived expectations.
     
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  5. Christopher

    Christopher Socially Unacceptable
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    I'll agree. Am I weird or is there any data as to why someone would consider a mechanical failure like the temperature sensor, which is a much bigger deal than something like a frivolous option, to be not as big of a deal?

    FWIW, both cup holders failed to cool the other day. They turned on, then immediately turned off. I am guessing that it is because it was so cold out. Once the car warmed up and was restarted, they functioned normally. I've never driven the car in winter before so this is the first winter it has been used in very cold weather.
     
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  6. aldo90731

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    We see a similar phenomenon happening with tire fix kits: most people are ambivalent between buying a vehicle with a compact spare tire and a tire fix kit. That is, until they actually get a flat tire. At which point, some will refuse to buy another vehicle without a spare tire on board.

    But even then, getting a flat tire will have a different impact on the individual depending on the circumstances: were you driving at speed or waiting at a light; was it 75 or -10 degrees outside; was it you or your daughter driving by herself; did you have cell phone reception or not; did AAA show up right away or did you have to wait 2 hours in the rain; were you 5 blocks from or 500 miles from home; did it happen at midday or at midnight; were you on a Sunday morning drive or late for a job interview; were you with your buddies or with clients; were you driving a Sports car or a minivan?

    All of this will make the exact same issue, a blown tire, seem like a completely different experience.

    The same thing happens to us when we face a quality mishap: how embarrassing is the situation; how annoying is it; how inconvenient is it; how disappointing is it; how unexpected is it; how irritating is it, how life threatening is it?

    This is why quality is not just as an engineering or manufacturing issue, but also an ownership experience issue.
     
    #966 aldo90731, Jan 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  7. Christopher

    Christopher Socially Unacceptable
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    I remember when you had the flat in your Challenger, and I can see where it would be an issue.

    I had a friend who was looking at a Cruze, I think it was and it had no spare so she ended up buying the next larger car that did have a spare. She said she wouldn't buy a car without a spare. I haven't had to use one in years, but an old girlfriend who has my old Stratus right now had to put the donut on because a rim was cracked. I had the car for 11 years and 225K miles and never once put it on. But I was glad to know it was there.

    It seems the the Subaru ad campaign really works the perception angle.
     
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  8. aldo90731

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    Yes. Subaru is to some extent the "master of deception". I mean that tongue-and-cheek...well sort of...

    Subaru has come up with a brilliant campaign that connects with people emotionally like no one has been able to in the auto category in generations.

    But when I talk to Subaru owners, after they are done telling me how much they LOVE their Subaru, they share how disappointed they are with the fuel economy, with the transmission (Subaru seems to always offer one gear less than the competition); with the hard plastics, with the lack of features for the price, with the AC....etc.

    At the very least, Subaru quality appears to be consistent over time, and across its product lineup.
     
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  9. UN4GTBL

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    Yup, when part XYZ breaks it's a blow to your feelings about the car. You now think less of it because of this failure, and like you mentioned above, the circumstances greatly impact how well/quickly you get over it.

    But I think that works the other way too. To use a Subaru example, a friend of mine has a Subaru Outback with winter tires. He was telling me last night how he had to stop and help a couple cars get out of our back laneway the other day because of all of the snow. Everybody that had stopped was also waiting to help him out, but his Outback just soldiered right through the snow without any commotion. My guess is stuff like that will greatly increase your feelings toward the car.

    For example, even though my Caliber is by no means anything special, it's a tank in the snow, especially with winter tires, it's decent on gas, and is comfy and decently accommodating of cargo. I've been able to do similar things as my friend with his Outback in our back driveway, and always think highly of the car afterwards. However, there are also times, like when I have to remove the front bumper to tear out a piece of the battery tray because a bolt rusted into a cheap piece of sheet metal to change my battery that I think very low of the car. At the end of the day, I think it's all a matter of how does it all average out that will impact your overall feelings towards the vehicle.
     
  10. aldo90731

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    That feeling you describe Subaru owners get when helping others is similar to the one I get helping others in my Wrangler. But as far as I know, it is something normally associated with Wrangler, not all Jeeps.

    No consumer wants to be in a position of having to explain constantly why s/he bought what s/he bought. That’s the antithesis of a reputation. The best thing marketing can do is provide a homogeneous brand story, context, or frame of reference, within which owners and non-owners share a consistent set of beliefs about the brand.

    Subaru marketing has done this very effectively in a relatively short period of time —since the launch of the Love campaign in 2008. Toyota has done this brilliantly, despite mounting evidence that Toyota quality is not anymore what it used to be. Both Subaru and Toyota show that marketing can help carry the perception of quality, even if actual evidence is not consistently there. Having said that, of course it’s always best when everything pulls in one direction.

    Among FCA brands, Jeep provides the most homogeneous brand story —although there appears to be a widening gap between Wrangler and non-Wrangler owners. Ram seems to be getting there.

    The Dodge and Chrysler brand stories are in varying states of disrepair. We routinely talk on here how much our perceptions of Chrysler and Dodge differ from those out in the broader market. We can’t even agree on here what the Chrysler brand is! That’s a sign that those of us on here do not share a common set of beliefs about Dodge and Chrysler with other consumers. Although the Dodge Brothers campaign appears to be repairing some of that.

    The biggest blunder in the Fiat relaunch in N.A. was the failure to establish a brand story that provided a homogenous context for Fiatsi and non-owners. This is especially important when a brand is new to market, because that is when consumers are most interested in knowing what a brand is all about. In the absence of a brand story, the press started reusing old —but proven— clichés about Fiat, and it all went downhill from there.

    Alfa Romeo has a fighting chance IMO. Because despite the quality gaffes both the press and owners have encountered, Alfa Romeo has a compelling brand story to tell, and FCA can’t wait to tell it. The only reservations that remain in my mind pertain: (1) the marketing budget FCA may have committed to Alfa Romeo, because it will take gobs of money to get that story to all four corners of the market, and (2) how effectively Alfa Romeo can handle any negative customer experiences while they work to tell their story.

    Data consistently shows that a brand story about quality is the most direct, easiest for consumers to internalize. This is because quality is, in fact, seen as outward evidence, as a byproduct of a corporate culture that pays attention, down to the smallest details, to the things that matter most to consumers: dependability, durability, safety, efficiency and innovation.
     
    #970 aldo90731, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  11. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    I would disagree there. They did provide a brand story. Fiat is sexy, Fiat is fun, mostly Fiat is sexy. Fiat is Italian and Italian culture is all wine and women and Fiat.

    But after the 500 came the X and L, neither of which really lived up to the 500 image they were trying to project; and if you read my first 500 review, you'll find all sorts of complaints... some of which they addressed a year later, but which shouldn't have been present. There are things that just get really annoying on a daily basis, until you sell the car and buy one that was engineered with the idea that someone would own it, not just drive it around a test track.
     
  12. aldo90731

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    Yes, Fiat provided a story of sexy and fun...but for about five whole minutes. In addition to the issues you reported, Fiat languished at the bottom of every report and review to come out for the following five years, while FCA kept mum.

    The less meaningful the message to consumers, the harder it is to get it to sink in, and a story about sexy and fun takes longer to find buyers. This is why I am concerned FCA may pull the plug telling Alfa Romeo's brand story before it had a chance to sink in.

    I saw a similar stance to Fiat's when Renault entered new markets in Latin America. Because Renault knew what it was, it assumed everyone else did too. That was an arrogant attitude that ignored the reality of ongoing quality and design-related issues and the negative reviews, until it found itself in a similar corner to Fiat's in North America.

    To a lesser extent, VW had been going down this path in the US as well. Between 2012, when VW decided to reposition itself as a "mainstream" brand in the US, and the outbreak of Dieselgate in 2015, consumers had stopped associating VW with pretty much anything besides "affordable". VW assumed Americans already knew VW made quality products so it stopped talking about anything meaningful but price. When Dieselgate hit, VW brand was already quite weakened and US sales had already been languishing.

    VW seems to be trying to rectify course as we speak, by focusing once again on the more premium products it's long been known for over here.
     
    #972 aldo90731, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  13. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    This accurately describes our experience with our Forester. We loved how it was engineered to make you a safer driver with the AWD/predictable handling characteristics and excellent driver visibility. Fuel consumption was on the higher side, but forgivable. Easily scuffed plastics were also forgivable since we bought it for practical purposes, not esthetics. Eye-rolling items were the lack of low washer fluid light and the 4 speed auto. If the Ascent was introduced sooner, we would have heavily considered it against the Durango.
     
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  14. aldo90731

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    Subaru is taking a big gamble by offering a turbo four in such a large vehicle.

    The reviews I have read on Ascent so far have been very positive, although one or two mentioned the lack of oomph.

    Unless you wanted to save fuel for ecological reasons, I wouldn't get an all-new vehicle with an unproven powertrain in its first year. Especially when its application rises so many questions.
     
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  15. Erik Latranyi

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    Except for select vehicles, Subaru is not known for its "oomph". I think many Subaru owners are satisfied with minimalism.
     
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  16. aldo90731

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    Indeed. Nor for its “styling... But it gets to a point, especially in a large, 3-row family vehicle, where lack of oomph impinges on safety.

    Personally, I’ve driven my share of gutless vehicles, and hated every second of it. Life’s too short.
     
  17. Erik Latranyi

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    Most of us here hate "gutless" vehicles that consumers would deem satisfactory
     
  18. DarkSky

    DarkSky Moderator
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    My 2017 Ram has a check engine light that came on this morning. The dealership hasn't scanned it to see what the issue is, but the truck just now began saying "Fuel Sensor Fail" when I start it. They told me most likely it needs a new fuel pump and that it's a common problem with Rams.

    It is obviously covered under warranty and hopefully isn't that big of a deal, but needless to say, I am still a bit frustrated that my truck has less than 6,000 miles on it and is already having weird problems. A quick google search of "Ram fuel sensor fail" resulted in a number of results where the issue was recurring even after being supposedly fixed.

    The fuel light is on and the truck is reading my gas tank as "empty."

    Edit: And I did check that the gas cap was tight. I always tighten it several more clicks than is probably necessary to avoid check engine lights.
     
    #978 DarkSky, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  19. MPE426HEMI

    MPE426HEMI Well-Known Member

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    A 2017 Ram with 6000 miles? I don't think it's reasonable to need a new fuel pump assy at that age/mileage. Gross!
     
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  20. DarkSky

    DarkSky Moderator
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    Yep. Bought it less than two months ago with 1900 miles. It was a vehicle owned by Chrysler and driven by an employee for whatever reason. It now has 5636 miles on it. I really hope this gets fixed the first time instead of being one of the many Rams I've read about today that have repeatedly had this problem after being "fixed."
     
    #980 DarkSky, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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