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Automated System
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A recent Detroit News article pointed to quality problems at Warren Truck, concerning 2013 Rams being built, and claimed in the headline, but not in the text, that these issues were the result of a labor dispute. The quality problems are reducing output but should not affect customers, as vehicles are being held at the plant for repairs rather than sent to dealerships. Long and rotating shifts have often been related to quality and safety issues, due to fatigue. There is no evidence, though, that people are the cause for these problems; new vehicles usually have teething problems as production starts, which is one reason why manufacturers tend to slowly ramp up rather than jumping in at full speed. Detroit News cited an hour, yesterday, when 16 of 58 pickups built passed final inspection. The cause of the defects was not mentioned, and any of a number of automated..

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Super Moderator
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In all fairness: I'm 100% sure the quality/morale issues with Chrysler over all are much less now than in the 1970's..............
 

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Plymouth Makes It
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Bearhawke.
​ Nice Barracuda, is that yours?


After 1973 Japan was catching up while US management snoozed, only way to compete was cutbacks, all US manufacturers took a turn at making junk. New US cars would stall at the traffic lights and and keep running after shut down. In all fairness Japan tested their new products in the home country and when working right sell them here. The US can only ramp up here. In the mid 80's Chrysler would sell a small bunch at a big discount and correct defects before going full bore. Got a first run Le Baron Coupe that way, top service on warranty issues an a brand new loaner, who could complain? Had that car for 10 years with 2 kids learning how to drive on it.
 

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Super Moderator
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No one deliberately made junk. Emissions regulations came fast here, and there really wasn't a lot of time to do proper validation. Those throttle dashpots really did work fine when adjusted properly. A lot of mechanics did unwittingly screw up these cars.
 

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Plymouth Makes It
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From what I saw on as a consumer and hood lifter were short cuts to disaster, something that allowed Japan to blow by us. I stuck by the 60s cars that ran well had decent power and better fuel economy to the low compression shortcuts till the late 80's. Japanese 4 bangers were beating Mustangs at the drag strip and with much better fuel economy to boot. The impressions made in the 1970s are still haunting us today. It was GM that gave a bad name to Diesels and variable displacement motors. So much so that around here people were paying about 15% over list to get a Japanese car any co;or and any options. Things like weak ignitions, distributor caps that would flash over, massive control module failures and inner wheel well protection left out did more to drive customers away than having to deal with cramped death traps. Sorry but from where I was sitting Detroit did not care about their customers and no US brand would fix their lemons. I know people who bought Corvettes and would spend more money in repairs trying than the purchase price to keep their car running.. What made it worse there were NO LEMON LAWS. Once you lose a years payments and your 15% down in a buyback its hard to want to buy a US brand. As I see in the late 80's Chrysler was the first to start the march from the basement. Don't even ask about light duty (V8} fleet trucks. Maybe mechanics could not cope but their dealerships should have had a training program.
 

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Super Moderator
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There are errors in your post. The federal lemon law was passed in 1975:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson%E2%80%93Moss_Warranty_Act

Foreign cars got better mileage back then for 3 reasons: their engines were smaller, their cars were lighter (thinner steel), and most of them shipped with manual transmissions. However, they rusted out far faster, due to being shipped overseas. This is why they are made in the US for the US market. I can attest that they were FAR less crashworthy, having cut people out of many of them. As for driveability, my neighbors who had some had huge troubles getting them to start, especially in cold weather.

I was speaking of independed mechanics, who would not have factory training.

Better gas mileage was by FAR the biggest motivator to buy foreign, not quality.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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I have to agree that fuel mileage was the biggest motivator in buying foreign in the early 70's when gas prices spiked.

Simply put, Detroit wasn't manufacturing many small fuel efficient vehicles, if any. The Japanese just happen to have the right vehicles (small and fuel efficient - not necessarily better quality) at the right time. Throw in how GM/Ford/Chrysler/AMC dealer service departments were at the time (some have not improved......) compared to Honda and Toyota and the migration to foreign vehicles was on. I think the last "American" vehicle my folks bought was a Ford Futura. After that, it was Honda and Mazda's. That's all they've had since. Won't even look at GM, Ford or Chrysler.

FWIW - I always felt safer in the American vehicles we had at the time than many of the foreign makes.
 

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Plymouth Makes It
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Really not sure when it was written, During 1981 it sure wasn't anyone giving it attention, I spoke directly with the factory all I got was surprise. i sent letters to everyone, including consumer organizations, The car maker and even the bank all I got was well my US (fill in the brand) car has issues to, you need to work with the dealer. My particular vehicle was known for fires and it wasn't a Ford. It had 16 different ROs in six months I hardly drove my NEW CAR and no one wanted to buy it.Just under a year later the Factory gave me $1000 and paid off my bank loan, With no good US brand to switch to I bought a 1968 Chrysler, my son still has the Car. Several years after that there was an article about the the "New LEMON LAW" being introduced, All I can say the us car makers in the 70's had their heads in their bonuses. Junk or not around here the switch to Japanese cars was instant and it's still that way. The area is NY and NJ by the way, Anyway 3 of my friends were auto mechanics at the time and that's all I gonna say about it.
 
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