Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-03-2010, 05:44 PM   #141
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
I think it will be Honda & Nissan that will profit the most by the Toyota recalls not GM.
The quality on Fords is quite good on many models, and these models probably deserve to benefit, too. But, perceptions are long-lived things.

I just rented a Nissan Versa for a day. I can't speak for the long-term quality, but the car had squeaks and lacked amenities (a map light, a center console, etc) that I thought were included on even bare-bones cars today. I'd put Nissan a cut below Honda and Toyota. Maybe this started since Renault bought a controlling interest in Nissan. With all the retro cars (Mustang, Camaro, Challenger) maybe it's time Nissan did a cool re-do of the 240Z. That could grab some interest.
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-03-2010, 05:50 PM   #142
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
The quality on Fords is quite good on many models, and these models probably deserve to benefit, too. But, perceptions are long-lived things.

I just rented a Nissan Versa for a day. I can't speak for the long-term quality, but the car had squeaks and lacked amenities (a map light, a center console, etc) that I thought were included on even bare-bones cars today. I'd put Nissan a cut below Honda and Toyota. Maybe this started since Renault bought a controlling interest in Nissan. With all the retro cars (Mustang, Camaro, Challenger) maybe it's time Nissan did a cool re-do of the 240Z. That could grab some interest.
Rental cars tend to be stripped so I wouldn't judge a whole car line by one rental car.

The other thing about rental cars is that they tend to be abused. So the squeaks and rattles you heard may - or may not be indicative of what you could expect were you to buy a new one.
__________________

__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 06:03 PM   #143
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,194
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I have to wonder how many of these new reports are figments of the imagination and chalked up to the power of suggestion. It's as if some people think every Toyota ever built is suddenly a death trap.
ding ding ding. This is what I meant in the comparison to the breast implants. A better comparison is to the shark attacks in 2005



or the freeway shootings before that. It's a positive feedback thing -- the more the media covers it, the more people report it.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 08:05 PM   #144
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
After spending so many years dealing with complex software and hardware systems, it would not surprise me in the least if there were multiple problems that manifest as the same general sort of symptoms. With something as complex as the 'drive by wire' systems now appearing in vehicles, we have lots of interesting opportunities for unexpected interactions between already complex subsystems.
I'm sure that Rickover is whirling rapidly in his grave ("Up on the governor, ready for electrical loading") shouting "I told you so, you pissants!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
The 'strong hybrid' cars like the Prius and Civic Hybrid use regenerative braking, running the electric motors as generators to recover energy and recharge the battery when slowing, and then switch to friction braking (brake pads) at a very low speed.
6 MPH. And yes, I can't help but check the calibration by glancing at the speedometer when I feel the crossover from regenerative to mechanical. It's very noticeable, especially when you're approaching the vehicle stopped in front of you and planning to ease it in to within six inches or so. (Whoops.) But after driving it for a day or two you adjust, and we have no proficiency issues switching between our 2006 Prius and our 1997 Altima.

Because of the regenerative-braking design the Prius mechanical brake shoes are supposed to last for 100K miles, even with a teenager operating the brake pedal. So far so good, although she has entirely too much faith in her reaction time and the braking system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
Here's a fun interaction. If the vehicle is using regenerative braking, and the ABS or stability system sees a wheel stop turning, as there aren't any friction brakes to pulse, the ABS system can't compensate. Depending on design, a new interaction between the regenerative braking and ABS system may be needed. For example, the vehicle may have to switch from regenerative braking to the friction brake system, so as to give the ABS system the opportunity to avoid wheel lockup and skidding. The switchover at a higher than normal speed may cause a momentary loss of braking force (call it 0.1 to 0.2 seconds) while regeneration is cut and the hydraulics are pressurized. The driver will feel that momentary drop in deceleration force as a 'surge'.
That above interaction has been reported for the 2010 Prius by drivers on icy streets, and on potholes and speed bumps while braking when stability control is activated. I haven't heard of damages beyond soiled underwear yet...
The drivers could be misdirecting their blame, and it's not just the 2010 model year. When the driver is braking under normal foot pressure, the car defaults to regenerative. If, anywhere during the braking process, the driver slams on the brakes, then the braking computer automatically switches over from regenerative to mechanical. There's the usual slight hiccup (from the brakes, not the driver) whenever the system switches over, although it's a lot more noticeable at slower speeds.

When the driver applies the brake pedal normally but the ABS system senses a wheel losing traction, a yellow "loss of traction" icon lights up on the dash. This light comes on so seldom (I've only seen it twice in nearly two years) that I can easily understand a driver thinking "OMG, I've lost the brakes!!" and slamming their foot down. And by golly, the next thing that they feel is a slight hiccup. But this time it's no longer a "slight hiccup", it's a "deadly surge of acceleration".

Ironically both times this light came on when driving on a bumpy road. (Not many stretches of icy road here on Oahu.) When the wheels leave the ground while regenerative braking is in progress, the car correctly decides that traction has been lost and lights up the icon. I think that causes the driver's reaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
What's going on under the hood is rapidly becoming very complex, and I'm not entirely sure the test methodologies of auto manufacturers, traditionally a very mechanical discipline, is up to handling this much software and electronics complexity in addition to the older electromechanical systems.
No different than Microsoft's crack team of millions of eager early adopters beta testers.

You'd think that Toyota would have learned from the operational experiences of NASA, Boeing, and Disneyland...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 10:53 PM   #145
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,387
I once worked for a megacorp that was, and still is, a major player in avionics. Our department developed and certified a fault-tolerant digital autopilot with automatic landing capability for a jetliner. But even before my time, using all analog circuits, they had triplex and quadruplex fault-tolerant autopilots.

The requirement from the FAA is that exhaustive analysis must show that the probability of a total loss of a critical function (read "crash") must be less than 1 in 1 billion per hour of flight. Before each take-off, the system must perform a self-test to exercise all functions to ensure that no latent failure exists. Without that self-test, the system may accumulate dormant errors or failures with time, unknowingly to the pilots, until that last failure that breaks the camel back. It is like the requirement to check the pressure of your spare tire before every trip.

Even military aircraft - that do not have the burden of carrying hundreds of passengers in the back - have dual hydraulic actuators. Fly-by-wire systems often employ triplex servos and actuators, such that if one channel fails and runs away, the other two good channels can override it by "force voting". Such redundancy is the reason aircraft costs so much, in the hundreds of millions a piece.

About avionics software, the standard DO-178B specifies how it should be developed, tested, and documented. Software written for an aircraft autopilot or to run a nuclear plant is not written and released casually like software for PC.

There is plenty of precedence outside the automotive industry, but these are costly solutions, and I do not think that all these techniques must or should be applied. For example, one cannot shut down the engine of an aircraft and park it in the sky, but can certainly pull to the side of the road with an auto. It means that an automotive function can afford to be "fail-passive" or can have a degraded mode, and can still be safe.

I have never worked in the automotive industry, but think that people in that field do know what they are doing. They obviously cannot apply all the expensive redundancy techniques from other fields, and have to make many judgement calls on balancing the cost and weight of the car versus the wrath of the customers and the threat of liability lawsuits. It's a tough job!

But despite the engineer's best intention and effort, he may still make boo-boos. Sh*t happens! We will know more about Toyota's problems in the days ahead.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 11:51 PM   #146
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Telly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I just rented a Nissan Versa for a day. I can't speak for the long-term quality, but the car had squeaks and lacked amenities (a map light, a center console, etc) that I thought were included on even bare-bones cars today. I'd put Nissan a cut below Honda and Toyota. Maybe this started since Renault bought a controlling interest in Nissan. With all the retro cars (Mustang, Camaro, Challenger) maybe it's time Nissan did a cool re-do of the 240Z. That could grab some interest.
The Versa is a French design, not a Nissan design. Reliability not too good according to CU. But much better and much sportier than the Renault Dauphine
__________________
-- Telly, the D-I-Y guy --
Two fools dancing on the hands of time
Telly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 12:50 PM   #147
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I'm sure that Rickover is whirling rapidly in his grave ("Up on the governor, ready for electrical loading") shouting "I told you so, you pissants!"


Oh, yeah. If a safety system wasn't based on passive physics that could be explained in an equation or two and a paragraph of text, it didn't go in. I recall showing one young man a voltage regulator, and he was baffled by the lack of any electronics. Not a chip or transistor in sight, no heat sinks, just a funny looking transformer. Ah, the wonders of the Magnetic Amplifier, a device on the cutting edge of 19th century electrical engineering.

A safety system that required an active sensor-effector loop to operate would definitely not cut it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
When the driver applies the brake pedal normally but the ABS system senses a wheel losing traction, a yellow "loss of traction" icon lights up on the dash. This light comes on so seldom (I've only seen it twice in nearly two years) that I can easily understand a driver thinking "OMG, I've lost the brakes!!" and slamming their foot down. And by golly, the next thing that they feel is a slight hiccup. But this time it's no longer a "slight hiccup", it's a "deadly surge of acceleration".

Ironically both times this light came on when driving on a bumpy road. (Not many stretches of icy road here on Oahu.) When the wheels leave the ground while regenerative braking is in progress, the car correctly decides that traction has been lost and lights up the icon. I think that causes the driver's reaction.


No different than Microsoft's crack team of millions of eager early adopters beta testers.

You'd think that Toyota would have learned from the operational experiences of NASA, Boeing, and Disneyland...
Heh. For what it's worth, there's a fix, phased into the latest 2010 Prius cars built this year.

Toyota Investigates Brakes on All Hybrids After Problems With Prius
In Toyota's first news conference on the emergence of the Prius brake complaints, Hiroyuki Yokoyama, Toyota's quality general manager, said that in late January it rewrote the braking-system software following an increase in complaints in December. The Prius cars assembled since then all carry the modified version of software in their braking systems, but the company has yet to decide on whether and how to rewrite the programs on the cars it has already sold, he added.

It sounds like Toyota could do a field upgrade if needed to the Skid Control ECU firmware.
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 04:21 PM   #148
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,614
This article is a little wonkish and short on specifics, but describes Totyota's recent trip up and down the quality spectrum.

Excerpts:
Quote:
As TTAC’s Steve Lang recently discussed, Toyota has been on a decontenting binge since the mid-to-late-1990s, putting profit above the quality obsession that had defined its operations up to that point. As a result, the current generation of decontented Toyotas and accompanying quality issues and recalls can be seen as the culmination of a long-term trend. But why did that transition take place?
. . . .

What did “fat product” mean in real terms? Around 1990 Toyota’s global output was about 300k units per month, comprised of no fewer than 60k product variations, 25k of which were assembled only once per month. The worst-selling half of these variations made up only five percent of total sales. This variation proliferation was caused by Toyota’s ability to respond to the market’s demand for product differentiation, but in the cutthroat global car business, this was not a sustainable state of affairs.
In addition to overbuilding variety in response to consumer demand, there is evidence that Japanese firms also overbuilt for quality in this period as well (although this is often difficult to objectively quantify). Fujimoto notes:
When I interviewed a product engineer at a German car maker in the late 1980s, he commented that one of the leading Japanese models was about $500 more expensive that the equivalent German model owing to overquality and excessive designs, other things being equal.
Whether this phenomenon existed across Toyota’s product range is nearly impossible to prove, but one thing is certain: in the early to mid 1990s, Toyota’s managers clearly believed that it suffered from “fat product” and moved aggressively to limit its effects.
. . . .

The real extent of this cost-cutting, decontenting and “design leaning” won’t be easy to quantify, but the fact that it’s been taking place since the early nineties and is only now yielding negative effects suggests that it’s been relatively well-managed. But Toyota’s reputation was built on those “fat” products of the mid-80s to early-90s, and it won’t be returning to the old practices that created them anytime soon due to their competitive disadvantages. This seems to suggest that, once damaged, Toyota is unlikely to ever recover its former quality halo.
It's a complex story involving exchange rates and the intricacies of vehicle design and manufacturing, and a company that got so good at doing things well that it might have put them at a competitive disadvantage.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 04:40 PM   #149
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
This article is a little wonkish and short on specifics, but describes Totyota's recent trip up and down the quality spectrum.

Excerpts:


It's a complex story involving exchange rates and the intricacies of vehicle design and manufacturing, and a company that got so good at doing things well that it might have put them at a competitive disadvantage.
You have to admit though Consumer Reports gave them a pass and rated them highly, because of the overbuilding.
__________________
You don't want to work. You want to live like a king, but the big bad world don't owe you a thing. Get over it--The Eagles
lets-retire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 10:37 AM   #150
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,014
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
That particular 1992 Plymouth Acclaim was a piece of JUNK - - I never wanted it in the first place and two years before our 1998 divorce my ex gave my previous car to our daughter, and bought the Acclaim for me for $5K. Maybe he saw divorce on the horizon before I did.
Geez, W2R, I hope he didn't want to avoid alimony by bumping you off!
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 10:39 AM   #151
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,014
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I'm glad I'm not the only cynic with this floating around in the back of my mind. There has been a fair bit of saber-rattling in Washington about this, and I can't help but wonder just how appropriate it is given the obvious *vested* public interest in seeing GM gain market share at Toyota's expense now that we "own" much of GM.
You're not the only cynic.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 11:23 AM   #152
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire View Post
You have to admit though Consumer Reports gave them a pass and rated them highly, because of the overbuilding.
Or perhaps because they had fewer issues reported by their readers?
I always have to laugh when people seem to treat CR as an opinion piece (yes, they have editorials too).
They use statistics to rate products. The stats they use are the number of complaints people report on their surveys.
Sure, not perfect, but at least it has some semblance of objectivity.
__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 12:04 PM   #153
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,014
Here's another view of what went wrong at Toyota:

Toyota: Too big, too fast - The Globe and Mail

I agree with this comment by a reader:
I do not ever "recall" an automotive "recall" being brought up by the US Gov'ts department of transport head in congress. There have been hundreds of recalls by car manufacturers..and fewer by Toyota than anyone else. Suddenly, when the US Gov't is an equity owner of GM the government gets "a boil"...seems like a bit of a conflict to me.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 01:01 PM   #154
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
Or perhaps because they had fewer issues reported by their readers?
I always have to laugh when people seem to treat CR as an opinion piece (yes, they have editorials too).
They use statistics to rate products. The stats they use are the number of complaints people report on their surveys.
Sure, not perfect, but at least it has some semblance of objectivity.
Toyota had fewer problems reported because they over built their cars. It isn't necessarily a bad thing. Only when Toyota started to trim down the extra support did the cars' quality starting slipping.

It was a few years back when CR came straight out and stated they hadn't looked at Toyotas, like they should have, because their reputation was so high. Toyota built that reputation when they were over engineering their cars. Once they started looking to save money they scrimped on the extra support parts and quality started dropping. Unfortunately they neglected to tell CR what they had done and CR wound up with egg on their faces.
__________________
You don't want to work. You want to live like a king, but the big bad world don't owe you a thing. Get over it--The Eagles
lets-retire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2010, 03:24 PM   #155
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 619
Just sayin'...

__________________
SarahW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2010, 04:03 PM   #156
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
FinanceDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,484
Toyota is still a great brand, but in their rush to be the number one automaker, it appears some QC issues reared their ugly heads. I like how Toyot execs would always downplay their wish to be number one.....

Also interesting, in interviews of the top folks at Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, their biggest competitor in the future that they are ALL concerned about? HYUNDAI!!!
__________________
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)


This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
FinanceDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2010, 04:24 PM   #157
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude View Post
Toyota is still a great brand, but in their rush to be the number one automaker, it appears some QC issues reared their ugly heads. I like how Toyot execs would always downplay their wish to be number one.....

Also interesting, in interviews of the top folks at Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, their biggest competitor in the future that they are ALL concerned about? HYUNDAI!!!
When I was shopping for a new car last month, my two top picks were the Toyota Camry and the Hyundai Sonota. The Hyundai offered a very compelling alternative to the Camry but, in the end, I can honestly say that Toyota won my business because of their stellar reputation. With the current debacle, however, I think Toyota should be very, very worried about Hyundai. I am not crazy about the look of the 2011 Sonata though...
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 02:58 PM   #158
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,049
Three words: Federal Pacific Electric.

(FPE did recall industrial panels but no recall was ever issued in the US for residential panels. They went out of business anyway.)
__________________
eridanus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2010, 02:36 AM   #159
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
When I was shopping for a new car last month, my two top picks were the Toyota Camry and the Hyundai Sonota. The Hyundai offered a very compelling alternative to the Camry but, in the end, I can honestly say that Toyota won my business because of their stellar reputation. With the current debacle, however, I think Toyota should be very, very worried about Hyundai. I am not crazy about the look of the 2011 Sonata though...
Also Kia I think is an emerging threat to Toyota. Much like Tiger Woods, Toyota had a such a sterling reputation that this is fall from the pedestal is going to hurt a lot. Their handling of the situation has been poor. Prior to seeing their apology ads I would have said awful.

Yesterday's WSJ had a pretty damaging article.
Secretive Culture Led Toyota Astray

Is not a headline you want to see ever, and in this climate where public trust of large companies is only slightly better than Congress, particularly damaging.
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2010, 09:11 AM   #160
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus View Post
Three words: Federal Pacific Electric.

(FPE did recall industrial panels but no recall was ever issued in the US for residential panels. They went out of business anyway.)
Oh yeah, the flaming electrical panels.
__________________

__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wash Sales ?? FUEGO FIRE and Money 6 01-31-2008 11:25 PM
Anyone take advantage of the Thanksgiving sales? laurence Other topics 12 11-28-2005 10:34 PM
Home sales Brat Other topics 4 10-07-2005 06:21 PM
New National Sales Tax Skylark FIRE and Money 47 11-08-2004 07:18 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:14 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.