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Was a trade conference a while ago for the collision repair industry and the biggest concern they had was the built in obsolescence due to electronics. Insurance industries are mandating that everything be repaired to OEM specification which sounds good but the OEMs intentionally spec out processes & procedures knowing that the repair industry can't meet them. Industry is in the process of getting some accredited courses created but right now they figure it will take approx 4 - 5 years for someone to go through the training and with all the rapidly changing tech in vehicles today the person will be obsolete before they graduate.

One of the biggest things are collision avoidance and driver assist systems. If there's even a slight collision all sensors & systems need to be re-calibrated/certified and only the OEMs can do that. As a result insurance companies are hiking rates on new cars and writing them off for simple collisions.

When I took a step back I had to give it to the OEMs. This plan really is brilliant. First they built obsolescence into vehicles by having them mechanically wear out when the payment cycle was done. Then they moved to vehicles rotting out and rusting. Now by making cars non repairable with electronics the insurance company writes them off and the obsolescence is hidden from the consumer. The OEM brand doesn't take a perceived hit from the consumer and when the owner gets their insurance money chances are pretty good they'll use the settlement to buy the same brand again.

OEMs are in the business of selling NEW cars, not used ones. When you sit back and look at the big picture this plan really is brilliant. I don't agree with it, but from the OEM side it really is smart.

What do you think?
What are you seeing?
 

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I for one absolutely agree and it is based on consumer ignorance and selfishness which they are banking on never changing. Everybody wants all the 'bells and whistles' now and they think they look bad to their friends if they don't have them. The same thing as social media and the constant reaffirmation of 'me' as the only way people can avoid getting depressed to commit suicide now.

Now everybody is a potential lawsuit that just hasn't happened yet and another reason why, we are paying high prices for all those who knew they ran the red light then sue to get the windfall and win anyway due to crooked lawyers.

Another thing that gets the cars off the roads much faster is the use of 'nuisance parts' all over them to add up to make for new car sales again goofily at the same place they just bought the last piece of junk from. People have no sense at all.

And you can't overlook the solid huge impact making the parts lighter for gas mileage has had on cheapening the parts quality to abysmal levels.

It's way more than just the wrecked car end of things, the OEMS have turned all workers inward to recover money in a million places one would never think of. The engineers now instead of improving bad parts make them worse, I have pointed out examples of that here onsite more than once. They also went into all parts books to combine commonly used minor parts known for breaking into much more expensive subassemblies. That part you used to get for $5 now may cost $250 and very common to run into that.

When you create electronic everything you make so many pathways for erroneous behavior the only way the dealers can fix cars now is to change multiple pieces of the systems as the computers can't in any way tell them often what is wrong. Look at how wild some of the poster electrical issues are getting now, there is no easy answer at all other than to get another car.

Part of that is just like the airbag thing, the OEMs make those parts so expensive most cannot afford to change everything and then the cars are constantly messing up. Add to that what I said just above and the idea becomes clear, the only car that is worth anything is a BRAND NEW ONE!!!

I for one love it, it opens up lots of 'messed up cars that nobody can fix' to me to be easily fixed for pennies to drive forever, not my fault if most people are so dense they can't figure out simple issues. I've corrected issues permanently for pennies that Ford spent millions on to still not find a reliable fix.

Even the lightweight motor oils for mileage fit in the idea of this thread to retire cars earlier in my view.
 

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First they built obsolescence into vehicles by having them mechanically wear out when the payment cycle was done. Then they moved to vehicles rotting out and rusting. Now by making cars non repairable with electronics the insurance company writes them off and the obsolescence is hidden from the consumer.
Vehicles are lasting longer than they ever have. The average age of vehicles on U.S. roads is now 12+ years with those driven in forgiving climates like SoCal lasting for decades. Vehicles just aren't rotting out and rusting like they once did. My 84 year old Mom has a 2003 Camry that will be 19 years old in February. Needless to say her car loan has been paid off for quite some time and is likely to be the last car she'll ever need. So much for having them 'mechanically wear out when the payment cycle was done'. Granted her car only has 65K miles on it LOL! It has no body rust on it which is amazing!

I agree that most of the newer electronic doo dads being added to vehicles lately for driver assistance really aren't all that beneficial and might even cause a crash when presented with an edge scenario. And these newer driver assistance aids definitely increase vehicle cost when new and after a minor fender bender. But, considering the number of idiot drivers who look at their damn smart phones more frequently than the road, perhaps it's better to have these systems than not.
 

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I think the running gear and the major body parts last longer but not some of the things needed to decently keep a car going. Why I b-tch about nuisance breakage. The plastics in some cases now last unbelievably long if the right type is chosen to begin with but then the OEMs mix them with others that do not last long at all. Take ABS plastic, lasts very well until you put it at say coolant heat then you WILL be replacing it at some times and often unexpectedly. FRP plastic works well for valve covers too until you accidentally lean on one working on engine and it suddenly crumblecracks into a thousand pieces from heat exposure. Wondering if some of the transmission issues are intentional now as the cars last too long, they certainly expected them to work better but once faced with it the engineers do not seem to be nearly so gung ho about absolutely fixing them once and for all like they used to. If they had responded in the same way in the '70s the entire engineering group would have been fired.
 

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Waiting for the day wi-fi on car instantly picks up phone transmissions to back up any accident reports to penalize the idiot on the phone, I would love it. Maybe even your car picking up transmissions from car that hit you. Privacy concerns vs. the protection of the general public, a messy problem that.
 

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AMC49
Wow again right on. Especially about the choice of the wrong materials. One of the main causes of many problems in the modern Automatic Transmission and CVT Transmissions. Yes it is either all on purpose, or we now have a huge collection of incapable automotive and mechanical engineers, I actually feel it is both of those. You have to love how they all seem to have forgot the things that all the old timer engineers figured out years ago. I see nothing but constant regression in the automotive engineering word. I suppose they are way to busy playing on their cad computers to get out and see how something really works. It is so so funny my wifes subaru timing belt runs on pulleys, so when they (auto engine manufactures) decide to go with the supposed more durable timing chain they guide it with a bunch of plastic crap that fractures with the heat and exposure to oil, and mechanical influence.
Look at all the goofy Automatic transmission problems, especially the common problems in the Nissan CVT. I don't understand how they could have endurance tested these units and even in the now world of almost 20 years of production and law suits, and not discovered that CVT's make metal, small microscopic metal particles. Have they heard about the oil pump flow control valve problem?
That is not the only valve that gets messed up, there are more valves in the valve body that do as well. Why does that happen? 2 huge reasons, Aluminum valve body and anodized Aluminum valves.
Some how they think the anodizing is going to make that aluminum valve hard enough, well I have a nice worn out anodized flow control valve, I think it wore more than the plane aluminum in bore did.
All these pretend improvements they think they are making, ends up costing us the consumer huge $, as we usually get stuck with their improperly designed messes.
You really would think things like the Takata airbag and the Nissan CVT would wake them up? I feel one of the main reasons for the huge CVT problem is how they have restricted the ability for some of us gear heads from being able to work on them. The reason the engines have improved in power output these days is from the old guys and racing, if anyone has followed what Smokey Yunick accomplished in the days past, and how GM and Ford learned some things from him. This is how the various problems with especially automotive mechanical items get refined. And the more Nissan / JATCO restrict the availability of parts for their CVT's the less the chance for them to learn new things that have been overlooked for yeah about 20 years or so, yes that is such a good example of what happens when you restrict like that, they must like lawsuits, more that solutions.
 

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'it is either all on purpose, or we now have a huge collection of incapable automotive and mechanical engineers, I actually feel it is both of those.'

Yes. BOTH.

The aluminum VB bores and anodized valves came once again from the weight thing they tell us they are going to as an excuse to make everything break or wear out 10X faster. Older VB spools were made of steel or cast iron and the VBs simply never wore out.

Are you familiar now with 'bonded pistons'? Instead of the old school o-rings and other seals they simply mold the seal now onto ATX pistons to make you buy a part at 10X the price. They then don't have to cut a groove in the piston and sell a part that before commonly never wore out, now you suddenly need thousands of them. It can easily add $200 to an ATX rebuild now. And a lot of those are now switching to plastic too.

I commonly laugh now at how flimsy internal ATX parts are now, they are garbage brand new.

The rationale has changed from one of wanting a line of products that if defective were quickly fixed to not be, to a line of garbage that you very cynically admit (or don't) has major problems all over them and keep on holding hand out for the neverending cash repairs.

Ghosn and Renault highly to blame for much of this, I've seen Renault ruin other company before. How automotive writers keep referring to them as one of the big world car companies is certainly beyond me, I learned to revile anything they touched way WAY back, it being junk even new. I remember looking a Renault over close in the late '60s early '70s and realized what junk it was and with no knowledge of cars at all. I remember that new car was breaking stuff at 3 months old.
 

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Ford got loads of trouble with the most recent new cars with foam package tray covers behind the rear seats, they were mde of biodegradeable foam that worked so well the foam was decomposing to crumble to dust in less than 6 months on new cars. LOTS of complaints. Who prechecks that stuff out? Well, you know the answer to that.
 

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I have worked for a Tier 1 supplier to the automotive OEMs for the past 21 years. The bean counters are the primary driver of the planned obsolescence of vehicles. The OEMs practically demand price reductions of 10% or more for each redesigned component. This has forced my company to move many of our factories to Mexico the past 10 years as our U.S. locations were no longer able to reduce costs to meet these demands even after replacing more than half of the workforce with robots.
 

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Right on about all the junk crap parts in Automatic transmissions, and that has been going on for what over 20 years maybe over 30 years. The day they replaced all the nice machined clutch drums with corrugated tin cans is when the down fall of quality happened. And of course same for engine parts as well, you have to love how when they make stuff junkier they always build it up as an improvement and how much better it is, yeah great talk and marketing. Engine parts? Any thing made from PM sintered powder metal, and assigned to being something structural, like a connecting rod, but then that makes it easier for them to "crack" them at the big end. But oh they say they are wonderful, yeah because super cheap to make. Do we see those savings? No just more expensive repairs to deal with at the end.
 

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The bean counters are only a tool to an end, the real problem is on the BODs, the bankers that now jerk all companies into insane land. That 10% cut in price mentioned screams banker input there, they are NEVER happy if you hit their number, you get a new lower one by morning.

What the LLCs now do too, the American 'corporation' is now dead.

I printed major company financials for many years and letting the banks into the markets was by far the worst mistake we ever made. We used to teach in business schools that any company that could make 15% profit clear and free of anything would be here forever, by the late '90s I saw upper end restaurant chains that closed stores as 'underperforming' if they made anything under 100% clear and free profit and now it is much worse. These being the same people who claim they will lose money if they have to pay decent wages, much of that is a lie.

The bankers have warped any ideas of reasonable profits into something so ugly it is now tearing the country apart.

If you work for any company that suddenly changes its' name from Inc. to LLC WATCH OUT! It may take a while but at some point the cutting will begin and they all do it, the end is usually something VERY different from what you knew before and never good. The bankers however will LOVE it.
 
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