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Old 02-14-2005, 08:54 PM   #1
Godlaus
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Do car companies care about us?

I was watching fight club yesterday with a couple friends (for those of you who havenít seen it, go rent it. NOW). And a certain quote came up.
---------------------------
Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.
Business woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?
Narrator: You wouldn't believe.
Business woman on plane: Which car company do you work for?
Narrator: A major one.
--------------------------




As sickening as it may sound, do car companies care about us? Or do they just care about their own money? Opinions anyone?
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Old 02-14-2005, 11:54 PM   #2
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I think they do, because they are developing new technologies to keep us safe, but when you think of sports cars, that's a different story. When they build a sports car they want to make it light, and therefore make a cheap body with crappy protection. But before car's can even be let out on the streets, they must go through a series of tests to see how protective they are. Also, if someone is going 160 and their tyre burst and a gust of wind comes, no matter how much protection there is, they WILL crash, and crash hard they will. The new BMWs are a good example, they have developed a way in which if all the tyres (or even just one) were to have a puncture, the car will still drive stabily at a speed of 50mph for 100 miles (i think that's right). But that is only one way of making it safer for us, the computer chips being put in cars are more intelligent then they have ever been, they have rain sensors on windscreens so the wipers will automaticly start. Just little things that make a big deffernce, so the car companies DO care for us, because uf we were all to die of a car accident, they'd have no one to buy from them
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Old 02-15-2005, 01:41 AM   #3
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not sure if you are familiar with the tucker movie, if you are not i definetly advise you to watch it. The bottom line in buisness money, now if a car company believes that dafer cars will sell more the hell yea they'll make em safe, do they care? they do as long as the money is there. in the movie tucker, the automotive engineer tucker invents many things that weren't incorporated until much after he was run out of the biz by the big three. for example he made a car with safty glass and seatbelts when detroit was just pumping out deathtraps. times arn't much different. Look at suvs, the companies give us what we want, and if you don't do your hw on the car you are buying u might just end up like those dudes in ur pics or on red asphalt. an even more recent example are the exploders of the 90's(explorer). they rode like a truck, ppl didn't like that so they complanied, the dealerships response was "lets lets some air out of the tires and make it a cushier ride" result: the firestone scandel. and the funny thing is that it wasn't firestones fault. they built TRUCK tires not caddy tires. the lower psi in the tires caused the to heat up and melt the inside of the tires leading to a blowout directly leading to the death of lots of ppl. the odd center of balance didn't help the situation when one of the tires blew going 60+. Moral of the story:know what your getting into before you go out and buy a car. (little sidenote: don't buy a ****ing SUV if you want a smooth ride, i know you think you are cool going to soccer practice to drop off the kids but you are really just an idiot.
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Old 02-15-2005, 01:46 AM   #4
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On average I believe they do. And they dont. I believe that they develop new saftey things so that those that have their cars will live in a wreck and want another one of their cars for safety reasons so they get more money. On the other hand, many companies reverted to quantity over quality in the 60s/ 70s and even now to boost sales in turn creating hazards. I believe that they want us to live so we can buy more cars, but if they see a large enough problem they will fix it to improve brand image, but having a recall doesnt look good for a company, but looks better if done before a large loss of life/ injuries.
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Old 03-11-2005, 08:54 PM   #5
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the more that I think about it, the more I don't believe they do. Why doesn't every car come with side airbags as standard? Why doesn't every car have huge crumple zones? Why doesn't every car have a giant rear-view mirror? My ford taurus had an issue a while back how the fittings on the power steering fluid would come off, and start fires, inevitably killing the driver, and ford didn't issue a recall. Why not? It's too costly, so they didn't do it. Car companies don't care enough about us to the point that they would do absolutely EVERYthing to keep us safe. Soembody's going to throw the "But they can't afford it, or else they'd go out of business" argument, so here's my reply to it.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/compan...500-list_x.htm

Ford made 164 million in profit in 2003
GM made 195 million in profit in 2003

Hell, take out their CEOs, and you can tack on another 10 million.


Oh well, the only thing that keeps me confident, is to know that superior driving skills will always be safer than car crash safety equipment.
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godlaus
Why doesn't every car come with side airbags as standard? Why doesn't every car have huge crumple zones? Why doesn't every car have a giant rear-view mirror? .

Uhm, maybe because in the land of a free market the consumer is allowed to chose what he does or doesn't want???

I would rather have the choices in front of me, than have someone mandating that I pony up another few hundred bucks for a saftey feature.


By the way, why stop at side airbags? Whats wrong with thorax bags as well, traction control, stability systems, proximity detectors, tracking systems, and built in fire estiguishers????
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:39 PM   #7
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[quote=Godlaus]My ford taurus had an issue a while back how the fittings on the power steering fluid would come off, and start fires, inevitably killing the driver, and ford didn't issue a recall. Why not? It's too costly, so they didn't do it.
QUOTE]

Uhm, Safety recalls are not an automakers decision. NHTSA (government agency) tracks field performance and regulates safety recalls. Manufactures know this, and have been more proactive as years go by. Did you contact NHTSA to report your concern??
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topshelf
Uhm, Safety recalls are not an automakers decision. NHTSA (government agency) tracks field performance and regulates safety recalls. Manufactures know this, and have been more proactive as years go by. Did you contact NHTSA to report your concern??

I made that comment come off as wrong. nobody in my taurus died, but a lot of taurus owners filed suit over the fittings coming off and killing people from fires. My taurus' fittings leaked also, and only smoked from hitting the exhaust manifold.


Quote:
Uhm, Safety recalls are not an automakers decision. NHTSA (government agency) tracks field performance and regulates safety recalls

So if the NHTSA says they can not, then they don't? they can't issue a recall on their own?
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:56 PM   #9
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[quote=Godlaus]"But they can't afford it, or else they'd go out of business" argument, so here's my reply to it.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/compan...500-list_x.htm

Ford made 164 million in profit in 2003
GM made 195 million in profit in 2003

QUOTE]


Do you even read the stuff you type?????

1) The article you link to talks of BILLIONS of dollars, not millions. (ok, both really big numbers, but try to think of a Billion as 1,000 millions - Hope that helps you)
2) The article says REVENUE, not PROFITS. (ok, revenue is how much money you would collect when you sell people lemonaid from your stand, profit is what you get to keep after you pay for all the costs of lemonaid stuff, the stand, your help .... got it?)

So, other than those two glaring errors, you are pretty much on the mark with the rest of your facts (wait, dont think there was anything else factual you said).

Now lets look at the facts. GM for instance. Actaully they posted Profits of $3.2 Billion on 2003. Pretty impressive. But on $195 Billion of sales, not that good. Short of 2% of sales. To put that in perspective, you would work all day at your lemonaide stand, and for every dollar you take in, you get to gouge your customers by keeping 2 cents. Good luck on that one.


Finally, suppose you think 2% of sales is a great return. Lets see .... who gets all that money ....hmmmm .... public company .... guess its the stockholders. So your beef is with the stockholders getting rich? If your believe that, in America, you are welcome to buy some stock yourself. Just a word of warning, those "owners" of the big three have been actually losing money on their investments. But dont let the facts bother you.
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godlaus
a lot of taurus owners filed suit over the fittings coming off and killing people from fires.

So if the NHTSA says they can not, then they don't? they can't issue a recall on their own?

A lot of people died from the fires ..... not sure how many a lot is, or where you get these "facts" from. Automakers do initiate campaigns on their own, and NHTSA (and Lawers) tend to step in before "lots" of owners have people die.
Your stuff is funny though.
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:04 PM   #11
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Finally, suppose you think 2% of sales is a great return. Lets see .... who gets all that money ....hmmmm .... public company .... guess its the stockholders. So your beef is with the stockholders getting rich?

Let's see..... stockholders buy stock so that they can potentially get more money back. Do i care more about a person getting, say 10,000 bucks, or the general public being safer?

My bad on the numbers though. Didn't read it, and always thought that the fortune was based on profit, not revenue.
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topshelf
A lot of people died from the fires ..... not sure how many a lot is, or where you get these "facts" from. Automakers do initiate campaigns on their own, and NHTSA (and Lawers) tend to step in before "lots" of owners have people die.
Your stuff is funny though.

A lot = at least double digits. Enough to initiate that ford acknowledge the problem.

Actually, now that I think about it, I believe all ford vehicles were given a free fix on that problem. Hmmmm......

And if you can't keep the public safe without making profit, then you shouldn't be in the business at all.

*edit* actually, my point is a moot one, it shouldn't be the car manufacturer's job to protect the driver, the burden should fall more on the driver, as that's THE cause of accidents. Not the car, the driver. Spend money on driving classes, not airbags and other safety measures.
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Godlaus
A lot = at least double digits. Enough to initiate that ford acknowledge the problem.

Actually, now that I think about it, I believe all ford vehicles were given a free fix on that problem. Hmmmm......

And if you can't keep the public safe without making profit, then you shouldn't be in the business at all.


Lets see, double digit deaths. Guess thats between 10 and 99. Oops, at least double digit ... so maybe more than 99. SO you are saying that 100 people or so (maybe more) have died from a defect, and that the government hasn't forced a recall, and that the manufacturer is ignoring it. What color is the sky in your world?


60 minutes and company would be salivating at this one.
Lawers would be lined up in court with class action suits.
NHTSA would be forcing recalls.
Even using your absurd premise (lifted from that great source ... a movie), someone would be doing the calculation of 100 deaths, times $10M per incident for wrongful death awards .... $1B and would be recalling.
Oops forgot to factor in that without a recall the cars would remain on the road, so that $1B would be a re-occuring charge happening probably every year.
Oops, forgot to factor in punative damages which would drive subsequent occurances into $200M range per incident, pushing charges to $20B per year for say the 12 year field life of the product.
Oops forgot to factor in the bad press all this generates (which would negate Billions spent in advertising the brands),
and dont forget the loss of several hundred repeat customers.

Yeah, somehow, just not trusting the "lots" of people died thing. Again, it does make a good story. Could get a billion laughs out of it, or was that a million.
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:48 PM   #14
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Seriously though, If you are aware of an occurance such as these, you should contact NHTSA (at NHTSA.COM). They track consumer feedback, and are way proactive on potential safety events. I doubt that hundreds of deaths could get by them (I believe Police Reports around these events are routinely filed with NHTSA), but please contact them ... not to hurt a company, but to help save lives of other motorists.
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topshelf
Seriously though, If you are aware of an occurance such as these, you should contact NHTSA (at NHTSA.COM). They track consumer feedback, and are way proactive on potential safety events. I doubt that hundreds of deaths could get by them (I believe Police Reports around these events are routinely filed with NHTSA), but please contact them ... not to hurt a company, but to help save lives of other motorists.

I originally read about it when looking for instructions to fix my power steering hoses, as there aren't any in my chilton's book.

A lot = more than double digits = 11-infinity.

This case, it was around a dozen, if I remember correctly. Also, not all the drivers died, as it was an just a manufacturer default, and sometimes the car caught on fire, and sometimes the driver/passenger died.

also, remember this?

Quote:
*edit* actually, my point is a moot one, it shouldn't be the car manufacturer's job to protect the driver, the burden should fall more on the driver, as that's THE cause of accidents. Not the car, the driver. Spend money on driving classes, not airbags and other safety measures.
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