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Old 25th April 2011, 19:04   #76
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

I always thought the Fords and Skodas come with LHD indicator stalks so as to save costs. Either way I find it really irritating especially if I have to switch between one such car and another with proper RHD controls. BTW do Skoda/Ford have similar controls even in cars sold in UK?

I have noticed a few really irritating cases of cost cutting in the Alto K10 VXi (sells for ~4L OTR Bangalore).

1. The door open/close sensors/switches have been omitted on the rear doors. This is such a nuisance since the doors on the K10 require to be slammed really hard to be closed properly. Since the lights don't come on when the rear doors are opened, I need to physically check them every time someone gets off/onto the car.

2. No day/night mirror. It is horrible to drive at night with a bus (with those double headlights) behind you. The websites indicate these are available as an accessory, but the Mandovi folks tell me the mirrors are not being made!

3. Lack of dead pedal. I find this missing on some more expensive cars too.

Last edited by CBlazer : 25th April 2011 at 19:08.
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Old 25th April 2011, 21:46   #77
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

On the old Alto, LHS ORVM can be fitted as an accessory. Even if they do not make the same type of mirror, you could still buy a pair of any standard ORVM and have them fitted on both sides.

TATA Nano however does not even have a provision for you to fit LHORVM as an accessory. Why is that car still on our roads? Why isnt anyone complaining to the transport ministry about the deplorable safety features on that car. For them to not make a provision on the LH door for customers wanting to fit an ORVM is abysmal stupidity. Ratan TATA should be held accountable at the consumer court for this.
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Old 25th April 2011, 21:59   #78
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

1. MSIL removing the 5 speed gearbox from M800 (this happened several years back.

2. Discontinuing the boot light in WagonR (type 2) - dunno about the latest re-design.

3. No cig lighter as standard fitment in several variants. How do they expect us to recharge the Mobile / laptop / GPS? Heck - what about the hot water bottle / portable fridge? (why take the car to accessory shop for this thing which costs, may be, Rs. 500/- extra?)
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Old 25th April 2011, 23:43   #79
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

@shankar : Agree with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
How does a high waist-line reduce visibility of objects? IMO, a car which has been designed to be higher offers the best visibility. I drive a Santro every day and I think it's so much easier driving a tall-boy rather than something that isn't tall, like an Alto. It's another matter than I'm 6'2", but my mother used to drive the Santro regularly and she enjoyed the height. And she is not tall at all. It not only gave her a good view of what's around, it gave her a sense of security.

Let me assure you that a high waistline does not pose a problem while parking or maneuvering through traffic. Although I condemn the design, I would recommend people to go in for a tall-boy car if they drive predominantly within city limits.
Agree with you that we must prefer safety features rather than just cricketer signed kit. But general public might not follow this thinking.

Coming to a higher sill level, I am attaching a rather crude image which is considering the parking and reversing thing.
Suppose one has parked a car, comes back and by that time somebody has parked a two wheeler just behind the car. Here reversing will be difficult without some assistance ( can be of parking sensors ).

Here a lower sill level will help get more visibility. I am just considering one scenario, but in real world traffic more scenarios are there. There are also situations when one has to do forward-backward movements a lot just to bring the car out of a tight parking spot even if the parking sensors go crazy.

While taking U-turn, lets consider right side U turn, a small kid in may be 6-7 th std. will be on your right side and he comes out of nowhere. You had earlier checked rear view, but somehow, he just came in on his pathetic electric Yo-bike. As soon as you start taking a turn, well, there will be friction. I hope I am making my point and scenario more visible.

In shots, the objects next to you and near to the car will not be that visible with high sill levels.

For front view, tall boys are good, very good, but they do have their downsides, specially the new comers.
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Old 26th April 2011, 00:04   #80
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

My cousin, while shopping for a car dropped the Ford Figo for it's absence of rear power windows. Even the top end variant doesn't have it! That's a shame really because I cannot trust my kids in the back seat with rollover windows. It may come with all the bells and whistles for connectivity and stuff, but this IMHO is a glaring omission.

I reckon someone already mentioned this here but all Renault Logans have their wiper blades configured for Left Hand Drive setup. I find the same phenomenon with the BMW 5 Series too! I reckon these guys just hope the buyers don't take notice. To think about it, all the models of Renault (Clio, Megane, Scenic, Espace) have the wrong configuration for wipers in the UK.

Also, I don't find any potential benefit for the driver in having a central mounted instrument console. It's purely a cost-cutting exercise by the manufacturer.

Why don't we yet have a 6 speed gearbox as standard configuration? Wish my Swift had one!
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Old 26th April 2011, 10:05   #81
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post

Coming to a higher sill level, I am attaching a rather crude image which is considering the parking and reversing thing.
Suppose one has parked a car, comes back and by that time somebody has parked a two wheeler just behind the car. Here reversing will be difficult without some assistance ( can be of parking sensors ).

Here a lower sill level will help get more visibility. I am just considering one scenario, but in real world traffic more scenarios are there. There are also situations when one has to do forward-backward movements a lot just to bring the car out of a tight parking spot even if the parking sensors go crazy.
You've made a point here. My Jazz, for instance, has a comparatively smaller rear windscreen and that makes it a little hard to reverse sometimes. But you must remember, most of the cars have been designed for the general public, all over the World. And in real-world-scenarios, taking all markets into consideration, such instances would be a rarity. This point is applicable for the post below as well.

Cars cannot be specifically redesigned for the Indian market alone. And in our country, where two-wheelers and pedestrians get too close for comfort, it is a bane. But by no means is it a design flaw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
While taking U-turn, lets consider right side U turn, a small kid in may be 6-7 th std. will be on your right side and he comes out of nowhere. You had earlier checked rear view, but somehow, he just came in on his pathetic electric Yo-bike. As soon as you start taking a turn, well, there will be friction. I hope I am making my point and scenario more visible.

In shots, the objects next to you and near to the car will not be that visible with high sill levels.

For front view, tall boys are good, very good, but they do have their downsides, specially the new comers.
Please read my reply above.

Also, visibility can be a problem if you're driving a car like a Fortuner. But definitely not a Santro, or an Estillo. Big SUVs do have blind-spots around, due to their size. That cannot be classified as a design-flaw either. That's just how they are designed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftdiesel View Post
My cousin, while shopping for a car dropped the Ford Figo for it's absence of rear power windows. Even the top end variant doesn't have it! That's a shame really because I cannot trust my kids in the back seat with rollover windows.
I think it's the other way round.

Children in the back-seat tend to fiddle with power-window controls and since most cars come with power-windows without the 'bounce-back' safety feature, children may get hurt.

This issue has been discussed extensively in another thread on the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftdiesel View Post
Why don't we yet have a 6 speed gearbox as standard configuration? Wish my Swift had one!
6 cogs?! Most people don't engage 5th in the city. What's the point of having a 6th? In today's maddening traffic, engaging 5th gear itself is a rarity. We might have the roads, but we don't have the driving-scenario for it at all.

Some cars do offer a 6th cog. You will find it on the top-of-the-line diesel Hyundai i20.
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Old 26th April 2011, 11:54   #82
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Hmm ... Interesting topic & interesting comments.
Some cost cuttings do make me mad. I guess company should not do that kind of cost cutting to save some money.

1 Wheel covers: I dont know why, but many car manufacturer dont provide wheel covers for base models. Cars really look dirty with out covers. Specially likes of Swift.

2 Co passenger side mirror: That's a really sad miss. How can RTO pass the vehicle which dont have left side mirror for drivers? I guess it should be mandatory for all cars.

3 Dead paddle missing: Many good cars dont have the dead paddle. Its very useful on highways. I guess its a design flaw as well as cost cutting.

4 IMO cars like Swift, SX4, Safari, Punto should have alloy wheels only as they look very sexy in that. It comes only in Top end models. They should provide in all models so that all there cars looks great. It will make improve there image only.

5 Small glove box: Some cars have really small glove box that you cant fit anything in that except car papers. Its a design flaw for sure. Glove box should have lock also. That's a cheap cost cuttings well.

6 Co passenger side vanity mirror: Very very cheap cost cutting. How much they save here? 25 Rs per car?

Will post more when i remember them
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Old 26th April 2011, 12:16   #83
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Few cost cutting methods

- Steel spare wheel in cars with alloy wheels
- Fixed headrest type front seats (i10, A-star, Etios)
- Single front wiper (Etios)
- Deleting additional wiring in cars (speaker, dual horn wirings in cars lacking these features)
- Replacing convex mirrors from plane mirrors in ORVMs
- Replacing d/n mirrors from standard mirros in IRVMs
- Reducing bumper reinforcements
- Deleting under bonnet / boot lid covering (City, Sx4)
- Deleting power window switch symbols (i10)
- Reducing layer of paints (anti rust coating on metal parts on dorrs hinges etc)
- Deleting features (rear parcel tray, rear wiper, rear defogger most common)
- Delete plastic covering on bolts (make them exposed)

few of these cost cuttings are 20 ~ 50 Rs. (paint & covering) but on longer run save huge money
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Old 26th April 2011, 12:25   #84
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
You've made a point here. My Jazz, for instance, has a comparatively smaller rear windscreen and that makes it a little hard to reverse sometimes.
===============
Some cars do offer a 6th cog. You will find it on the top-of-the-line diesel Hyundai i20.

You are right about children fiddling with electric windows, but every recent car has a power window lock function that prevents any misuse. Even my Swift has a window lock function!

Adding a 6th cog is not about using it everyday, but it adds on to the driveability factor. Like for instance, my Swift does 120 on 5th gear at around 3000 RPM. If there had been a 6th gear, the same engine would do that speed at a lesser RPM and thereby contributing to better efficiency. Even the Toyota Corolla 1.4D does 110 kms at a shade over 2000 RPM. That's possible with such a small engine because of the 6 gear. Even without me using the 6th gear, I find the engine more drivable in lower gears because of the well spaced out gear ratios.
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Old 26th April 2011, 13:54   #85
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

My thoughts on cost cutting:
1. Most cars don't come with rear washer/wiper (except top end ones). These may not be necessary in the west, but India has enough and more dust. Even if you leave your car in a public parking area for half an hour, you get dust all over the windshields. How to get rid of it? Well, buy a top end model and also pay for the alloy wheels and music system that you don't need.

2. I had not thought of the importance of rear power windows until last week when I drove a friend's Santro. We were 3 guys and the guy sitting in the rear seat got down somewhere on the way, leaving the glass fully down. It was a struggle for the my passenger to turn around to roll it up.

3. Most hatchbacks are wide enough that a handrest can be accomodated for the front seats.

4. Absence of rear parcel tray in some hatchbacks.


Design flaws (may be - and apart from those mentioned by many):
1. My Palio's rear seatbelt hooks keep slipping out of the seat, into the boot. Also, the seatbelts themselves somehow manage to slip behind the hooks that attach the rear seat's backrest to the C pillars (I notice that only when someone sits in the rear seat, which is a rare scenario).

2. uncomfortable backrest for the rear middle passenger (I remember SX4, may be this car is designed only for 4 people)


Other thoughts (differences between different makes):
1. In many cars, there are no markings on the sides, below the doors, to show where to keep the jack (my Palio has).

2. Palio is the only car that I have ever seen, whose AC runs without the blower being on!
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Old 26th April 2011, 14:02   #86
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

I had just finished reading the AC Fitment in Thar thread when i opened this thread. So now i am thinking, no AC in Thar would be a cost cutting measure or a design flaw? Or is the jury still out on that one?
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Old 26th April 2011, 15:40   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
.

If you want design flaws, check some ownership reports here. Safari's electrical wiring is a design flaw (again, something i read in one of the ownership reports
Never read this or experienced IMHO electircal wiring is quite robust and even in LX they have left relay and wires for fog lamp which can be fitted aftermarket and also they leave full speaker wiring in bottom model which is supplied without ICE , so no cost cutting.

but yes Safari has couple of big design flaws

1. It has a gigantic console but such a huge area is wasted with super large size switches which a blind bat can see and a single din ICE slot at the bottom which can potentially foul with gear lever

2. All 4 doors have door pockets but just few CM short of a standard 1 Liter bottle diameter, It seems someone designed them such that you cant put a water bottle there.

3. the two jump seats are placed such that a normal adult taller then 5'8'' will foul his head against interior , the rear seat of TCIC safari was better.

4. The middle foldable portion of 60-40 can be only folded in front , in earlier TCIC Safari model it was possible to fold the smaller split seat to back making a flat bed in conjunction with rear jump seat but in name of improvement they screwed up in later models. And no there is no cost saving either.
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Old 26th April 2011, 15:56   #88
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Though Tata has never skimped on cutting costs, and gives many features standard on safari (Like puddle lamps, auto down on all windows), there are some areas where cost cutting is glaring

1. Suspension bushes - With similar terrains, these last same, or slightly more than that of indica, which is not an offroader by any standards. Better bushes would mean better ride
2. Tie rod quality - Every safari owner has had that fight with the TASS about tie rods under warranty. Why should a tie rod die before 60-70K?
3. Fuse box cover - Truly shocking. you have to see it to know what I mean
4. HVAC and direction control knobs - Truly horrid piece of equipment.
5. Sealing of cabin - There are so many holes all over (pedal access, HVAC vents) which are not protected that rats can literally come in and have a party. Rats in engine bay is one thing, but to have a vehicle where they party on your dashboard... truly shocking! And whats with the flimsy vent control?
6. Rear seats - In cars they fold forward to vacate cargo space. Here they fold forward partially, and do not get flat, so no additional usable cargo space!
7. Wing mirrors - They vibrate with engine. In some vehicles they don't. better damping please?
8. Claddings - you can literally yank them off. One member got his cladding stolen this way. Mine fell off while offroading. Cumon, why not have screws rather than plastic lock pins!

Hopefully, next iteration will have these problems solved.
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Old 26th April 2011, 16:10   #89
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix_rising View Post
Few cost cutting methods

- Steel spare wheel in cars with alloy wheels
- Fixed headrest type front seats (i10, A-star, Etios)
- Single front wiper (Etios)
- Deleting additional wiring in cars (speaker, dual horn wirings in cars lacking these features)
- Replacing convex mirrors from plane mirrors in ORVMs
- Replacing d/n mirrors from standard mirros in IRVMs
- Reducing bumper reinforcements
- Deleting under bonnet / boot lid covering (City, Sx4)
- Deleting power window switch symbols (i10)
- Reducing layer of paints (anti rust coating on metal parts on dorrs hinges etc)
- Deleting features (rear parcel tray, rear wiper, rear defogger most common)
- Delete plastic covering on bolts (make them exposed)

few of these cost cuttings are 20 ~ 50 Rs. (paint & covering) but on longer run save huge money
+1
Single reverse light (Polo,Vento)
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Old 26th April 2011, 16:52   #90
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Some cost cutting measures that are glaring.

1. My pet peeve, mentioned in a couple of other threads: Bad/inferior quality plastic and foam materials, specially for interior parts.

2. Has anyone noticed how the cabin roof liner is mounted in many A, B and C segment cars? Eg. WagonR. They end up on the A, B and C pillars without any jackets or casing. Looks awful.

3. Separate door mats, mud flaps. Why these are extra, as if the dealer is doing a favor by giving them free.

4. Poor quality speakers, if at all present.

5. One cabin light. No trunk light in many cases.
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