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Old 3rd June 2009, 13:32   #16
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While it probably does sound like a conspiracy theory and it probably is I do believe there is just too much visible here to let it go as a merely harebrained idea. My belief is that its just a lack of attention to details.

While a Japanese company will probably spend time to devise a solution to something as mundane as the height of the footboard for short people in India such things are simply too stupid to look into when you are after bigger things.

As Tanveer said, Tatas definitely know that the plastic hubcap has a tendency to fall off ever so often. However tatas do not really feel bothered about something so lowly as a hubcap. Afterall a mighty Tata engineer has better and bigger things to do rather than take this kind "chhutku" things as projects. Like a vibrating tailgate and related design changes etc. What is a plastic hubcap in such a scheme of things?

This is where the problem lies IMHO.

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Originally Posted by mahadev_kc View Post
This theory is well applicable to DELL laptops and PCs. They are designed to work till the warranty period and that is why DELL insists you to chose which warranty period you want, so that they can place those components which are designed to fail after the warranty period
Mahadev, though this is going OT but nonetheless let me clarify to you what you are saying is mere heresay. And this you can take from me after 2 Dells in my home and 3 more in the extended family. None of these have ever failed us in any ways whatsoever even after prolonged usage. I have always been a repeat user of Dell products and will happily certify that such vituperative arguments are mere, you know what...

By the way, my Inspiron Laptop is showing some signs of keyboard wear and tear after heavy usage, a good 3 years after I bought it. And that I believe is perfectly understandable.

Also, I would like to put on record that my experience with the only HP laptop (actually Compaq) has not been that happy, mainly from the service and response (of their people) point of view.

Last edited by Zappo : 3rd June 2009 at 13:48.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 13:46   #17
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My car has run a measly 24000-odd km in the last five and a half years but its OEM Exide battery is running absolutely fine.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 13:54   #18
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I would put this to sheer quality issue. After all, our market is quite cost sensitive and hence, these manufacturers are looking at ways to cut corners and show a lower price upfront and then fleece customer in the name of spares. Hence, we get poor quality and engineering as well.

Last night I was watching Extreme Machines on NatGeo and they had a programme on building the Harley Davidson bikes. While we're talking about quality, here is what I saw in the program. After the bike is assembled and tested by the technical engineer, before the bike is let out for a road test, it is left with the quality department.

The quality engineer's job is to identify issues and highlight both the part supplier and they assembly folks so that they can either correct or change the part. His job is to identify even a mm of scratch on the bike. It is quite an intensive activity and this engineer is expected to perfom QC on just two bikes. Now, would that be possible or even thinkable in India? No way.

Once the bike is passed by QC, it is then delivered for road test and then packed neatly using cardboard and then loaded onto the truck.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 13:59   #19
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True case study:


A reputed three wheeler multinational company in India, brought new model of auto in India some 9 years back.
Initially, they were manufacturing in house a particular component related to navigation of the vehicle. After 4 years, i.e. @ 2004, they off loaded the part to vendor.
The entire vehicle is still manufactured according to 1960 design!! The design was meant for European roads and weather condition.
Now, the particular part was goofing up within warranty period. Though the percentage of failure was less than 0.5%, it was serious issue, life of driver and passenger may be hampered. Company took this issue very seriously and their r & d got in action. all possible causes listed. all possible solution tried but failed.
There was no design fault. There was no material fault. There was no manufacturing fault.
Finally, found that driver himself is culprit.
The part and vehicle is designed to carry 1+3 people but used to carry 10 people regularly. You can see the picture of this three wheeler on road of any city.
There was huge demand of this particular part in spare market. The particular part was costing @rs 900 to company and in spare market, anything between rs 1200- rs 1500 depending upon situation.
Finally, company has changed the design of particular part to take that extra unauthorized load.
The change had been implemented fully in feb 2009.

Actually, there was no need to change design but looking at safety of human being, company has decided so and bearing extra cost of reinforcement.

DISCLAIMER: Some figures are just indicative.

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Old 3rd June 2009, 14:09   #20
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If you go back even more. When Tata Mercedes Benz dropped the MB label (i.e., the collaboration ended) the first thing with TELCO did was to replace the alloy head with an Iron. One case where the Indigenised one commanded a premium over its 'phoreen' cousin.

In general there are two issues: 1. Vehicle parts are designed with a life in mind (Even MB stopped engineering at any cost some years ago), and 2. Irrespective of how much you test it once the vehicle goes out to the World At Large' some issues will surface only at this point. Hence the moral, wait for a few months before buying a new product.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 14:45   #21
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I dont know about the first gen indica wheelcaps , but the ones on my indica ( the OE turbo style wheelcaps) and the vista ones I'm using now - interestingly they fit like a glove on my rims - have never fallen off in the 22000k they've run so far.

So tata do know how to make proper wheelcaps
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Old 3rd June 2009, 15:15   #22
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I am curious, is it possible to engineer a car or its parts to have nearly no problems just till the warranty expires?

Further do cars under warranty show more problems when the warranty expires than cars without warranty. That's when the whole question becomes relevant. Otherwise it's expected that as cars age they will have more problems.

A friend in the US said Ford engineered the car so well that his car accumulated all problems and popped it out a nano-second after his warranty expired!

Lastly sgiitk, I am curious to know more when you say "MB stopped engineering at any cost" - you mean were they trying to extend the life of a car to an absurdly long time (as implied by your previous statement)

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In general there are two issues: 1. Vehicle parts are designed with a life in mind (Even MB stopped engineering at any cost some years ago), .....
Cheers,

Last edited by diffsoft : 3rd June 2009 at 15:24.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 15:27   #23
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Maruti Alto - Premature clutch failure on majority of cars.

Maruti Swift - Same premature clutch failure for most cars.

Mitsubishi lancer - door hinges. Always go out of alignment and need to be replaced.

Skoda Octavia VRS - timing belt. known to give way before earlier than other cars.

Skoda Octavia - Airbag sensor light comes on due to dusty conditions.

Skoda Octavia - Fuse box located over battery known to get shorted out due to moisture or rain.

Skoda Octavia - Water pump known to give way since it has plastic impellers.

MAruti WagonR - rear brake drum bush kit. Supposedly a known defect on wagonR and not covered under warranty.

I'm going to get beaten up for this but I would say all Honda's - City, Civic and Accord. Very poor GC. They know there is a problem with their cars having low GC so why can't they just fix the issue. The old Accord had it and so does the new. The NHC had it so does the ANHC. The civic has been here since 2006 and still has the issue.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 16:03   #24
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@diffsoft: At one time MB tried to make simply the best with cost no object. later on they decided to compromise between cost and performance. In other words as long as the MTBF was long enough the part need not be the best engineered and fabricated possible. This happened at the time between the first and second versions (of C type!) released in India.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 16:31   #25
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Funny, Me and my family swear by Dell lappies. cheapest n long life. Very easy to source components from ebay after 3 years too. Unless I would want to pay a lot for a Sony. In which case Id go for Apple anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mahadev_kc View Post
This theory is well applicable to DELL laptops and PCs. They are designed to work till the warranty period and that is why DELL insists you to chose which warranty period you want, so that they can place those components which are designed to fail after the warranty period
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Old 3rd June 2009, 20:08   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
The other great example is " EXIDE CAR BATTERY."

Everyone knows it.

It is designed to fail immediately after warranty period. What a precise design skill.
And, i thought i was the only one!.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 20:10   #27
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I have one addition:

The new Mercedes cars you see around.
Premature electronic failure any one? Even some engine components. Clogged turbo, noo a.c., etc. By the time 5 years of ownership are up, with the amount of money spent on it, you seriously start thinking about convincing your parents to change the car, even if it means downgrading to a lower spec japanese car. But that is the beauty, for all E class owners, thats when they get calls from Mercedes Dealers offering 15L for a 50L car if the owners are interested in upgrading to the 90L S Class!

Last edited by lamborghini : 3rd June 2009 at 20:12.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 21:08   #28
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Hi, I think TATA has worked hard to improve the quality of their cars.

We all know that, look back 10 years ago.

Today, Safari got better engine, so did Indica - which will last much longer that previous generation versions.


Not all companies follow such belief. I would say such deliberate thoughts existed in companies like GM, today they are dying.

Last edited by aerohit : 3rd June 2009 at 21:09.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 21:14   #29
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I am with the thread starter in this case. However, I would like to blame the dealers and their supervisors for this cheap/mean behavior. The case in point is my two wheelers. The clutch plates get heated pretty easily and have very limited life. However they are designed just enough to live till waranty gets over or just beyond. And when it is just about to get konked and the bike is still under waranty period, do the dealer changes them? Hell no! They wait for it to fail and then only decide to take care. For sure I would like to blame the dealers and their supervisors!! The supervisors are the ones who are in charge of our automobiles and as per dealer instructions they ignore many warnings of failure even when brought to their notice by the mechanics or owners! They act only after the real failure happens. This is what my brother who is a supervisor in a reputed two wheeler show room has to say about this plague!
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Old 3rd June 2009, 21:52   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Remember the turn indicator cover of old M800s which used to turn white from orange after one rainy season.
Or the wiper blades of most cars which survive just one monsoon.
In those days the indicators were stolen a lot. And most people bought duplicate cheap ones to replace. It was never that the original indicators faded.

Even the wiper blades, normally go bad because of too much sun/ heat, they normally never go bad in monsoon. I think this is more about Delhi and it's extreme whether.

I'd say I understand your point, but i'm from the school of thought which says:- these are either QC issues or design faults. But not deliberate.

When TATA must be doing the road test, they might not have put the wheel cups on


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
Our 2002 Wagon R had this irritating brake caliper clatter that kept coming back even after getting it replaced. One of the mechs told me that this is a very common prob with the car.

Luckily, the new car hasn't shown any such issues so far.
Ahh! that's the problem with my car too! 2000 model WagonR. I didn't get it replaced since the part is not very readily available. The brakes work.

Infact I heard the same clatter from a friend's corolla too! 1000kms run. I think toyota changed the whole thing later on under warranty.

Even this has a lot to do with how you brake, too many jerky brakes is the cause. Like in my case after 80k kms and 8 years is not a quality problem, the car has been driven and braked hard very often.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
Maruti Alto - Premature clutch failure on majority of cars.

MAruti WagonR - rear brake drum bush kit. Supposedly a known defect on wagonR and not covered under warranty.

I'm going to get beaten up for this but I would say all Honda's - City, Civic and Accord. Very poor GC.
Talking about the cars I own and seen/driven extensively.

Alto's got a poor quality clutch [it's not smooth/judder free], but it doesn't fail. It's probably the 800cc engine with that ac that requires some drivers to revv crazy for initial pickup in the process burning the clutch.

WagonR, never failed in my case. but there have been other quality related problems. Nothing like a conspiracy though.

NHC - its really bad on Honda's part to ignore that - this one seems like a conspiracy .

Last edited by SLK : 3rd June 2009 at 21:55.
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