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Old 10th October 2009, 19:21   #16
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You mean to say that reason for non-reliability of German cars is attributed to complex electronics? If yes, they could always rely less on complex electronics and just go easy and still be superior to their Japanese counterparts in terms of overall technology.

For once, they have proven that they have the ability to pack in unbelievable technology per car at awesome price (Superb) which some companies can only dream of.
Of course, their mechanical prowess in automobiles is better than of Japanese.
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Old 10th October 2009, 20:04   #17
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You mean to say that reason for non-reliability of German cars is attributed to complex electronics?
50% right there, the other 50% is losing their quality focus. For example, Schrempp (Merc head honcho since late nineties) squeezed suppliers so bad, and implemented such cost cutting initiatives, that quality was bound to suffer. Before, Mercs were engineered without a budget. The design team was given only one objective : Make the best car in the segment. At any cost. Now, its all the modern concepts of value-engineering etc. Something that Japs & Koreans (partially Ford too) have beaten them raw on. Merc made some of the worst decisions in the time that Jurgen was CEO, including their short-lived marriage with Chrysler. Even an idiot would have predicted divorce for the two marques!

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If yes, they could always rely less on complex electronics and just go easy and still be superior to their Japanese counterparts in terms of overall technology.
The last decade shows this is easier said than done. And, the additional gizmos (e.g. S-Class' ability to automatically brake) are added to justify the premium over cheaper competition.

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For once, they have proven that they have the ability to pack in unbelievable technology per car at awesome price (Superb) which some companies can only dream of.
Skoda worldwide is known for value and the Superb is so much car for the money. Reliability, we'll know in the long run.

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Of course, their mechanical prowess in automobiles is better than of Japanese.
I'd disagree there. In terms of precision + efficient construction, Japs rule. In terms of dynamics, yes, the Germans are out on top. Take a look at the Lexus LS460 (a car I often refer too). All the gizmos in the world yet the reliability of a Corolla. But no, it doesn't quite have the dynamics of the S Class. See, thats the thing. I want German finesse in engineering and Jap reliability. Cars like the W124 & W126 have proven they are capable of it. You could spend 30 minutes just looking at the glovebox of the W126, or an hour appreciating the orthopaedic seats. Yet, in the last 10 years, the Germans have all but lost it.

Last edited by GTO : 10th October 2009 at 20:07.
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Old 10th October 2009, 21:30   #18
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For example, Schrempp (Merc head honcho since late nineties) squeezed suppliers so bad, and implemented such cost cutting initiatives, that quality was bound to suffer.
That's the only reason why they could lose here. It could happen to any manufacturer in this era of brutal competition. I couldn't see any other reason other than that. After all, they perfected an automobile.
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Old 11th October 2009, 09:42   #19
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For once, they have proven that they have the ability to pack in unbelievable technology per car at awesome price (Superb) which some companies can only dream of.
The New Superb is absolutely awesome and value (especially if they also had had park assist here); but what if you found that the technology will not work at all times. Further the more such electrics which is unreliable the more unreliable the car will get.

For instance it bugged me to read this about a July 2009 Superb's electrics problem in Top Gear Oct issue: "Electrics are a problem, engine fault light goes on and off, completely at random". Further, "Memory seat issue: seat resets to weird position by itself, refuses to store".

Thus technology which is supposed to make life easier actually adds tension to your life.

Would a car lover but a tech novice feel good taking out his car when the engine fault light goes on and off intermittently? Would he have confidence that his local dealer will be able to figure out the fault and fix it and not suggest the whole equipment replacement which is to his benefit?

What further surprises me is that usually electrics have far greater reliability than mechanical parts (or so I learnt in my engineering school). Further testing for reliability is not a very big deal (or so I think). So why do the German car makers not take this into account while trying to maximise driving pleasure? It is not that they are unreliable in India. Their reliability levels are lower anywhere else as well.

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Old 11th October 2009, 17:53   #20
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That's the only reason why they could lose here. It could happen to any manufacturer in this era of brutal competition. I couldn't see any other reason other than that. After all, they perfected an automobile.
Spend some time looking through previous threads, 1-T, lots of insights on Euro unreliability.

Also, generally when the levels of market competition increase, you maintain your core competencies, don't lose them.
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Old 11th October 2009, 18:29   #21
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Ok, is this problem limited to VW group of companies only or BMW and Mercedes Benz are also infested with the same?
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Old 11th October 2009, 23:59   #22
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Bimmers are the most reliable out of the german trio - atleast if consumer reports is to be believed. Mercs are the most unreliable and Audis fall somewhere in the middle.

No wonder BMWs sell more than Mercs+Audis combined in the US.
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Old 12th October 2009, 00:09   #23
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"Memory seat issue: seat resets to weird position by itself..."
HAhahahahahahah I just went when I read that, trying to imagine it happen.
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Old 12th October 2009, 00:51   #24
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Depends on your luck. My friend has the erstwhile E ( That just went out ). Never gave him any problem. The only thing that ever failed according to what he told me was the rear window sunblind. Im hoping for a good run with my A4 too. Btw Audi apparently is outselling BMW as of late in the Euro markets.
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Old 12th October 2009, 08:22   #25
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Bimmers are the most reliable out of the german trio - atleast if consumer reports is to be believed. Mercs are the most unreliable and Audis fall somewhere in the middle.
Hey reignofchaos, that's useful information - any sources you can guide me to?

Thanks,
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Old 12th October 2009, 08:38   #26
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Hey reignofchaos, that's useful information - any sources you can guide me to?

Thanks,
Search through the long term threads. Sahil's, for example. Many BMWs on the forum.
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Old 12th October 2009, 10:10   #27
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Rather than the reliability of the bimmers, its the extended warranty and service packages that make buying bimmers a sensible descition. If Audi's Interiors and Exteriors had no corrupted my mind with promises of the best pampering of the lot, I'd have a 320D in the garage right now. Audi is evil.
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Old 12th October 2009, 11:59   #28
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And, the additional gizmos (e.g. S-Class' ability to automatically brake) are added to justify the premium over cheaper competition.
GTO, youve hit the right nail on the right head . They can't do without the gizmos Japs dont have, but dont know how to make them trouble free like Japs do. Too bad. And by the time they make them perfect, every one else have copied them well and good. Its a viscious cycle.
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Old 12th October 2009, 16:39   #29
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Yep GTO W124 & W126 generation realiability is a gonner now. The Superb has the build of the Earlier Mercs unlike the accord, but has the latest features too, and that is a cause for worry, reliability is bound to go down with addtion of features.
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Old 12th October 2009, 20:00   #30
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Thus technology which is supposed to make life easier actually adds tension to your life.
Spoke my mind. I'd rather not have the features that are going to break down & affect my cars reliability anyways. The basic stuff is good enough for me, I'd prefer to enjoy mechanical brilliance than electronic nightmares.

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Ok, is this problem limited to VW group of companies only or BMW and Mercedes Benz are also infested with the same?
Pretty much all the Germans. BMW has generally fared better, but only just. They aren't exactly blemish-free. The previous gen 7 series was a nightmare, especially in the early years.

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Yep GTO W124 & W126 generation realiability is a gonner now.
Alas, ACM. Now, what do us enthusiasts do when its time for an upgrade? No ways I'm touching a brand new German car with a barge pole. Atleast not over the next 5+ years.

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reliability is bound to go down with addtion of features.
I don't understand why. There is ample proof that additional gizmos can be just as reliable (e.g. Lexus). Then why can't the Germans simply make their damn features work?!

I long for a pure German car. A car that boasts German handling, stability & finesse, and whose engineers have only focussed on giving the car its mechanical best. Supreme engineering + only the basic electronics stuff.
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