This is not good news.

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by Texas Forever, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    According to the WSJ June1 Edition --

    Porsches broke down about twice the rate as Mazdas. A study by a German university found that Porsche had 15.7 problems per 1,000 cars. Madza only had 7.7 problems.

    All you Euro diehards who love to bash ricers might want to consider one of Satchell Paige's comments, "Don't look back. Someone might be gaining on you."
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  3. Aureus

    Aureus Formula 3

    Can we see the defenition of "problem." A lot of the reports include things like mis-fired check engine lights, air bag lights, power door locks etc... as labeling the car as a "problem" and increasing the figure.

    Not to say that Porsche (and the other german car companies. BMW, 'Benz, Audi and VW are all doing poorly with Consumer Reports) isn't having problems, I just want to know how useful the study really was.
  4. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    According to the WSJ, the study was conducted by the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Applied Sciences in Gelsenkirchen. The researchers analyzed more than 500,000 breakdowns in Gemany last year. The data, which inlcuded technical problems in cars during the past six years model years, were supplied by the German automobile clud ADAC.

    The top seven places all were occupied by Asian car makers. VW was the highest Euro brand at 11.3 problems per 1,000, which ranked 10th.

    A Porsche spokeman had no comment.
  5. Mr Payne

    Mr Payne F1 Rookie

    Jan 8, 2004
    Bakersfield, CA
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    VW's are laughably bad within the US though...
  6. Aureus

    Aureus Formula 3

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  8. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 20, 2004
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    Internet Poseur
    Thank God they didn't compare them to Toyotas.
  9. Z0RR0

    Z0RR0 F1 Rookie

    Apr 11, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Full Name:
    Bad news? Not necesserily. I've heard Benz is takin' it easy on the chips from now on. They have found out that their new power-everything-chips-everywhere theory caused most of their recent problems. Perhaps we will see a Mercedes Exige in the near future :D
  10. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
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    wait until the RX8 has its way with Mazda's numbers. :)
  11. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    For reasons only they understand, the Japanese have been holding back in taking on their Euro pals. Take the NSX, for example. Does anyone doubt that Honda could put a motor in this car that would chomp everything in sight, including an Enzo? And even better, this engine would only require oil changes every 5,000 miles. And ever mo better, sell this car for under $125k?

    My point is that the Euro guys better tighten up. Don't get me wrong. I love MB, Porsche, and Ferrari. But is a Boxster worth 2 WRXs? I don't think so...
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  13. Bryan

    Bryan Formula 3

    Similar data from a study by the Autobild.

    Mercedes and BMW for all their glamour, aren't the preferred choice of German car-owners, according to two surprising new surveys released this week.

    When it comes to overall ratings, nothing tops the charts like a Mercedes Benz. But for everyday use, German car-owners prefer Japanese cars to the legendary names of their native country.

    The stunning news is the result of two surveys conducted separately by car magazine AutoBILD and German car-insurer ADAC. The so-called Automarxx survey, conducted by ADAC with the Center for Automotive Research at Gelsenkirchen Technical College, asked more than 38,000 car owners to rank international car companies in terms of consumer satisfaction.

    The German automobile industry's first entry on the list is Porsche at number eight. Toyota and Honda lead a pack of Asian rivals in the first seven spots.

    The study, which will first be released to the public next week, is sure to disappoint the likes of Mercedes and Audi, who apparently enjoy a better reputation abroad than at home.

    Not even in the top five

    Covering a range of areas from company strength and market position to design and environmental friendliness, the latest Automarxx survey is the first to feature a Consumer Satisfaction section.

    The consumer questionnaires looked at both the products and service of 33 manufacturers, and included ratings of electronics, motor power and comfort as well as of cost and standards of garage work.

    While German brands Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche still occupy the top five of the Overall Rating section, they barely figure in the Consumer Satisfaction top ten, beaten by Toyota at number one, followed by other Asian competitors such as Subaru, Honda and Mazda.

    Quality over image

    The competition is not surprised by the results. Speaking from the Essen Motor Show, which opened on Thursday, Mazda's Peter Tuhl told Deutsche Welle that Mazda's position in the top five reflected the Japanese company's enduringly high technical standards.

    He said a Mazda owner experiences "lasting satisfaction." A German car owner, on the other hand, is more like a "disappointed lover who realizes the first promises aren't going to come true".

    The survey results seem to back up the mark. Mercedes has no problem with its image, but rather with its follow-through, according to the results.

    Dr. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, who led the survey, said the emphasis German companies like Mercedes place on innovation comes at the expense of production quality.

    "Every technical innovation increases the risk of a break-down," he says."In this respect, Toyota is more conservative, which may not be good for its image, but is very beneficial in terms of reliability."

    "Made in Germany" loses clout

    The AutoBILD survey confirms the trend. The first German entry on the list is BMW at number five, again trumped by Asian rivals.

    VW CEO Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder admitted to AutoBILD that "in technical terms, Toyota is better then us. But not just us."

    The results of the Automarxx survey are a blow to Stuttgart-based Mercedes in particular, which comes in at an astonishingly low number 32. Other German manufacturers fared equally badly, with Volkswagen at number 31 and Opel only four places higher.
  14. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    It's still probably the most reliable sports car there is.
  15. AR!

    AR! Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    Berlin, Germany
    German car manufacturers are having huge problems with electronics in the moment. As a consequence Mercedes-Benz plans to exlude 6.000 (!) now available software functions from future models. After having fixed this troubles German cars will be back on the road again.

    The polls indicating preferences for Japanese cars due to their reliability reveal the typical rather grouchy attitude of many Germans: The don´t want to enjoy their car or have fun with it but rather prefer a trouble-free car - even if it is some lame, boring, ugly Asian car. To me this doesn´t make sense, because EVERY car is too expensive if you don´t get fun out of it. It´s not about pure performance, comfort or reliability, what counts is the SENSATION you have when driving the car. A car should be a good sample of artistry. For this reason I like Italian, British and German cars (but living in Germany I felt that it is rather boring to drive a German car, so I have two Italian cars and a French car for wife and kids).

    So don´t give to much about what AutoBild (a rather crappy magazine, derived from the tabloid BILD) or Dudenhöffer (he tries hard to build a reputation as car expert) are saying.

    Talking about artistry: For this very reason I prefer American guitars and amplifiers. They aren´t the most reliable or crafted with the highest quality, but when you play them you can sense that they come from a place with a rich heritage in popular music.
  16. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Nobody builds better transportation devises than the Japanese!, nobody. Now whether they are the best cars built is another question, but for getting from A to B reliably they are the best by miles.

    If that was the only requirement for buying a car, then you would be a fool for not buying Japanese ... but as we all know it is not. Now if you listen to my wife, then it is ...

    My go to work and back cars will always be Japanese for that reason ... they start, everything works, and I never ever have to open the bonnet ... just get it serviced. A perfect boring appliance.

  17. BJS

    BJS Formula Junior

    Jan 18, 2004
    Central FL and SW MI
    Full Name:
    Brad Stephenson
    Something doesn't ring true, though, when you compare the lack of problems Lexus has with its models. Our 2001 Lexus LS430 has 21 microprocessors controlling every aspect of the car. We now have 75,000 miles on that car and have had zero problems. Simply amazing, especially considering ours was bought within a week of the model's introduction.

    You know you have something wrong when the answer is the elimination of technology.
  18. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    I agree that the Euro cars are more fun. However, you don't need a weatherman to figure out that it is easier to build fun into a reliable car than it is to build reliability into a fun car. Think a 500 HP NSX, for example.

    What really brothers me is the knock on Porsche. A huge part of the 911 legacy is it's reliability. I can't tell you how many rich old farts that I know who cut their teeth on 911s when they were younger and broke. They got away with owning a 911 because the car ran and ran and ran.

    I can't say the same for Alfas and Masers and Ferrari. In fact, I know rich old farts who will not buy any sports car today because they got royaly screwed in their younger days.

    So what's causing the problem? Are the cars getting too complicated? The thing about computer chips doesn't ring true. In every other application that I have seen, computer chips increase reliability. What gives?

    Is the problem being caused because Porsche is making too many cars?


    ps Take radios for example. The one in my 2002 TT doesn't work for ****. The radio in my business partner's 2004 E55 has been replaced twice. Don't the Germans know how to source radios?
  19. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
    Full Name:
    Its a well known fact that asian cars tend to be more reliable and trouble free than cars from other continents. For example, my 94 Accord EX had 140+k miles on it and all it had done to it was new axles at ~120k miles and a new timing belt at 90k miles. The only trouble it ever had was when a relay for the thermostat fell out or something, causing it to periodically overheat. This was fixed quickly. Oh yeah, and one time a seal went, causing it to spill all the oil out on the street when i parked it. Honda paid for the repairs (even though the car was over 8 yrs old) beacuse the seal was recalled. The last problem i can remeber was sometimes it wouldnt start due to a fule pump relay, but waiting a few mins solved this problem. I think these problems were due to the fact that it was assembled in the US.
    The A4 had several problems. After 10k miles, the front suspension had to be replaced beacuse of some sort of squeak that wouldnt go away. Also, one of the rear speakers of the optional bose system kept blowing, but that was probably my fault.
  20. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    dusty old farm town
    Full Name:
    This bothers me too. I love my Porsche and it's been fine for what I bought it for. So far I've had not a single problem in 36,000 miles(01 Boxster). I've got other friends who have serial main seal leaks in their Porsches(986, 996). I agree that the radios are a bad joke. I've posted before and been met with criticism that if Lexus produced a true sports car it would cripple a few Euro sports car companies. I still believe this. Like you suggested with a 500hp NSX, give me a Lexus with 400-500 horse, a manual trans, killer looks and a lack of luxury junk for under a 100 large and I'll take one please.

    Have you seen the hit 996s and 996 TTs are taking? The list of people I know who have migrated back to older cars is growing and growing fast. The values of 993s seem to almost be on the rise. My buddy bought an 02 996TT and it took him 3 months to be bored to death, he then went to a 993 TT, and now has a 94 3.6 Turbo. He's been a new Porsche buyer for 30+ years and feels unexcited by the newer models. How many others like that are out there?

    Makes me wonder if the problem isn't the manufacturers, but rather our dying breed of sports car fanatics? The more I look at getting another sports car the more I find myself craving the vintage specimens. The lack of electronics, the lack of luxury, the unapologetic crudeness and purpose of the interior really appeals to me in the vintage cars. The company that could combine that feeling with Japanese reliabilty would own the market IMO.
  21. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    The problem is with the evolutionary process of manufacturing cars. Quite honestly cars have become boring nowadays and thus unexciting because they are OVER engineered. I would never bother buying a new car if I had the money because the fun and thrill is just not there. Yep even with new Ferraris and Porsches!.

    Why buy a new Ferrari or Porsche when everything is cleverly designed and engineered to be perfect when you can cr@p yourself in a 365BB or 930 Turbo. That is what sportscars should be about, not fancy gear changes and abs, etc. You should feel 110% intimidated by the car every time you get in a fire the beast up ... :D :D

    The more the engineers play and perfect the car the closer it gets to being just another appliance ... and about as exciting as a fridge.

    Part of the fun for me (anyway) with driving cars has always been the mastering of the machine and satisfaction from this. I have absolutely no want for a road car that is perfect, that corners so easily up to 200 mph that I can never push my abilities on the road ...

    I currently drive an excellent family car called a Toyota Tarago. Yes it is a people mover and yes it has everything (and it all works because it is Japanese ;)), but is it fun to drive? NO, not at all. It is lovely and quiet and the rest of the family love it because it is so comfortable and has a fantastic stereo, etc. ... but the driver (me) is bored sick :(

    Never mind my Alfa Romeo 1750GTV's restoration will be finished one day and then I'll drive that to work and back or whenever I need motivation ... other than that I'm still planning a motor bike because NEW cars just suck and no longer interest me.

  22. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    dusty old farm town
    Full Name:

    Agree 100% One of the big draws of the classics to me is that I can reach it's limits in relative safety on a public road.
  23. 911Fan

    911Fan Formula 3

    Apr 15, 2004
    Southern California
    I think the culprit is over-engineering and over-the-top complexity. My favorite example is BMW's IDrive -- people hate it but BMW blames the owners for not understanding its greatness and they won't accept the fact that they made a mistake.

    Just give me a nice small, light, adequately powered pure sports car without all the high-tech stuff! I don't want automated shifting, variable ratio power steering, adaptive cruise control, stability management, etc., etc., in a sports car. I think Ferrari, Lambo and Porsche are all headed in the wrong direction.

    They need to look to the Lotus Elise for inspiration (can't wait to drive one!).
  24. noony

    noony F1 Veteran

    Nov 25, 2003
    Full Name:
    Hi Dale. The reason porsche has gone so far downwards on these reliability scales is because of the cayenne, not the 911. The cayenne has had quite a few teething troubles. I will try and find figures for individual models.The 911 and boxsters are still very reliable, the only major worry being the RMS which you won't have to worry about with your turbo engine. I agree the radios aren't the best, we've got a 996 too, only a C4 though. How do you like the turbo? We may well get one next year.
  25. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    I'd strongly speculate here that Porsche owners are enthusiasts who take a very sincere and deep personal interest in their automobiles.......more so than someone whose purchasing decision was based solely on their ability to hum "zoom, zoom, zoom"..........thus more warranty claim numbers as per the article.

    In any event....point taken, PAG quality is slipping a little bit.....but I think there is another reason for those numbers too.
  26. AR!

    AR! Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    Berlin, Germany
    I have a different view on this. But like so often this is a matter of taste. From my perspective it looks like this: Japanese manufacturers haven´t managed, yet, to build thrilling cars. There are really nice attempts like the MX-5 Miata or the S2000, but in the end you will sense that the designers and engineers tried to simulate something they don´t really feel by themselves (oops, sorry for my poor command of English, hope it is understandable, though...). A want the REAL thing, not some simulation of a car ...

    On the opposite Italian manufacturers have managed to increase reliability where it matters - the Ferraris with the Dinol rust protection for example are really rust proof, something that was unthinkable only 20 years ago ...

    I can :) During the last 12 years my Alfas never failed me. I NEVER missed an important meeting because they failed when they where supposed to get me to the airport in time .... This is what matters to me when we are talking about reliability, not if the power window never fails (BTW: it never failed neither in my Alfas nor in my Ferrari - until now ... ;-) )

    ** Sigh ** You are so right! During the last years German OEMs developed a tendency to press their suppliers for price, even if this meant to sacrifice quality.The atmosphere between OEMs like GM/Opel, Ford (I am talking about the German branch), VW and their suppliers is pretty spoiled. But even companies that cooperated better with their suppliers in the past like MB and BMW are now face criticism regarding their behaviour towards their supply base.
  27. AR!

    AR! Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    Berlin, Germany
    Wise words! Where can I put my signature under this post ... ? :)
  28. garysp7

    garysp7 Formula Junior

    Mar 28, 2004
    Full Name:
    I guess I may as well add my two cents FWIW.
    My first car as a kid was a 911S in the 60's. It was reliable but when I think back now I think of it as a sporty volkswagon that was fast.
    The radio stunk. i vaguely remember it being a blaupunkt maybe.
    Later on in life I drove a BMW sedan. Vey good quality I felt. Never had any problems with it over a twelve year period. The only problem was the annual inspections as the dealer, very expensive for not doing much.
    Two years ago my my wife wanted a new SUV, so we looked at the BMW and Lexus. I really was leaning towards the Beemer due to my previous history but finally decided the Lexus was a better car and value.
    I am amazed how well the Japanese can build a quality car now. Her SUV has the quality of the Beemer but without the service costs.
    I have no history with Italian cars other than my best friend who has owned them for over thirty years. He keeps telling me they are like a bad date but eveyone wants it anyway. I raced a Ducati bike and experienced a little of Italian engineering and do not look forward to the parts and maintenance problems but still figure I am going to gove it a try. Looking for a 550 or 575 now. I hope I don't regret it. I am hoping they are much more reliable and serviceable than in the past.

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