Saab Pulls The Plug On Repairs
Saab owners receive two pieces of bad news today: Their allegedly “iconic” and “quirky” brand that supposedly embodies everything that is good in Sweden, turns out to be a dud. It landed with a thud at the very bottom of the Consumer Reports 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey.
Probably more disconcerting to a Saab owner: Repairs that are more complex than the exchange of wear parts have become next to impossible, because someone at Saab literally pulled the plug.
“Currently, workshops can only perform very limited repairs, because online access necessary for work on on-board computers has been switched off.”
So says the usually reliable and well-informed Kfz-Betrieb, the German magazine for professional automobile workshops. Without such online access, anything that is more complex than changing a brake pad will become either an ordeal, or impossible.
In a modern car, even something as simple as replacing a lost key becomes unmanageable when the electronic umbilical cord to the factory is cut.
As I was pulling out of the National Emerald Club a couple weeks ago on my last business trip (in a 2011 Crown Vic, mind you), I noticed a Saab being pulled in to be made available as a rental. I started to park the Vic back in its spot and grab the Saab, having never driven one and thinking this might be my last chance, but I was already in line to leave by that point. So, clearly fleet buyers are snapping these up (along with orphaned CVs and Grand Marquis)and planning to, I don't know, run the wheels off them with nothing but oil changes. The economics must be working out. I just know that if I see a Saab and a Vic on a rental sales lot sometime next year, I'm far more likely to take a chance on Panther Luuvv than on a Saab.
Ah the internet. Anyone can say anything on it, correct or not. Everyone knows that SAAB dealers in N.A. and even SAAB indies and owners all use WIS. CD based system. Buy them on Ebay. Internet service? Why? No ECU/TCM software updates will be available since SAAB was run out of business. Sky isn't falling in this case.
This was a big reason I sold my Saab, even though my car was really just a Subaru (Saab 9-2x) I saw the writing on the wall in 2008 when GM was bailed out, and I knew the masses would not understand that it was a unique case, I didn't want to take a massive hit on the resale with a brand people would be justifiably scared of. I remember when they "almost" went under and dealers were selling new loaded 9-3 for around $17k in 2008. I doubt the aftermarket will find much of a solution for the newer models, there's just not enough to make a whole lot of money. I could maybe see a few "garage website" type businesses spring up rebuilding and reconditioning Saab parts. Just drive it until it doesn't move anymore.
This thread has caused immense smugness & hypocrisy over at The Church Of The One True Saab. They claim that it is total rubbish and that there is no issue with servicing. They add that as usual this site is full of bitter freelancers who have a grudge against the greatest car brand in the world. They are also warning about new members joining their board just to troll in support of TTAC & have banned new membership for a while. THEN, they suggest that people do exactly the same thing on here. Note to SaabsUnited. Hello. You banned me for making doubting comments about North Street Capital and his 'attempts' to buy the company. Remind us, how did that work out? Or like the story which you posted on your site about the leaked SWAN memo of 09 December which claimed Lofalk was out of his depth in juvenile and offensive language, has NSC & all the other Muller appointed would-be saviours been erased from the history of your brand?