QOTD: Who Needs a Little Goodwill?

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
qotd who needs a little goodwill

Long-time readers of TTAC know I am always willing to criticize Porsche in general, and PCNA in particular, for their oft-spectacular indifference towards their own customer base. For much of the previous decade, the company vacillated between denying fundamental problems with their M96/M97 engines and blaming those problems on the customers. When a reckoning finally came, it involved the United States legal system. I stopped buying Porsches more than a decade ago and have rarely felt tempted by the brand since.

With that said, it’s obvious the firm learned from its previous misadventures in consumer relations. The latest generation of flat-six engine, though not perfect, appears far less failure-prone than its predecessor. I’m hearing good things about the quality of recent-build Macans and Cayennes. Finally, there is this: Porsche has just announced a warranty extension to 120,000-miles on their 991.1 GT3 models. This program will go a long way towards holding up the resale value of these occasionally fragile automobiles.

Naturally, Porsche’s absolute mastery of PR has ensured that this warranty extension received nothing but positive press. Compare that to the infamous Honda “glass transmission” goodwill campaign that often saw cars with 90,000-miles on the odometer receive free transmissions nearly a decade after leaving the assembly line. It was often treated by autowriters as an example of Honda’s post-millennium fallibility, rather than as an example of monstrously expensive devotion to customer satisfaction.

We should commend both companies for their sensible and ethical approach to known defects in their automobiles. Which leads to the question: What other candidates are there out there for a program like this?

I suspect many automakers will have to come up with a way to address carbon fouling issues on the first generation of direct-injected engines, for example. But that’s a generic example, not a specific one.

What problems exist out there that should be covered by their originators, nearly regardless of mileage or time? Does anything really qualify for that kind of eternal oversight? How does the existence of a long-term goodwill program affect your view of an automaker?

[Image: Marta_Photo/ Bigstock]

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  • Prado Prado on Aug 11, 2017

    Early this year I was very pleased that Toyota replaced the dash in my 14 year old 4runner for free because it had started to crack ... in Arizona, where the typical paint job doesn't even hold up that long! Quite the gem of a goodwill program on certain Toyota vehicles.

    • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Aug 11, 2017

      Meanwhile the driver's door armrest for 2009-2013 Highlanders is known to crack its little mounting tabs and become loose or detached and their is no recourse from Toyota other than paying have it fixed yourself.

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Aug 11, 2017

    I'd love to say the PowerShift transmission from Ford, but that needs an entirely different unit more than it needs a replacement. Thank god my dad's Fiesta has been solid so far after 120,000 miles.

  • Lou_BC I realized it wasn't EV's burning by the absence of the usual suspects.
  • Kwik_Shift A manual bug eye WRX wagon (2001-03) would interest me more.
  • El scotto Ferrari develops a way to put a virtual car in real time traffic? Will it be multiple virtual players in a possible infinite number of real drivers in real time situations?This will be one of the greatest things ever or a niche video game.
  • El scotto It's said that many military regulations are written in blood. Every ship's wheel or aircraft joystick has a human hand on it at all times when a ship or aircraft are under power. Tanks, APC's and other ground vehicles probably operate under the same rules. Even with those regulations accidents still happen. There is no such thing as an unmanned autopilot, ever. Someone has to be on the stick at all times.I do not think MB understands what a sue-happy nation the USA is. The 1st leased MB in a wreck while this Type 3 "Semi-Autonomous" driving, or whatever it is called, will result in an automatic lawsuit. Expect a class action lawsuit after the 1st personal lawsuit is filed. Yes, new MB owners can afford and ever are lawyers.Mercedes Benz; "The best wrecks or nothing!" Oh and has anyone noticed that Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura, the gray suit with white shirt and striped tie, automobile companies have stayed away from any autonomous driving nonsense?
  • Merc190 Very streamlined but not distinctive enough for a Mercedes. And besides, the streetcar of the early 20th century seems a far more efficient and effective method of people moving in essentially an autonomous manner. A motor car is meant to be driven with proper attention to what's important in every situation. To design it otherwise is idiotic and contradictory.