VinFast had some stumbles out of the gate with its U.S. vehicle launch, racking up seriously mixed reviews and delaying the rollout with technology hiccups. The company is now working to ease the ownership experience for owners who have problems with their EVs, offering payouts for service issues.
Right to repair is a contentious issue for all consumer products, especially smartphones and cars. Massachusetts voters approved a measure that would require automakers to open access to their over-the-air processes and data in 2020, but the feds only recently gave the okay for it to proceed after the NHTSA pumped the brakes.
Hands up if you’ve ever had a car repair stretch on longer than your liking. Chances are, most of us have been without our wheels for an unexpected spell – whether that was at the hands of a so-called professional garage or one’s own wrenching ineptitude is often up to our own personalities. This author has sadly fallen into the latter category more than once.
This one spoke to my past, brief life as a service writer. For those who don't know, service writers often use the term "customer states" followed by the customer's description of the problem.
Like so: "Customer states there is a creaking noise when turning left at under 15 mph."
I have a 2009 Smart car that seems to be having some issues and I was wondering if you might have some advice on what I should do. I went to drive it recently and the transmission seems to not shift or do anything at all. I put it in drive and the engine just revs, if I restart it a couple of times sometimes it will go into gear and move. What should I do?
Our Saturn Vue Hybrid decided to spring another leak recently, resulting in a jammed belt tensioner and a torn CV boot. Each of the repairs started with a laundry list of required specialty tools, making improvisation and irritation a common theme over the past few days.
While last night’s repair session resolved almost all of the Vue’s issues, as midnight approached I realized there was another leaky seal which I had not purchased. I was happy to have made some progress but irritated at being unable to finish the job completely — which meant we would have to juggle cars for another day. I walked into the house, tired and angry, and went online to check out the latest on the r/JustRolledIntoTheShop subreddit while I ate a late-night snack.
JRITS is a good subreddit for reading shop and repair stories that range from funny to infuriating. I saw a few posts and comments from people who were in predicaments similar to mine, but one comment led me to a post that showed me just how insignificant my issues were and that there are still lots of generous people out there.
Recognize this Kia?
TTAC’s Matthew Guy drove and reviewed this particular 2017 Sportage SX Turbo in early July. Readers need not an ability to read between the lines to locate Guy’s disappointment in the turbocharged 2.0 liter’s responsiveness, or the nearly complete and total lack thereof.
“Kia’s intent is to offer V6 power with four-banger economy. Unfortunately, I found little of either in this Coke-bottle-sized engine,” he wrote at the time.
The Sportage SX, rated at 237 horsepower and 260 lbs-ft of torque, shuffles its power through all four wheels in a 3,997-pound package. In a 2016 Kia Sorento weighing 4,303 pounds, I said the same powerplant’s mid-range “is as punchy as the Sorento’s available 3.3-liter V6,” and “passing power is plentiful as you ride a 260-lb-ft wave across a plateau of torque.”
Yet in the smaller and lighter Sportage, Matthew says, “Outside Sport Mode, it didn’t even feel like 137 hp, let alone 100 more.” In TTAC’s hyperactive Slack chat at the end of July, he continued, “It drove like cold molasses going backward uphill.”
But Guy was the first auto writer to get seat time in this specific 2017 Kia Sportage SX Turbo. Unbeknownst to him, and to the Kia Sportage’s instrument cluster, the Kia was wounded before getting to the battlefield.
I grew up not knowing the difference between a V6 and a V8.
Cars were a mystery to me. Motor oil could have been the same thing as cooking oil right up until my 16th birthday.
Then I caught the bug. We all get it. A nasty incurable fever known as, “First-car-itis”.
I wanted a car in the worst possible way. I knew that if I just grabbed my hands on every magazine, book and repair manual I could find, that first car would become mine for a long, long time.
I didn’t expect a steep learning curve.
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