Tag: Quality

By on August 8, 2018

Tuesday was — accidentally, it turns out — all about the Ford Ranger, at least for those with no interest in Tesla and its business machinations. As we await the return of the midsize pickup’s online build and price tool, Ford is taking an unusual step to get old versions of the truck into the repair shop.

The automaker is offering dealers cash for every 2006 Ranger they can track down and pull off the road. (Read More…)

By on July 18, 2018

Automatic transmissions that shift into park but don’t actually end up in park are one of the greatest automotive sourges of our time. Of all automakers, Fiat Chrysler and Ford seem to have the worst luck with this.

On Wednesday, Ford Motor Company announced a recall of roughly 550,000 Fusions and Escapes to prevent the vehicles from getting loose, though some wonder why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration didn’t step in earlier to force the recall. (Read More…)

By on June 20, 2018

2017 Genesis G90 - Image: Genesis Motors

This wouldn’t have happened in the late ’80s, that’s for sure. J.D. Power’s 2018 Initial Quality rankings, amassed from problems reported by owners over the first 90 days of vehicle ownership, shows the area south of the 38th parallel as the Land of Least Annoyance.

The fresh-faced, fledgling Genesis brand took the top spot in this year’s rankings with 68 problems reported per 100 vehicles, followed by Kia in second place (72 problems) and Hyundai in third (74 problems). You might say Hyundai (Motor Group) excelled. (Read More…)

By on June 12, 2018

Image: IIHS/YouTube

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety never rests, always thinking up new ways to expose flaws in contemporary passenger vehicles. Lately, the IIHS has begun applying the dreaded small overlap front crash test to the passenger side of new models. There’s a seat on that side for a reason, and it’s not inconceivable that a roadside utility pole or obstruction could take out that corner of the vehicle.

The latest IIHS test put popular midsize crossovers through their paces, exposing serious safety concerns in two models. (Read More…)

By on June 5, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a man with a knack for envisioning new and elaborate ways of accomplishing simple tasks, but his factory in Fremont, California — home to three revolutionary electric car models — could use a dose of the Old World. By that, we mean lessons learned by legacy automakers over many decades of mass production.

That’s the takeaway from a scathing exposé published in The Daily Beast, penned by former TTAC managing editor Edward Niedermeyer. Coming on the heels of a CNBC report on fires at the automaker’s paint shop, The Daily Beast‘s piece brings together testimony from current and former employees to paint a picture of what can happen when Silicon Valley startup culture meets the realities of mass auto production.

Bring your safety goggles. (Read More…)

By on May 25, 2018

2017 Ram 1500 Rebel Blue Streak, Image: FCA

In terms of size, this recall is one of the largest from a single manufacturer in recent memory. And the problem it’s designed to fix once served as the plot of a 1990s TV movie I can’t recall the name of.

While there’s only one known incident on its radar, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has decided to go ahead with a recall of over 4.8 million Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles to prevent them from getting stuck in cruise control. (Read More…)

By on April 25, 2018

Audi is recalling some 1.16 million vehicles worldwide, 342,867 of them in the United States, to prevent the risk of fire in several 2.0-liter models.

The issue stems from a component Audi’s had trouble with before: the coolant pump. According to the automaker’s engineers, the pump can either become blocked with debris from the cooling system or short-circuit from moisture within the pump. Regardless of the cause, an increasing number of reports of overheating pumps tipped Audi off that its earlier recall wasn’t enough. (Read More…)

By on April 5, 2018

tesla-model-3

It’s been said that the true test of Tesla’s “affordable” Model 3 won’t be the car’s production rate — it will be initial build quality. A slower than predicted production ramp-up is already a reality for Tesla and its hundreds of thousands of reservation holders, but, as the automaker reaches beyond the existing group of well-monied brand diehards, glitches and reliability issues will pose a larger threat to the brand’s reputation.

With the Model 3 now coming off the Fremont assembly line in larger numbers (though not as large as predicted), it seems we have a recurring quality issue, if you want to call it that. Many Model 3 owners — who, for obvious reasons, are not longtime Model 3 owners — are taking to the internet to report a strange problem that leaves their car dead in the water and in need of a tow. (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2018

2018 Toyota Camry LE - Image: Toyota

It’s 11:40 a.m. Do you know how large your Camry’s pistons are?

Odds are you don’t, and Toyota isn’t sure it knows, either. That’s why the automaker has issued a small but relatively unusual recall for 1,730 Camrys from the 2018 model year. The issue lies with the installation of pistons built to an incorrect specification.

Essentially, they’re too big for their britches. (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2018

tesla model 3

Tesla’s once sky-high share price has taken a serious hit in recent days, so news of the electric automaker’s recall of 123,000 Model S vehicles couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Describing the recall as voluntary, Tesla sent emails to owners of all Model S electric cars built before April 2016 to warn of an issue affecting the car’s power steering system. The issue involves corrosion impacting the bolts holding the power steering motor to the rack, which can then shear off — leading to a loss of power steering.  (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2018

Palo Alto, we have a problem.

That’s essentially the message one Tesla owner had for the automaker, and one I couldn’t stop thinking about during yesterday’s excitement.

You see, on Tuesday, in a feat of technological prowess and bravado, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shot his personal Tesla Roadster into deep space by mounting it atop the final stage of the Falcon Heavy rocket — the latest and certainly greatest space vehicle constructed by Musk’s very own SpaceX.

After becoming the fourth car in space (GM built the first three for NASA’s Apollo program), and the first factory production car to leave Earth’s atmosphere, that Roadster and its dummy astronaut driver are now headed for a point beyond Mars, near the solar system’s asteroid belt. The plan is for the car to orbit the Red Planet, or maybe crash into it, who knows.

Mars is, on average, about 140 million miles from Earth.

However, Kingston, Ontario is a scant 215 miles from Cambridge, Ontario. That’s the distance one Tesla driver was attempted to span when the trip, as Margaret Thatcher would say, went pear-shaped. (Read More…)

By on January 31, 2018

Ah, a lack of reliability. No, we’re not talking about your friends or employees, but cars. Whether it’s a reliable Toyota or something German, if you’ve been driving for any extended period over a number of different vehicles, you’ve likely got a story about unreliability.

Today you get a chance to let it all out — tell us the tale of the most unreliable vehicle you’ve ever owned. We’ve got the tissues handy.

(Read More…)

By on January 24, 2018

We told you recently of the tsunami of complaints from Ford Focus RS owners swamping the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — and other agencies — with minor gripes like, say, their brand new car burning engine coolant. Well, there’s a fix afoot.

In a recently released service bulletin, Ford describes the issue plaguing its hottest hatch and vows to replace every cylinder head installed in a Focus RS built between August 3, 2015 to July 6, 2017. That is to say all of them. (Read More…)

By on December 23, 2017

For a while, it seemed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ fancy (and confusing) console-mounted monostable shifters and newer rotary-dial shifters were out to give every FCA executive a headache. Unfortunately for them, there’s new safety issue causing vehicle rollaways, and this time it’s from a seemingly tried-and-true bit of automotive gear.

The traditional column shifter.

FCA is now recalling 1.48 million Ram pickups spanning nine model years to prevent further injuries and accidents. (Read More…)

By on December 12, 2017

2017 Ford Focus RS - Image: Ford

It’s not just scorched rubber that’s responsible for the clouds of white smoke surrounding some Ford Focus RS models. The model’s high-output 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, credited with turning the staid Focus 5-door into a performance hatch worthy of fanboy lust, seems to have a serious flaw.

Numerous complaints of white exhaust smoke seen during cold startups has forced the automaker to admit there’s a problem with the FoRS. The 2.3-liter is not electing a new Pope, as TTAC’s Matthew Guy quipped this morning — it’s burning coolant. (Read More…)

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