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Thread: Why recalls anyway?

  1. #1
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    Why recalls anyway?

    After reading different threads concerning various problems with relatively new models, whining trannies, leaking water pumps, blown bearings, add yer own problem, I was wondering how these problems could possibly get through any rational motorcycle/automotive contemporary testing regimen?

    Don't contemporary manufacturers routinely take, for instance, a complete 1600 GL, like a contemporary auto manufacturer, put it in a computer controlled atmosphere and run it through a climate and performance cycle, say for about a 100K miles? And troubleshoot any failures?

    Or, do they simply test various components, then slap them together and have the consumer uncover the problems? Or is this info a dark secret? I can't imagine dropping 15 to 20 grand on a bike and then sitting at the dealer service dept. waiting for repairs.

  2. #2
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    8niney8, that's what you are doing when you buy a new model. It's called beta testing. BMW Motorad has made a practice of this. Build 'em, sell 'em, fix 'em later if we absolutely can't avoid it.

    I really like my 2011 R-RT but I absolutely detest BMW's business model.

    pete

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    Apparently most profitable for BMW to follow this business model...otherwise why else to it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8ninety8 View Post
    After reading different threads concerning various problems with relatively new models, whining trannies, leaking water pumps, blown bearings, add yer own problem, I was wondering how these problems could possibly get through any rational motorcycle/automotive contemporary testing regimen?

    Don't contemporary manufacturers routinely take, for instance, a complete 1600 GL, like a contemporary auto manufacturer, put it in a computer controlled atmosphere and run it through a climate and performance cycle, say for about a 100K miles? And troubleshoot any failures?

    Or, do they simply test various components, then slap them together and have the consumer uncover the problems? Or is this info a dark secret? I can't imagine dropping 15 to 20 grand on a bike and then sitting at the dealer service dept. waiting for repairs.
    When I worked for a nationally-known manufacturer in the R & D department, any design changes, or new designs, would get tested unmercifully. However, it was impossible to "simulate" the passing of time. 10,000 of this or that run over a few weeks period, isn't the same as 10,000 run over a period of let's say, 10 years. Then when you add normal wear and tear, grease drying out, improper maintenance, dirt, etc. etc., and the problems with testing multiply exponentially!

    However, your point is well taken. Microsoft has done this for years, and when errors were found, made us pay for the "upgrade."

    In defense of mechanical object's manufacturers, is that there are literally thousands of parts, each being engineered, individually, and with operation with the other thousands of parts. With all that, it is really difficult to anticipate everything. For example, in a "train" of interacting parts, if we found a part that was weak in the process, simply "beefing"it up wasn't necessarily the way to fix it, as that would then transfer the extra strain on to the next part in the "chain" of parts. VERY difficult to predict!

    In the "old" days, this problem was overcome by simply engineering every part excessively heavy duty. However, in today's manufacturing climate, to keep costs down, engineering a part to just outlast warranty is the name of the game! Cheap and dirty!

    As an example, think of the auto bumpers on a 1955 automobile. They would withstand virtually any crash. Then compare to the bumpers of today. If you just barely hit a parking pole, you have just done about $1,000 worth of damage!
    "The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't change every time congress meets." - Will Rogers

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    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    EVERY manufacturer has recalls, from Cars/MC to Christmas lights, kids toys, power tools, tires you name it.

    All the testing in the world will not reveal the multitude of things that can go wrong, there are MILLIONS of variables in any larger assembly, and from prototype to eraly production and final large scale production ane one of those million variables can change and cause a problem.

    Personally I an in AWE of the reliability of modern MC/Autos, when compared to what was available even 10 years ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    EVERY manufacturer has recalls, from Cars/MC to Christmas lights, kids toys, power tools, tires you name it.

    All the testing in the world will not reveal the multitude of things that can go wrong, there are MILLIONS of variables in any larger assembly, and from prototype to eraly production and final large scale production ane one of those million variables can change and cause a problem.

    Personally I an in AWE of the reliability of modern MC/Autos, when compared to what was available even 10 years ago.
    Apparently, only Honda and Toyota have got it down!
    "The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't change every time congress meets." - Will Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    As an example, think of the auto bumpers on a 1955 automobile. They would withstand virtually any crash. Then compare to the bumpers of today. If you just barely hit a parking pole, you have just done about $1,000 worth of damage!
    I don?t think this is a good example since the purpose of a bumper has changed. In 1955, the thought was to make things strong to withstand a crash. However, today?s cars are designed to absorb the impact, which is part of the reason of a higher expense. You also have to consider that what is damaged by hitting a parking pole at low speed is not the bumper, but rather a bumper cover. The bumper itself is most likely OK.
    Jeff in W.C.
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    One thing to also consider is the chain of parts. Most manufacturer's purchase parts from suppliers; however, they do not have complete control over the supplier's chain. So, a change by a supplier could and often results in recalls.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
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    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    The fact that we continually see spy photos of heavily camouflaged new models out in the public would seem to indicate that there is a substantial amount of testing done throughout the development process. The bigger issue is not that there are problems that come to light later in the service life of the bikes, but that there is often a resistance by the manufacturers to respond to or repair the problems voluntarily. That is why we have regulations that force them to deal with the problems that affect safety. The nuisance problems generally go unresolved until the next update.

    As for the 50's car durability, watch this video and tell me which car you rather be when you run into a pole.

    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
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    Silly me, I really thought if entering the top secret R&D centers of manufacturers', I would've found various models strapped down to dynamometer test beds, with water sprayers, temperature controlled atmosphere, cranking away through various throttle settings and the gurney bouncing up and down to the regular type of terrain programmed for whatever model being tested. Turn it on, monitor it for a week or month, think of the data that could be collected, instead of the marvy advertising?

    All to the simple end of preventing failure and the resultant high expense and embarrassment of the recall and fix. I wonder about other manufacturers? So much for the topic, ya learn something everyday.

  11. #11
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    Apparently, only Honda and Toyota have got it down!
    That is funny there!!

    Seems one of the most recent LARGE recalls was Toyota, take your pick from the link below.

    Toyota recalls: http://pressroom.toyota.com/safety-r...ng|Brand_Owner

    Honda Recalls: http://www.motortrend.com/used_cars/01/honda/recalls/


    I worked in the Auto industry for years, and the last few was in a multi-line dealer, that sold Toyota, they were constantly pulling engines and transmissions for repair/replacement.

    There is a PERCEPTION of quality, created by big PR machines. I remember when Lexus was introduced, their PR campaign had the public and press convinced that they were the most reliable cars on the planet, BEFORE the first one was ever delivered to the customer. The dealer I worked for sold them too, and believe me there were a LOT of teething problems on the early cars, several buy backs too.
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  12. #12
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8ninety8 View Post
    Silly me, I really thought if entering the top secret R&D centers of manufacturers', I would've found various models strapped down to dynamometer test beds, with water sprayers, temperature controlled atmosphere, cranking away through various throttle settings and the gurney bouncing up and down to the regular type of terrain programmed for whatever model being tested. Turn it on, monitor it for a week or month, think of the data that could be collected, instead of the marvy advertising?

    .
    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-dr...durability.htm

    http://www.autoalliance.org/auto-innovation/testing
    Lee 2011 K1300S
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    That is funny there!!

    Seems one of the most recent LARGE recalls was Toyota, take your pick from the link below.

    Toyota recalls: http://pressroom.toyota.com/safety-r...ng|Brand_Owner

    Honda Recalls: http://www.motortrend.com/used_cars/01/honda/recalls/


    I worked in the Auto industry for years, and the last few was in a multi-line dealer, that sold Toyota, they were constantly pulling engines and transmissions for repair/replacement.

    There is a PERCEPTION of quality, created by big PR machines. I remember when Lexus was introduced, their PR campaign had the public and press convinced that they were the most reliable cars on the planet, BEFORE the first one was ever delivered to the customer. The dealer I worked for sold them too, and believe me there were a LOT of teething problems on the early cars, several buy backs too.

    Admittedly, Honda and Toyota have recalls, but their quality rating isn't just "perceived" but legitimate. I have owned 6 different Toyotas, 4 used, and 2 new. I had less trouble out of all 6 of them then I did 1 new Dodge. I have owned 2 new Hondas, and have yet to have a problem.

    Now, take my 3 new Chrysler products. - nothing but problems!

    Obviously my personal experience can't be "spread" out, however, the public perception is correct - unless, of course, one has some "American" car agenda, and then one ignores the American poor quality! that public perception has good grounds, and has been demonstrated for years.

    Kinda like BMW motorcycles vs. Harley motorcycles. Which do you prefer? Which is more reliable?

    My last new Toyota, I took in for regular service, and in talking to the mechanic, he said that he used to work at a Ford dealer. He said the difference was like night and day. Which car mfg. do you think he was referring to as being inferior?
    "The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't change every time congress meets." - Will Rogers

  14. #14
    Registered User Glen B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    EVERY manufacturer has recalls, from Cars/MC to Christmas lights, kids toys, power tools, tires you name it.
    The manufacturer of my previous bike had their fair share of issues, some unresolved.

    The have some issues that they should likely have some recalls on, but have not.

    This is not why I bought a BMW but they prompted me to look around, then I saw and tried one of those funny looking little F700GS's and was hooked.

    I am sure that BMW's have their problems, can't say I won't have problems, but I found the I liked the BMW better than what I was riding.
    Last edited by Glen B; 12-28-2013 at 11:53 AM. Reason: typos

  15. #15
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    Obviously my personal experience can't be "spread" out, however, the public perception is correct - unless, of course, one has some "American" car agenda, and then one ignores the American poor quality! that public perception has good grounds, and has been demonstrated for years..............
    As an Engineering Manager at a Manufacturing facility, I frequently reminded people, including the owner of the company that even if your failure rate is miniscule, for that one person that bought the product that failed, it was 100% failure rate in his/hers eyes.


    And PR CAN change perception, back to the Lexus dealership. A customer brought a car in, engine was toast at about 30K miles, they asked the customer if he had any service records, as the dealer records showed none. Customer stated " I have never had the car serviced, and stated something along the line of "I bought this car because it was marketed as the most trouble free and reliable car money could buy". The Lexus service manager called the factory and they said QUOTE " If the crankcase is not full of water from a flood, fix it for free! Not that this was a defect (unless you consider the idiot that owned the car).

    But how things are addressed by the company has a lot to do with the quality perception.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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