1st Mar 2013, 18:15

Wow! For a minute I thought we were on the Lincoln Continental thread, where you are trying to rewrite history about 70's American cars. Those larger V8 cars were just fine. I know this because I actually owned a few GM's from that era. The bad reputations were Vegas, Pintos and Aspens, not the large cars. If you want to talk about Big 3 recalls from back then, you must obviously not pay attention to today's Toyota recall numbers.

1st Mar 2013, 22:15

I agree. The US will soon be a nation without real industry to keep it afloat. You can't have a sustainable economy when one group of people makes a crapload of money, while the other group makes just enough to get by.

I think protectionism is the way to go. Remember that by ruling out revenue tariffs on foreign products, governments must rely solely on domestic taxation to provide its revenue, which falls disproportionately on domestic manufacturing. Allowing foreign goods to enter domestic markets without being subject to tariffs or other forms of taxation, leads to a situation where domestic goods are at a disadvantage, a kind of reverse protectionism.

Of course, I don't think things will get better, as the G20 summit has stated several times that they are against it, and favor neo-liberal economics that completely favor corporate interests. I guess the old saying is true, that if you have enough money, then you have all the power.

As the 19th Century German economist Friedrich List would say, "It is a very common clever device that when anyone has attained the summit of greatness, he kicks away the ladder by which he has climbed up, in order to deprive others of the means of climbing up after him".

Also understand that the US government is destroying our industries by imposing no taxes on foreign goods, but heavily taxing domestic ones.

2nd Mar 2013, 10:40

Yes, the Pinto and Vega. Those two cars were the crap of the crappiest, yet they sold well. Nothing more than a garbled attempt to quickly get into the small car market, to compete with the imports after the oil crisis in 1973.

2nd Mar 2013, 14:28

I'm stil chuckling about the comment that stated that domestic car companies "recalled more cars than they built". That's quite a trick. What did they do? Send recall notices to Toyota owners?

3rd Mar 2013, 12:36

I got a new seat belt latch recall on my GM. Better than the trans recalls on my Acura. It hit the Carfax report with the trans and my car was worth less at trade in.

4th Mar 2013, 15:09

My family owned two Pintos and a gorgeous silver Vega GT. All three of these cars were rock-solid reliable and totally trouble free. The Vega had a 100,000 mile warranty (which was never needed. We never had any problems). And only 23 out of two million Pintos were involved in fires. That's a lower percentage than imports of that day had.

Import manufacturers worked long and hard at creating myths such as those about the Pinto and Vega. Those of us who owned them know better.

5th Mar 2013, 03:48

CarFax reports are a great way to get a good deal on a used car. The reports indicate that problems have been FIXED. But for some reason people are afraid of cars with lots of CarFax entries. One of my last used cars had a CarFax report as long as my arm. It was one of the best cars I ever owned and never had a problem.

Another car I bought used at a real steal had been involved in two accidents involving both ends of the car. It was one of the most dependable cars I ever owned. I put way over 200,000 miles on it with nothing but basic maintenance. It drove great and was amazingly fast.

And CarFaxes are far from accurate. One car I owned had clearly been in a major accident, yet the CarFax didn't show it. It also had an error in the car's mileage of 124,000 miles!

It's sad that people lose money on cars because these silly reports are taken so seriously by people. At best they indicate repairs that have already been made. At worst they are inaccurate and totally bogus.

5th Mar 2013, 20:46

As long as the frame and main components weren't damaged, a car that was involved in an accident and repaired by a real mechanic should be all right. I'm always wary of CarFax and sites like that, charging you like $35 for stuff most car sellers already show you.

6th Mar 2013, 07:18

If you buy a car that has numerous incidents on Carfax, it also is a factor for the next buyer to knock you way down, especially a dealer. What I didn't like was having factory recall items listed as if it's a negative by the very dealer that did the recalls. I traded the car in, garage kept and well maintained. Between their auction lingo that they can buy the very car at an auction for way less, and the Carfax reports, it hurt the resale significantly. Should have walked away.

6th Mar 2013, 20:32

Where a CarFax helps you is where you are buying a used car. A bad CarFax can get you a much lower price. Of course if you don't keep it very long, it will also hurt you when you sell it. I generally buy used cars that I intend to keep for a long time by choosing models with horrible CarFax reports or "Much worse than average" ratings from Consumer Reports. I've gotten some really awesome cars that way at a real steal. I've never gotten a bad car that way.

7th Mar 2013, 10:11

I have a relative with a salvage yard. I have bought salvage cars, insurance and repos. Again, you can get a great buy or a nightmare if there's issues. The same with bad Carfax. If you sell, it will be significantly less. And it's reported salvage on the title on ones I have bought that were wrecked. Carfax cars may show their accidents on some reports. Unibody and front end hits, I avoid. If you can afford to take a chance, it's an alternative. If not, I would buy a nice car with nice service records, vs saving a buck this way. Good luck.

8th Mar 2013, 10:27

I come back on here, and find people clamoring to claim that cars like the Vega and Pinto were absolute marvels of technical engineering, and totally reliable? Why should we at all be surprised? If this were a conversation about Yugos, I am very sure that there will be a few who will blurt out that they had 12 Yugos, and every single one of them were perfect, ran for 400,000 miles, and were absolutely stunning cars to behold. I mean - seriously? The Vega was AWFUL! How bad was it? Well for starters they rusted away like crazy. Second of all, the engines in these things simply shook themselves to death. Well-documented common failures for these were blown head gaskets, because the Reynold aluminum process used for these was failure-prone by design. So Vegas were great cars, huh? Get real!

If there are those who want to claim that American cars from the mid to late 70's were great, then we who actually like cars are pretty happy you're in the minority. If most Americans had been super happy with those cars, then they would have continued to buy them while ignoring the much better Japanese cars of the time, which would have meant that in the end, we would not have the very well engineered American cars of today, that came about simply because the Big Three had to learn how to compete with those brands, and hence made sweeping changes. The end result is that the Big Three now have vastly improved, and highly competitive products that are in lockstep with anything the Japanese Big 3 makes. That was certainly not the case even 10 years ago.

The economics argument is getting old. If there are those who think we should have a state-run style economy, where ONLY the products made here can be bought, then the majority of us who don't think as such, are glad this isn't the case, because ultimately it means our economy is healthier as a result.

As mentioned before, if you want to feel better about blaming something, then don't blame people who used their American freedom to choose what they wanted to buy. Perhaps blame the companies whom failed for decades to get their product lineups right.

I suppose a simple question would be if there are companies - regardless of national origin - would you as a consumer want to buy the better or the worst product? That's what I thought. It's not anyone's responsibility as a consumer to buy something that isn't up to their standards. That's how the economy works. The consumer chooses and the consumer wins. So to me, I find it curious that there are some people who seem to be totally willing to forgo quality in the name of patriotism. Unfortunately I am not rich enough to buy products just because they're made here or there. I buy what happens to be the best product, regardless of where it's made. I work hard for my money.

But as repeated over and over again, a closed economy Does. Not. Work. Period.