Mexico's booming car industry selling unsafe cars

Nov 28, 2013 by Adriana Gomez Licon
In this image taken from a March 2013 video released by independent crash-test group Latin NCAP on Nov. 27, 2013, a Nissan model Tsuru vehicle with no airbags is crash-tested at Latin NCAP's facilities in Landsberg am Lech, Germany.VMany international car manufacturers with plants in Mexico produce two versions of cars; sending models with air bags, antilock brakes and electronic stability control to the United States, and cars without those safety features to the local market. (AP Photo/Latin NCAP)

In Mexico's booming auto industry, the cars rolling off assembly lines may look identical, but how safe they are depends on where they're headed.

Vehicles destined to stay in Mexico or go south to the rest of Latin America carry a code signifying there's no need for antilock braking systems, electronic stability control, or more than two , if any, in its basic models.

If the cars will be exported to the United States or Europe, however, they must meet stringent safety laws, including as many as six to 10 air bags, and stability controls that compensate for slippery roads and other road dangers, say engineers who have worked in Mexico-based auto factories.

Because the price of the two versions of the cars is about the same, the dual system buttresses the bottom lines of automakers such as General Motors and Nissan. But it's being blamed for a surge in auto-related fatalities in Mexico, where laws require virtually no safety protections.

"We are paying for cars that are far more expensive and far less safe," said Alejandro Furas, technical director for Global New Car Assessment Program, or NCAP, a vehicle group. "Something is very wrong."

In 2011, nearly 5,000 drivers and passengers in Mexico died in accidents, a 58 percent increase since 2001, according to the latest available data from the country's transportation department. Over the same decade, the U.S. reduced the number of auto-related fatalities by 40 percent. The death rate in Mexico, when comparing fatalities with the size of the fleet, is more than 3.5 times that of the U.S.

Nevertheless, Mexico hasn't introduced any safety proposals other than general seat belt requirements for its 22-million strong auto fleet. Even then, the laws don't mandate three-point shoulder belts necessary to secure child safety seats.

Brazil and Argentina, on the other hand, have passed laws requiring all vehicles to have dual front air bags and antilock braking systems by next year.

An Associated Press investigation this year found that Brazil's auto plants produce cars aimed at Latin American consumers that lack basic . Like Brazil, Mexico doesn't run its own crash test facility to rank cars' safety before they hit the road.

Dr. Arturo Cervantes Trejo, director of the Mexican Health Ministry's National Accident Prevention Council, said the country has a long way to go to upgrade safety standards, but challenging the nation's $30 billion auto industry could be difficult.

"It's a complicated subject because of the amount of money carmakers bring to this country. The economy protects them," Cervantes told the AP. "But there are plans, there is a strategy. We have a working group with the car industry."

Auto plants cover a swath of central Mexico, cranking out about 3 million cars a year while lifting into the middle class auto hubs in the states of Aguascalientes and Puebla. In a matter of a few years, Mexico has become the world's fourth biggest auto exporter, despite having no homegrown brands, and the country's car fleet doubled between 2001 and 2011, the latest national figures show.

In fact, consumers in "first-world" countries are paying the same or even less for safer cars.

For example, basic versions of Mexico's second most popular car, the Nissan Versa, made in central Aguascalientes, come with two air bags, but without electronic stability control systems, which use sensors to activate brakes when a car loses control.

The sticker price of the newer generation of the sedan comes to $16,000. The U.S. version of the same car has six air bags in the front, on the sides and mounted in the roof, in addition to an electronic stability control system. That sticker price is about $14,000.

In this image taken from a March 2013 video released by independent crash-test group Latin NCAP on Nov. 27, 2013, a Nissan model Tsuru vehicle with no airbags is crash-tested at Latin NCAP's facilities in Landsberg am Lech, Germany. Many international car manufacturers with plants in Mexico produce two versions of cars; sending models with air bags, antilock brakes and electronic stability control to the United States, and cars without those safety features to the local market. (AP Photo/Latin NCAP)

Similarly, the basic version of the Chevrolet Aveo, which has been revamped and renamed Sonic, sells for about $14,000 in the U.S. and comes with 10 air bags, antilock brakes and traction control. Its Mexican equivalent, the country's top-selling car, doesn't have any of those protections and costs only $400 less.

Nissan Mexicana spokesman Herman Morfin said in a statement it is "common practice" to add different features, depending on the intended market.

"Because there are many choices of specifications and equipment, specific marketing strategies by country, in addition to the tax difference among countries, states and cities, also including transportation and delivery costs, it's not possible to make a direct comparison among vehicles sold in each market, based on the list price published on the Web," Morfin said.

Morfin said two of Nissan's most popular models—the Versa and the Sentra—are packaged with two air bags and an antilock braking system, which is more than what's required by the Mexican government.

While GM declined repeated requests to comment, an engineer who headed a manufacturing division at the company in Mexico until last year said the company saved on costs by not adding safety features.

In this Nov. 22, 2013 photo, commuters drive on a main thoroughfare in Mexico City. Mexico hasn't introduced any safety proposals other than general seat belt requirements for its auto fleet. Even then, the laws don't mandate three-point shoulder belts necessary to secure child safety seats. Brazil and Argentina, on the other hand, have passed laws requiring all vehicles to have dual front air bags and antilock braking systems by next year. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

"For the company to make more net profit and so that cars are sold at more affordable prices, we would toss aside some accessories. Air bags, ABS brakes, those were the first to go," the engineer said. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing a confidentiality agreement with the company.

Three other engineers who worked with Nissan and GM for four years and are still involved in auto design for other carmakers were interviewed on similar conditions of anonymity, and they confirmed the companies built cars with vastly different safety features depending on where they'd be sold.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said air bags and have prevented tens of thousands of injuries in auto accidents and reduced fatal crashes by as much as a third in the U.S.

Paco de Anda, the director of the Mexican chapter for the accident-prevention group Safe Kids, said Latin American consumers have to pay extra for those protections.

"Features that are already mandatory in other countries, here they are selling them as optional items," De Anda said. "People here have no education about road safety ... so they don't pay for it."

A GM worker who gets paid $100 a week said people in Latin America cannot afford to buy cars that are fully loaded with safety features.

"We're not first-world countries," said the worker, who asked not to be identified because he was afraid of losing his job at the GM plant in the town of Ramos Arizpe, where Chevrolet Sonics, Cadillac SRXs and Captiva SUVs are assembled.

In this Sept. 19, 2013 photo, cars produced in Mexico for export are parked at the port terminal in the Gulf city of Veracruz, Mexico. Many international car manufacturers with plants in Mexico produce two versions of cars; sending models with air bags, antilock brakes and electronic stability control to the United States, and cars without those safety features to the local market. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Yet crash test results show exactly what's being sacrificed for savings.

One of Nissan's most popular models in Mexico, the Tsuru, is so outdated it has only lap seat belts in the back and some versions have no air bags at all. The car is not sold in the U.S. or Europe.

At a recent Latin NCAP crash test presentation, the Tsuru's driver's door ripped off upon impact at only 37 mph. Its roof collapsed and the steering wheel slammed against the crash test dummy's chest. The Tsuru scored zero stars out of a possible five.

When asked about the crash test, Nissan representatives replied in an email that "consumers continue to ask for it because of its durability, reliability and affordability," without responding specifically to the test results. More than 300,000 Tsurus have been sold in Mexico in the past six years, at about $10,000 each.

Carlos Gomez and his wife Diana Martinez were driving their two small children in a red Tsuru from their northern Mexican town of Doctor Arroyo across the length of Mexico to Chiapas state for Holy Week holidays in March. The sky turned dark as they neared central Mexico, and less than 250 miles from home they were hit head-on by a drunken driver in a red Ford Ranger pickup truck.

The couple died from chest and head injuries; the steering wheel struck Gomez's chest and the dashboard crushed his wife's head. The children survived but spent weeks in the hospital. Six-year-old Carlos still wears a cast from the waist down. He cannot walk.

In this Nov. 22, 2013 photo, men drive a Nissan Tsuru through a main thoroughfare in Mexico City. One of Nissan's most popular models in Mexico, the Tsuru, is so outdated it has lap seat belts in the back, meaning it's often impossible to fasten a child seat as designed - nor do all models come with air bags. The car is not sold in the U.S. or Europe. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

"Their car was way worse off than the car the other boy was driving," said the mother's brother, Agustin Martinez. "We want more robust cars."

The family said the investigation didn't determine whether air bags would have saved the parents' lives, but there was an air bag in the truck that struck them. The driver was not injured.

Furas, of Global NCAP, said changing automaker behavior will require the region's few watchdog groups and especially government regulators to apply far more pressure on automakers.

Volkswagen, for one, began adding two air bags to its Clasico model after the German carmaker learned that Latin NCAP was going to choose the car for crash testing because of its popularity, Furas said. The model sold in Europe and the U.S. as Jetta comes standard with six air bags.

"Mexico has to take a good look at itself, at the problems it's facing," Furas said. "It is selling unsafe cars to its own people, when it can be selling safe cars that it can build."

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ormondotvos
5 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2013
So the car companies are profiting from the woes of the poor countries.

What a surprise.
VendicarE
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2013
Yet more proof that Corporations will always require regulation by government to force them serve the interests of the people rather than the interests of their own bank accounts.

Unregulated Capitalism is about providing the customer the worst possible product at the highest possible price.

Never forget that.
Eikka
2 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2013
Unregulated Capitalism is about providing the customer the worst possible product at the highest possible price.

Never forget that.


You get what you ask for. If you're happy with the inferior product, there's no point selling you a better one. Mexicans are obviously not happy anymore, so they will presumably vote with their wallets and shop elsewhere for cars that are safer.

The problem is not lack of regulation, but lack of information. Since there is no consumer testing and reliable statistics, the people don't know what they're buying and how much they should be paying for it. That's mostly the reason for the high prices and poor quality.

And also government imposed regulations and fees on imports which gives an unfair advantage to the domestic manufacturers that can abuse the situation to compete with worse products.
VendicarE
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2013
"You get what you ask for." - Eikka

Quite impossible, since there are a limited number of selections available.

The fact is.... You get what the market limits you in having.

Tens of thousands of people asked Microsoft for a version of Windows that didn't contain all of the metro crap they are pushing down people's throats.

Why didn't they get it?

VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2013
"The problem is not lack of regulation, but lack of information." - Eikka

Keeping the consumer ignorant is among the primary goals of every corporation.

The next time you go to a store, go to the general manager and ask what the defect rate on product xyz is. Get back to us with the results.

Do you think that the corporation doesn't track defect rates? Or is just not interested in telling consumers what they are?

If corporations were not interested in keeping consumers ignorant then why do they fight tooth and nail against any and all new labeling requirements that are proposed to inform the customer?

I want to purchase products in plastic containers that are colored to encode the type of plastic being used, for the purpose of facilitating the recycling of that plastic. Why has industry fought every attempt to do this if keeping consumers informed is their goal?

dav_daddy
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2013
There is a difference between providing relevant information and providing irrelevant, unnecessary, useless information. In this country companies can get in trouble for that as well. Especially when the irrelevant information is likely to confuse the customer.

The happy medium between no info and info overload is something for each country to determine. The same as the decision of whether to conduct crash and other safety testing.

Btw. Depending on the discount if I were given a choice to buy a car with all the safety crap removed and save 5-7k I would do it. So maybe we have too much gov't acting like mommy here.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2013
The fact is.... You get what the market limits you in having.


Funny you should say that, when the article points out that VW started making better cars fofr the Mexican market the moment they heard they were going to get tested for safety. It's really what you demand.

The next time you go to a store, go to the general manager and ask what the defect rate on product xyz is. Get back to us with the results.


My local computer store publishes the information at their website because all the product returns and warranty handling cost them a load of money.

Why didn't they get it?


Because they still keep buying the version with Metro in it instead of actually voting with their wallets and going to the competitor. If you don't like Windows, buy a mac or install Linux.

Although sales of Win8 computers are not doing very well, so it's just a matter of time. Either Microsoft fixes their error, or they slowly wither away, or people decide they like Metro after all
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2013
Do you think that the corporation doesn't track defect rates? Or is just not interested in telling consumers what they are?


More and more retail companies are starting to find that it's cheaper to let the customers rate their products and publish information, because they avoid continued purchases of subpar goods that the people don't really want to buy. The retailers need the information just as much as the customers do, because they need to be able to choose the supplier that doesn't try to peddle them bullshit in a pretty box.

For companies like Walmart that control the whole chain from start to finish though, the question remains why are you still shopping at Walmart? You know they're trying to sell you a turd sandwich, yet you keep giving them money.
VendicarE
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2013
"There is a difference between providing relevant information and providing irrelevant, unnecessary, useless information" - day-daddy

I don't agree with your assertion that corporations are keeping people safe by keeping them ignorant.

"The happy medium between no info and info overload is something for each country to determine. " - day daddy

Since it isn't the country that is purchasing the item, shouldn't it be the individual to decide?

Why do you suddenly change the context?

Further, if it is the nation who should decide, then you have just admitted that imposed regulation is a requirement to correct for the fact that Corporations have a policy of keeping their customers ignorant.

VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2013
"More and more retail companies are starting to find that it's cheaper to let the customers rate their products and publish information." - Eikka

Are you sure that it isn't making it easier for Corporations to dupe their customers?

Gartner Says By 2014, 10-15 Percent of Social Media Reviews to Be Fake, Paid for By Companies

http://www.gartne.../2161315

Fortunately Government is attempting to halt this Corporate Corruption.

Organizations who opt to pay for phoney reviews can, and have, faced both public condemnation as well as monetary fines. In 2009, the FTC determined that paying for positive reviews without disclosing that the reviewer had been compensated equates to deceptive advertising and would be prosecuted as such.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2013
I want to purchase products in plastic containers that are colored to encode the type of plastic being used, for the purpose of facilitating the recycling of that plastic. Why has industry fought every attempt to do this if keeping consumers informed is their goal?


Because it's an idiotic demand. Plastics are already labeled for recycling.

Think about it for a moment. If all PET bottles were blue, how'd you know coke from pepsi? Or how about if you couldn't get a laptop in any other color than pink because that's the color of ABS?

And by taking away the producers choice of color for their packaging material, you take away one way of informing the customer that they are different products. You'd force them to add more packaging to cover the generic stuff.

And how would you deal with transparent plastics? Only have one type of transparent plastic?
VendicarE
2 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2013
"You know they're trying to sell you a turd sandwich, yet you keep giving them money." - Eikka

WalMart got it's start in the Conservative South where people literally eat dirt on occasion. It is why the Soil in the south is often called "sweet".

In any case, are you saying that it is ok to sell turd sandwiches as long as you dupe your customers and keep them ignorant of that fact?

Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2013
Are you sure that it isn't making it easier for Corporations to dupe their customers?


Think about how much it would cost a corporation to hire people to make all those fake reviews just to cover up for a bad product.

VendicarE
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2013
"Because it's an idiotic demand. Plastics are already labeled for recycling." - Eikka

Have you found some magical way to recycle Polystyrene in the same manner as PolyvinylChloride or Polyester?

If so then you should tell the plastics industry who don't yet have a solution to that problem.

But more interestingly you have just contradicted your original claim that consumers get what they ask for.

I have asked for something, and it has been denied me. Your response is to claim the very rational request is irrational.

Is that how Corporations serve the people? By deciding what the people can and can not have?

If so, then you have admitted that Consumers are granted limited choices in the marketplace.

Choices that are determined by Corporate interests, not consumer interests.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2013

In any case, are you saying that it is ok to sell turd sandwiches as long as you dupe your customers and keep them ignorant of that fact?


Are you implying that I do?

You can't absolve the customer of all responsibility towards their own purchases any more than you can excuse the company for trying to obfuscate bad quality. If you keep shoveling money to a company that screws you between the toes while you sleep, it's not really sending out the correct message.

Have you found some magical way to recycle Polystyrene in the same manner as PolyvinylChloride or Polyester?


Don't shift the goalpost.

I have asked for something, and it has been denied me. Your response is to claim the very rational request is irrational.


Your demand is unreasonable. Forcing certain plastic materials to be of certain color is shooting a fly with a cannon because plastics are already labeled for their type for recycling purposes.
VendicarE
3 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2013
"Think about how much it would cost a corporation to hire people to make all those fake reviews just to cover up for a bad product." - Eikka

I personally know at least one person is is paid to seek out and contradict bad on line reviews of his companies products. He is required to do it when his other work duties are completed.

His department is Sales.

---

As much as 30 percent of the reviews posted by customers online are fakes, according to estimates by a University of Illinois at Chicago professor and customer review researcher Bing Liu.

Cornell University did a survey of 166 Amazon top 1,000 reviewers, and 85 percent had received free products from either publishers or manufactures. Of that reviewer pool, 78 percent said they often posted a review of products under similar circumstances

"You'll see listings from people (where) as little as 50 cents can buy someone a 50 word review of a product or service," said Kelli Grant, MarketWatch senior consumer reporter.

Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2013
Is that how Corporations serve the people? By deciding what the people can and can not have?

If so, then you have admitted that Consumers are granted limited choices in the marketplace.


So if the industry won't voluntarily limit the colors that plastics come in, that is in your opinion proof that the industry is limiting your choices in the marketplace?

I personally know at least one person is is paid to seek out and contradict bad on line reviews of his companies products.


That's why you don't count the positive reviews when searching for a new product. You count the negative reviews and see what sorts of complaints people have.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"Think about it for a moment. If all PET bottles were blue, how'd you know coke from pepsi? " - Eikka

If bottles were white, how could you tell bleach from milk?

I suppose you would use the shape of the container and the product label.

Do you think that you have enough mental capacity to do that?

Gosh, it sounds so hard.

Black car, Blue car. How can people possibly distinguish between the models?

VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"So if the industry won't voluntarily limit the colors that plastics come in, that is in your opinion proof that the industry is limiting your choices in the marketplace?" - Eikka

It is certainly sufficient.

It is self evident that one can not go to a store and purchase an item that doesn't exist.

Your insistance that they can do so makes me laugh.

Your belief that corporations will magically create such a product makes me laugh even more.

I wish to purchase a car that doesn't have a muffler system that is made from steel that rots away rapidly and requires costly replacement.

How has the industry met my requirements?

Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 29, 2013
I suppose you would use the shape of the container and the product label.


More material needed for covering the generic-color container. And still, what about transparent plastics? You can't use the same kind with every product.

Do you think that you have enough mental capacity to do that?


If in a store I see rows and rows of white plastic bottles, it is going to take more work and closer examination for me to spot the brand that I want and differentiate whether there are any other brands available.

Black car, Blue car. How can people possibly distinguish between the models?


There's a reason why Ferrari has a trademark red that can't be copied by other manufacturers - it's recognizable.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 29, 2013
It is self evident that one can not go to a store and purchase an item that doesn't exist.

Your insistance that they can do so makes me laugh.

Your belief that corporations will magically create such a product makes me laugh even more.


You are really demanding the impossible and then laughing at your own stupidity. Not at me.

No kind of market can create all the kinds of products that you could imagine to demand because most of them would make absolutely no sense, or couldn't be manufactured at reasonable prices, or at all.

Especially when you're not willing to pay anything at all for any of it.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"You count the negative reviews and see what sorts of complaints people have." - Eikka

Yes. Negative reviews can be very effective. Which is why Corporations have also been caught paying for the writing of negative reviews of their competitors products on line.

In a Race to Out-Rave, 5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5

Sandra Parker, a freelance writer who was hired by a review factory this spring to pump out Amazon reviews for $10 each, said her instructions were simple. "We were not asked to provide a five-star review, but would be asked to turn down an assignment if we could not give one," said Ms. Parker, whose brief notices for a dozen memoirs are stuffed with superlatives like "a must-read" and "a lifetime's worth of wisdom."

Negative reviews also abound on the Web; they are often posted on restaurant and hotel sites by business rivals. But as Trevor J. Pinch, a sociologist at Cornell who has just published a study of Amazon reviewers...

http://www.nytime...tml?_r=0
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"You are really demanding the impossible and then laughing at your own stupidity." - Eikka

So you believe that it is impossible to create coke bottles that are white, or automobile exhaust systems that don't rapidly corrode.

And you are calling me stupid?

Bahahahahahahahahah.....

Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 29, 2013
Yes. Negative reviews can be very effective. Which is why Corporations have also been caught paying for the writing of negative reviews of their competitors products on line.


But then instead of puffing your own product, you have to smear multiple competing products which costs more money because of the multiplied effort.

You have to expect some amount of noise in the signal. That doesn't make the information worthless.
VendicarE
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2013
"No kind of market can create all the kinds of products that you could imagine" - Eikka

Then you have just admitted that Corporations restrict market choices.

Your claim that consumers are free in their choices is therefore nothing but fraud on your part.

Corporations exist to provide the worst possible product at the highest possible price.

Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 29, 2013
So you believe that it is impossible to create coke bottles that are white, or automobile exhaust systems that don't rapidly corrode.

And you are calling me stupid?

Bahahahahahahahahah.....


By this point I'd rather call you seriously delusional, because you're obviously seeing things that aren't there.

Then you have just admitted that Corporations restrict market choices.


Reality restricts market choices. You can't have everything. If you demand the industry to only use certain colors for plastics for example, then you can't have your plastic products in any other color without painting them, and then you have to pay extra for them to be painted.

So you just limited your own choices.

VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"most of them would make absolutely no sense, or couldn't be manufactured at reasonable prices" - Eikka

And again, why do you believe that making white coke bottles and automotive exhaust systems that do not rapidly corrode is impossible?

It seems to me that they are quite possible. So why has industry restricting my choice and preventing me from purchasing such?

I want a model xyz Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner that uses ball bearings in metal casings rather than the sleeve bearings inserted into plastic.

I want a model xyz Dirt Devil vacuum that uses a brush and beater bar that is a standard type for it's brush rotor width, so that I can change them as they wear out.

Why is industry preventing me from realizing such a choice?

Why is the dirt devil corporation keeping the consumer ignorant by not allowing them to know how their vacuums are constructed and preventing them from knowing their failure rate?

Why are Corporations purposely keeping their customers ignorant?
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
By this point I'd rather call you seriously delusional, because you're obviously seeing things that aren't there.

But didn't you implicitly claim that the marketplace would meet the consumer need by creating what is now not there?

"Consumers get what they ask for" you claimed.

Now you claim.... "You can't have everything."

And this means that Consumers don't get what they ask for. What consumers get is what is decided upon by Corporations. A fact that you took issue with.

I have been personally told by a former design engineer at Ford that the standard industry design goal is to produce a car that works without failure for 100,000 miles and then falls apart.

Is that the design goal that consumers are demanding? Or are they restricted to choosing cars that are all made with the same design goal in mind?

How many consumers know that this is one of the design criterion in the car that they are purchasing?

Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2013
And again, why do you believe that making white coke bottles and automotive exhaust systems that do not rapidly corrode is impossible?


Why do you keep insisting I do? Are you obtuse?

It seems to me that they are quite possible. So why has industry restricting my choice and preventing me from purchasing such?


Did you actually try telling anyone relevant that you want such a product? Have you actually looked around to see if there isn't one available already from a different manufacturer?

Why is the dirt devil corporation keeping the consumer ignorant by not allowing them to know how their vacuums are constructed and preventing them from knowing their failure rate?


Do you really believe they actually have such power when just about anyone could take one apart and simply look?

They're not. People simply aren't asking the questions.

More importantly, why do you think you individually matter in this question?
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2013
But didn't you implicitly claim that the marketplace would meet the consumer need by creating what is now not there?

"Consumers get what they ask for" you claimed.

Consumers get what they demand - that is all the consumers collectively, not you individually.


Now you claim.... "You can't have everything."


Indeed. You can't have a bald man with hair because it's a logical contradiction. It's the same sort of contradiction as what you're trying to make when you demand the market to provide you with everything you can imagine regardless of what other people want or what is economically feasible.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"If you demand the industry to only use certain colors for plastics for example, then you can't have your plastic products in any other color without painting them, and then you have to pay extra for them to be painted." - Eikka

You mean that making all plastic food containers from clear polyester requires all bottles be painted?

That is odd, because to me, all cola's look the same, diet/regular/no cafeen, and they come in at least a half dozen brands at my local grocery. Dr. Pepper looks identical as well. So does grape, Root Beer and some others.

None of the bottles are painted to distinguish between one or the other drink. They use labels to do that.

Once again, in your zeel to defend Corporations, you say all manner of stupid things.

Painting bottles? Childish Nonsense. Pure idiocy.

Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 29, 2013
You mean that making all plastic food containers from clear polyester requires all bottles be painted?


What if you need opaque containers to prevent fouling by light? Beer bottles come to mind.

Painting bottles? Childish Nonsense. Pure idiocy.


Your demand, not mine.

Btw. you don't seem to know much about plastics. Bottles for example are often made of a layered nylon-PET mixture which better prevents the carbonation from escaping. If you wanted all nylon to be clear as well, then you'd affect everything from shirts to shoes.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"Why do you keep insisting I do?" - Eikka

Because that is the direct implication of what you have claimed.

I have asked for the production of cars that have automotive exhausts that do not rapidly corrode, and you have responded by saying that I am stupid for asking for things that are impossible.

By direct implication then, you have claimed that my request is an impossibility.

If you are now saying that it isn't an impossibility to do so then you have admitted that I have made a realistic choice and that choice is not possible because Industry has decided that such products will not be provided.

And by doing that you have contradicted your statement that consumers get what they ask for.

Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 29, 2013
Because that is the direct implication of what you have claimed.


No it isn't. It's just your misrepresentation of the whole argument.

I have asked for the production of cars that have automotive exhausts that do not rapidly corrode, and you have responded by saying that I am stupid for asking for things that are impossible.


I have not touched the issue with automotive exhausts because you've been gish-gallopping around the place so fast that I can't reply to everything in 1000 characters.

As for that, how much more are you willing to pay for such an exhaust system? What if it cost more than the cost of replacing the steel mufflers every 100k miles?

then you have admitted that I have made a realistic choice


Non-sequitur.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"What if you need opaque containers to prevent fouling by light?" - Eikka

Use a different plastic. Milk Containers at one time were made from paper and wax to prevent uv-decomposition.

Once again in your zeel to excuse the failures of the marketplace, you claim problems where there are none. Problems that were solved long ago.

All PTFE containers white? Impossible you claim.

Childish Nonsense.

VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"No it isn't. It's just your misrepresentation of the whole argument." - Eikka

You started this argument by claiming that (consumers get what they ask for) and rejecting the fact that consumers are restricted to a menu of products dictated to them by corporations.

If you have now changed your opinion on these matters, then feel free to correct yourself now.
VendicarE
5 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"What if it cost more than the cost of replacing the steel mufflers every 100k miles?" - Eikka

What if it doesn't?

The design criterion for automotive muffler systems is 1. to reduce noise, and 2, to be bent in such a manner that simple replacement is impossible, and 3, to provide an aftermarket for spare parts thereby increasing the profits of the car company.

I don't see any "the consumer gets what they ask for", in that list.

Do you?
Eikka
2 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2013
Use a different plastic.


All PTFE containers white? Impossible you claim.


What if you need black or transparent PTFE somewhere? White isn't completely opaque to light unless very thick, and you may want a non-stick transparent surface on some other product.

Why do you want to limit these options?

Once again in your zeel to excuse the failures of the marketplace, you claim problems where there are none. Problems that were solved long ago.


Really. You want to color-code plastic containers in order to separate them for recycling, when the same problem is already solved by labeling them. You're parading a solution to a problem that doesn't exist in order to claim victory to an argument that only you are having.

You're not really proving any points here.
Eikka
2 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2013
the fact that consumers are restricted to a menu of products dictated to them by corporations.


If that were the fact, it would require that corporations have no competition that tries to innovate and gauge for consumer demand to gain market share or to open new product niches.

I don't see any "the consumer gets what they ask for", in that list.

Do you?


It is not literally there because you didn't put it there, but it is implicit because the whole reason why mufflers exist is because consumers want less noise out of their cars. If they didn't demand it, there would be no mufflers in car exhausts.

What you do have there is a huge strawman that you seem to enjoy beating all too much.

And with that I bid you good night.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"Bottles for example are often made of a layered nylon-PET mixture which better prevents the carbonation from escaping." - Eiklka

Not that I can confirm. In fact soda bottles are generally marked as plastic type <1> which means that they are made from PET.

If they were a significant mixture of plastics they would be marked as type <7>, and they aren't.

This is completely irrelevant of course, since the goal is plastic recycling,

VendicarE
3 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2013
"If that were the fact, it would require that corporations have no competition that tries to innovate and gauge for consumer demand to gain market share or to open new product niches." - Eikka

Also false. Corporation don't pay much attention to public opinion. If they did they would act on the perpetual public demand for products with longer lifetimes.

Does Ford ever ask it's customers if they want a car that lasts longer than 100,000 miles, and modify their design goals with those answers in mind?

Nope.

Did Microsoft listen to it's customers when they demanded a version of Windows 8, without the Metro Crap?

Nope.

Corporations chose to do those things that will maximize their profits and which they feel they can convince the public to purchase.

Their goal is to produce the worst possible product at the highest possible price, and use marketing to convince an ignorant public that their shoddy product is worthy of being owned.
VendicarE
3 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2013
If keeping their customers ignorant isn't job #1 for corporations, then why doesn't Ford tell it's customers that it's cars are designed with the goal of falling apart at 100,000 miles?

Why doesn't the vacuum maker tell it's customers that it's motor bearings are metal sleeves inserted into plastic rather than ball bearings?

Why doesn't the maker of multi-cutters tell it's customers that it's primary drive worm gear is made from plastic rather than metal?

Why not tell the customer that your plastic tarp is prone to ripping in cold weather?

Why not tell the customer that the power supply in your TV is improperly manufactured and tends to fail after 2 years?

Why not tell the customer that your dog food contains melamine?

Why not tell the customer that your dog food contains ground up dogs and cats?

Why not tell the customer that your wallboard out-gasses large quantitites of sulfur dioxide?

The corruption of Corporations is boundless.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"the whole reason why mufflers exist is because consumers want less noise out of their cars." - Eikka

Yes, and the Corporate goal is to provide the worst possible muffler system at the highest possible price,

And that is why they corrode rapidly and fail.

Ask any car owner if they want a better muffler system. They will say yes.

Yet the car companies refuse to provide one and thereby restrict the consumer to purchase only what THEY WISH the consumer to purchase.

That fact is self evident.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"You want to color-code plastic containers in order to separate them for recycling, when the same problem is already solved by labeling them." - Eikka

Are you referring to those tiny, almost impossible to read letters embossed somewhere, who knows where, on some plastic containers?

How do those facilitate sorting at a recycling center? You gonna pay some chimps to spend all day sorting through 1000 bottles?

Sorry, that is impractical. Color based sorting is required if the sorting is to be made efficient, and automated.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"You're parading a solution to a problem that doesn't exist in order to claim victory to an argument that only you are having." - Eikka

-
The recycling of plastic isn't a problem?

Here on planet earth it is.

What planet do you live on?

-
Automotive reliability can't be improved?

Here on planet earth it can be.

What planet do you live on?

-
Consumers get what they ask for?

Not here on planet earth.

What planet to you live on?

VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"What if you need black or transparent PTFE somewhere?" - Eikka

Then I question your use of the word "need".

I can think of no situations where one would "need" a specific color to solve any engineering problem that could not be solved in another way.

Try and find one.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"Painting bottles? Childish Nonsense. Pure idiocy." - me

"Your demand, not mine." - Eikka

And now you lie.

I did not demand bottles be painted. You claimed that they would need to be painted to compensate for the fact that the underlying plastic was a fixed color.

And that claim - your response - is childish nonsense, and pure, unadulterated, idiocy.

VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2013
"Consumers get what they demand - that is all the consumers collectively" - Eikka

Collectively, consumers have been asking manufacturers to stop making shoddy products.

So far over the entire history of mankind has been to ignore those requests and most recently to begin to build ever worse products and switch models and brands as an excuse to make consumers re-purchase the same product in a different shape or color.

When will the marketplace begin to provide what consumers are really asking for rather than providing consumers only those limited choices that allow corporations to produce and sell the worst possible product at the highest possible price?

VendicarE
not rated yet Nov 29, 2013
"More material needed for covering the generic-color container. " - Eikka

Excuses.. Excuses... Excuses...

Is that all you have?
aroc91
not rated yet Nov 29, 2013

When will the marketplace begin to provide what consumers are really asking for rather than providing consumers only those limited choices that allow corporations to produce and sell the worst possible product at the highest possible price?



That will happen when consumers pull their collective heads out of their assets and boycott properly. Consumers are only forced to buy necessities, as the name implies.