Any parts on modern cars being made blatantly disposable?


I make a motion that no one responds to (Requires to much Thinking) as it is a waste of time.


All good thoughts… The Mustang has a number of interior packages and at least 2 different seat designs that I know of. The usual bucket seats made by Lear and the Recaro’s available on certain models likely requiring different airbag inflators. The buckets only have one side bag.


The Mosa inflator data is pretty general. How fast is the discharge? How is this regulated? Since it is a gas generated design, where are the discharge rates with ambiant temperature. I’m not an airbag engineer but there is not nearly enough to spec out the device. No mention of variable rate, as the patent claimed.

Same for the TRW device. Mentions duel state, not variable rate.

Yes, the Takata inflators are used in the 2007 Mustang as I’ve gotten 3 recalls for that car - 2 for the driver’s bag, one for the passenger (no parts yet) My 2013 has a current recall for a Takata inflator for the driver’s bag, no parts available yet.

4 inflators for the 2012-2014 Mustang - Right and left models, two different seat suppliers, Lear or Recaro seats, with different seat designs and upholstery material… I just replaced a seat cover on my driver’s seat and there is a single module in the outside bolster of the seat. It is a shaped device that I assume has a mirror image for the opposite side.

So to answer your 2 questions, I just searched for those part numbers and read the descriptions to determine right, or left, Lear or Recaro seat. Didn’t need my engineering skills to answer the first question. The second question requires a bit of engineering knowledge since the seats are different, the inflator needs to change to accommodate those differences.


Why don’t you do your own research on this. My previous answer to your question of 4 Mustang bags didn’t really require any inside knowledge, now did it?

The Focus is available as a 2-door hatchback, a 4-door sedan and in Europe, a station wagon (or estate). An educated guess would require a different inflator for each variant and each seat style in that variant.

Answer MY question (and several others here) how do you think Ford is profiting from all of this?? From my experience there is only additional COSTS associated with multiple parts, not PROFIT or savings. I caught grief from the manufacturing folks whenever I released a new part number. We had programs to specifically to REDUCE parts count to save money in processing and inventory. Answer the question of how Ford PROFITS from this practice… or stop posting this stuff.


I don’t consider this the same thing. Routine maintenance on your wheels (especially tire replacements) will have these sensors accessible at some point their lives. The batteries generally last the life of the tire. A camshaft, on the other hand, is never going to be easily replaceable while other routine maintenance is going on.

Your beef appears to be more with new, “unnecessary” technology, rather than planned obsolescence.


Does not have to be work time. Anything invented while you work for the company that is remotely related to its core business is owned by the company.

Steve Wazniak had to get permission from HP (because he was working for them at the time) when he invented the first Apple computer. HP in their infinite wisdom didn’t want antmything to do with TOYS.


So what you’re saying is that Ford deliberately engineers more parts than they need to so that they can charge their customers more.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think the parts churn was an offshoot of Sloan’s invention of “styling.” He writes about styling with pride in “My Years with General Motors.” I think they saw how well it worked with sheet metal, and they found it worked with everything else, too.
I am looking for an answer that explains the churn. It seems only this keeps what Ford and all the others are doing from being irrational. Now, way, way back when I was at the university I had a brilliant friend who always said to me, “Never assign to conspiracy what can be explained by stupidity.” I don’t think this can be explained by stupidity. It’s too stupid unless your goal is to make money instead of serve your customer. Of course, this is not a real conspiracy. Nobody needs to organize this. If a building is burning, people in the building don’t need to meet to figure out what to do. Everybody knows enough to get out of the building.
Here are some additional reasons why Ford and all the others use parts churn:
Maintain exclusive production
Car company A anticipates annual production of Inflator1 to be 400,000. Company A calculates that at a production rate of less than 200,000, it will not be profitable enough for another company to manufacture Inflator1. So, it gives an exclusive contract to Part Co. to make 200,000 of Inflator1A and another contract for 200,000 of Inflator1B. If the car sells better than expected and they sell 550,000, they will discontinue Inflator1A and Inflator1B and give another contract for Inflator1C.
Then, after 7 years, 8 years, whatever, they stop production altogether Parts get more difficult to find and more expensive. People who own the car finally give up and buy a new one. They would keep the car if it wasn’t so expensive to keep running, but the parts are too expensive. They have to buy a new one. Forced scrappage.
Also, controlling production so tightly helps control innovation.
====================================================It does not on the surface make sense that Ford would want to render themselves less competitive by artificially making their cars more expensive due to part sourcing rather than profit margin. -------------------------------------------------------------I think the above explains why it does make sense.
It does make sense if everybody else does the same thing (artificially high prices). It makes perfect sense. Everything works perfectly as long as you keep all the cannons securely tied down. Now, if you get some guy - I’ll randomly pick a name - called Elon who doesn’t do things they same way and does serious damage to your carefully crafted and very expensive exclusive dealer network, well, that could be a problem.
Now, it probably would not make sense if everybody didn’t play by the same rules.
The ball is in your court.


Very unlikely that Ford engineered those parts at all. They send out detailed specs to manufacturers andthe manufacturers design them. There is no added cost to Ford.

This isn’t anything new in automotive manufacturing. My first car was a Chevy Vega. There were at least 3 different manual transmission manufacturers. My 1990 Pathfinder used 4 different manufacturers for the wiper motor. I can go in and on.


What a steaming pile of nonsense. NOBODY is getting rid of cars because of this imagined mechanism, which is, if I can figure it out, ‘Ford will specify lots of different parts, so that later (MUCH LATER) they can stop making replacements because it’s no longer economic to do so, thereby forcing folks to abandon their old cars and buy new ones.’

Really? REALLY? For the 8,364,483rd time, all carmakers strive to minimize parts costs through standardization wherever possible. If Ford has several parts numbers, something happened that required it. You and I may not know the details, but no way they did it as some bizarre way to increase new car sales 10 years in the future.

I know this will have no effect…


Who told you these companies get exclusive contracts? That is NOT normal practice. Ford will contract with a company to build x number of parts. They may also sign similar contracts with other companies.

You’re also making an assumption that these sub companies won’t continue to make the same part. That assumption is complete wrong.

One other thing you don’t seem to be aware of is sometimes those sub manufacturers are actually their competitor. New Peocess Gear was owned by Chrysler and was a large manufacturer of 4wd transfer cases. But only 45% of the transfer cases they built went into their Dodge/Ram trucks. The rest went to GM, Ford and even Nissan.


I know. I was referring to what he was saying, not talking about what I would say.

Of course, he then went on to say (at least, I think this is what he said) that because car companies re-style sheet metal to make people want to buy a new car, the same thing must be happening with airbag inflators, which is so off-the-rails stupid that I can’t even think of a way to respond to it.


He doesn’t know the first thing in how vehicles are manufactured


Each of those Focus driver airbags is for a specific application. There are buttons on the airbag cover, the covers are different if the vehicle has Navigation, Sync or trip computer.


The other parts that is without any basis in reality (other than those already mentioned) is the notion that the component supplier has any weight at all to get an exclusive contract for production. That’s rich. It’s totally bass akwards from how it works in the real world. It actually goes something like this- if you want to manufacture inflators for our vehicles, here’s how much we’re going to pay for them and we want you to hold all the inventory and deliver them only when we want them, on a daily basis per the attached schedule. We’ll conveniently give you 24 hours notice on any schedule changes to suit our needs on the line…take it or leave it.


None of your scenarios is how business is done in the auto industry. Many smart folks here have posted the way it actually is done so I won’t duplicate.

So there is no profit motive to create many parts where one would do. Bye-Bye


Not properly understood. The dominant company will declare the design proprietary and restrict the sub from manufacturing the component for any other company.
The contract controls. The dominant company controls the contract.


Silly discussion actually. I think we covered the procurement process pretty good under the whole ignition switch issue. In the bottle cap business, It was interesting how much weight the customer had. We used to do a ton (literally many tons) of Pabst bottle caps. They were big enough to dictate exactly when they wanted a truck load of bottle caps to show up and would reject the whole load if it didn’t show up within their parameters. Didn’t matter that they had a whole warehouse full of bottle caps or what the roads were like. It either shows up or you lose the load.


Just curious, when you punch out those bottle caps from a strip of sheet metal, does the waste product, a metal sheet with a lot of holes in it, get used to make furnace and AC air filters?


Geez I haven’t been there for over 40 years but I do believe some where strapped on pallets to be used for filters and the rest was sold for scrap. I think there are better materials now for filters but yeah that’s what the sheets looked like after going through the punch press.


Please name the part you can’t buy on any 10+ year old car that’s fairly popular? I’ll wait.