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'Marketplace' (the radio show), on the high cost of fixing new cars

Marketplace, the radio show, reported a story on the expense of fixing new cars, especially the front collision detectors embedded in the windshield. 4 minutes.

ah, new car technology. when it works it’s great. when not, it’s expensive. People seem to like it, that’s why the manufactudrers install it. And the sales-staff like to sell it. When I asked a salesman recently to show me a new Corolla without power windows, he said I was old fashioned and walked away … lol … which was a good thing to learn how to get salesmen to leave when they start to become annoying :wink:

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I test drove a Hyundai for$50 and told the salesman I would have bought a Sonata instead of my 2012 Camry because the Hyundai dealership had not seemed interested in getting me a base model with steel wheels. He said, they don’t make one with steel wheels anymore.

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Why would you need to pay for a test drive?


They paid me.


Oh heck YEAH! I’d test drive all day long at $50 a car!

Wow! I never saw that coming, ha, ha, ha!:grin:

Just joking.:smirk: I saw it coming when they started putting on ABS (don’t like it, don’t use it), TPMS (don’t like it, don’t use it), air bags (I always use seat belts), fancy pants headlights (don’t need them), butt heaters (I’ve never experienced cold buttocks), front collision detectors (need that like tap dance lessons or another hole in the head), etcetera… all stuff I can do without.

It’s not just the cost of fixing that junk, but the inconvenience of it, frustration, and shock, too.

All that probably takes a back seat (no pun intended, sorry) to the ridiculously high prices of new cars with all that junk built into them. These cars are like a rolling auto parts warehouse from the Twilight Zone. Half the people in the country now are priced out of buying a new car. :money_mouth_face: I’m not, but I don’t want one… too much garbage I don’t want or need.:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


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Most people do like all of the bells and whistles; until there’s a failure. Then the shop has to listen to a volatile diatribe about the high cost of fixing the problem.

The venom should be directed at the person in the mirror who was madly in love with those bells and whistles when the car was new and in warranty.

Some years ago there was a commercial running on TV here about the Chrysler mini-vans. The entire commercial was dedicated to how many cup holders the vehicle had. I wonder how many people went and bought a severely depreciating asset just because of the cup holder factor…


Have to agree with most of what you said. But I like the tire pressure monitoring ok. At least the way GM did it in 05. It just tells you there’s a differential of some set amount between the 4 tires. It doesn’t tell you which tire is low, how many psi, etc., so it may or may not be a more reliable system. I haven’t had a problem with it anyway and it’s 14 yrs old. I also didn’t want a backup camera, but I’ve come to like that feature in my wife’s suv. Pretty handy.

I do agree on the heated seats, massaging seats, heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise, blind spot monitoring, yadda, yadda as being a little too much. But that’s what most buyers seem to want.

A friend of my wife traded in her 2 or 3 year old low mileage Tahoe (or Yukon, not sure) for a new one with a couple more gadgets and because it was like a few inches longer! Other than that, it’s exactly the same down to the paint color. It’s already a battleship, how are you going to notice a few more inches seating room or cargo space?!? Maybe she’s that sensitive to length. Maybe her butt is less cold tolerant than mine. I dunno.

We owned a car with heated seats. My wife liked it. It always gave me the uneasy feeling that I might’ve had an accident in the seat.

Ah well. I’d definitely test drive those heated seats again for 50 bucks. Oldtimer has it figured out!

OK, I’ll shut up pretty soon. I’ve never been paid for a test drive but the Kia dealer used to send me a key. All you had to do was hop on over and try the key in the door to see if you won it or not. Hard to get out of the place again though with out getting insulting. I don’t know if anyone actually ended up winning-maybe the dealer’s wife.

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I was very disappointed when I found that our latest car ( 2017 Hyundai Sonata) came without heated seats, but it’s a base trim level, so that’s what you get. Plus my wife pointed out that, since I retired, I’m only in the car once every couple of weeks, so it shouldn’t matter to me, and her commute is only 10 minutes, so she doesn’t care.

Not everyone wants airbags but we will all get them

I don’t mind having that TPMS, I’ve got it on 3 of my GM cars, the oldest is an 01. Works great and since it utilizes the ABS wheel speed sensors, already there, I’m sure it adds little to the car’s cost and repair costs compared with the goofy over-the-top idea of putting transmitters with batteries inside each wheel and trying to teach the car where they went. I’ve got those, too… don’t need it.

I check and correct tires each month as I should. If I have to have TPMS then just give me one that lets me know if I’m getting a flat and I’ll take it from there.

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Reminds of a funny story about a co-worker couple here in Silicon Valley. With their second kid on the way, she and hubby wanted to add a little more space to their home’s family/tv room. Expand one wall out about 6 feet. Contractor said he could do it for $5,000, but only if they limited the expansion to 5 feet 6 inches. To extend the full 6 feet required an engineering study for the foundation. Hubby was fine with 5 feet 6 inches, but the wifey insisted the wall must be extend the full 6 feet. Add’l cost for that 6 inches? $20,000. Wifey got her way. Paid in full.

‘When the Windshield Helps Drive the Car, a Repair Isn’t So Simple’

When car companies started embedding the radio antenna in glass, they did it with the windshield. That increased the replacement cost dramatically, causing the car builders to switch to putting the antenna in the rear window.

Years ago an a local car talk radio show, they talked about how in the future, cars would not be bought but just rented so that all the repairs and maintenance would just be done be dealers. Having a car under warranty sure helps with repair expenses.

Also I’m not so sure the the push for leasing isn’t a part of that overall strategy. OTOH it makes sense for companies because they get to transfer the interest costs on their floor plan, can pretty much insure that the car will come to the dealer for repairs, and maybe most importantly, they are guaranteed to have a shot at the customer again when they return their car.