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Q: Design and quality of modern cars

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With plastic and electronic use exploding in modern cars, how much more planned up lessons do you think automators can have?

They can have as much as they want now. There are no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. I’ll give you a story that goes back to my childhood. When I was a kid, my parents bought one of those fancy RCA TV sets, one of the early colored ones. It came with a big wooden console and it also had a record player and the radio built into it. When that thing was nine months off, it stopped working and we had to call the radio repair man, the TV man. He came and he knew exactly what was wrong. He went to the back and it was a fuse that had blown and he deliberately designed the thing so that, after certain amount of time, that fuse would blow. Then they would send somebody out as a service call and you have to pay money.

They can make cars with computers that can, if they want, turn themselves off at anytime. They are not going to because if they ever got caught, they would be sued.

Take Volkswagen as an example, when they got caught cheating with those diesel emissions. When they did that, what happened was that people found out and now they are in a pickle and they are being sued. They generally are not going to get that far but just due the very fact that you have electronic stuff with a lot of plastic parts, when they get old in the heat of the engine, they get brittle and break. So it’s not that good of an idea for the company in the long run. But of course, that is the way things go sometimes. Sometimes it is deliberate, sometimes it’s a true mistake made by the automator.

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