Monday, June 30, 2014

Total Recall

So, GM has been pulling cars back to fix at an amazing clip.

Again, people don't like hearing this, but it is our own damn fault.  Oh, GM and the other car makers still have to own the errors and make things right, but the base fault lies out here with the consumers.

For the last thirty years, the personal automobile has been one of the principle methods for us to establish our status.  The strutting of implied wealth in a luxurious vehicle increases chances of mating for young bucks and gives older folks the impression that they can look down their noses at the neighbors.

Oh, and lets talk safety.  They have larded so much safety junk onto the vehicles that the cost goes up and the efficiency goes down.  Then there is  the emission control systems needed to keep the individual vehicle's smog-contribution down so that middle class suburbanites can buy a car for each of their children to lord their status over their high-school and college peers.

So the cars have gotten bigger and fancier to be able to sell them to a more discerning and demanding crowd.  The gas mileage has gone down from the seventies because of safety and emission control concerns as well as the cupidity of folks demanding power to race between the stoplights and drive at unsafe speeds. There are also more cars out there because it seems now that everyone gets one.

But we blame this all on the car manufacturers.  Yep, never a thought that our tastes and fears and greed are the wellspring that all this nonsense grows out from.

If we are going to maintain the concept of motorized personal vehicles, you had better look at the desires and "needs" that you have for such a odd contraption. I figure that it will need to hold four people.  A simple and  as low-tech as can be made.  Also easy to fix, check.  Good gas mileage.  Easy and cheap to manufacture.

But this is going to be some years off.  Because the car manufacturers here still hear the echoes of our greed and arrogance in their market research.  So they will continue to make cars that cost to damn much and are too damn complicated for anyone to really understand and keep running.  The folks on the street will have to start seeing the automobile for what it is, a vanity.

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