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Old 01-17-2008, 06:36 PM   #1
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Default Outlook Sprearheaded GM's New Approach to Improving Vehicle Quality

A new story entry has been added:

Outlook Sprearheaded GM's New Approach to Improving Vehicle Quality

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The Detroit News published an interesting story today about General Motors' latest approach to improving quality. One of the first vehicles that reportedly went through the new process early on was Saturn's Outlook crossover utility.

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Old 01-18-2008, 09:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Outlook Sprearheaded GM's New Approach to Improving Vehicle Quality

I guess they worked on everything from the side windows down and decided the roof was to high to reach.

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Old 01-18-2008, 09:31 AM   #3
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Thumbs Up Re: Outlook Sprearheaded GM's New Approach to Improving Vehicle Quality

What a wonderful and simple idea to improve overall Quality and with Onstar; Hopefully this will lead to better future Saturn cars. Bravo GM !!!

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Old 01-18-2008, 04:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Outlook Sprearheaded GM's New Approach to Improving Vehicle Quality

I applaud this new spearhead and hopes it improves quality and brand reputation. The Outlook is certainly a stunning vehicle! Unfortunately, all the problems we incurred with our 03 Vue and its infamous VTi make us hesitant to seriously consider any Saturn product.
Which brings me to question exactly how a six month test will uncover defects. Most VTi Vue owners didn't have problems surface before 20,000 miles.
The Vue peeling dash didn't surface in the forum until the vehicles were in their 3rd or 4th year of ownership. I suspect that UV rays, summer heat, cleaning solvents only caused damage after a long time of use. Nothing worse than looking at a peeling dashboard, knowing you have 48 months of payments left.
Always wondered why they painted it in the first place, once you remove the paint the plastic looks very similar?
03 Vue are beginning to have post on faulty radios, warped disc rotors, malfunctioning sunroofs, etc. etc. While I'm not an engineer or designer, it just seems that a six month test won't uncover problems that will appear in 2, 3, 4 years of use.
While on the topic of owner satisfaction... why do auto makers insist on making a simple repair a difficult task? Must say Saturn is not the only company that does this!!!
While on vacation we had a low beam bulb burnout on our 03 Vue. Figured no problem... I'll lift the hood. twist out the socket and remove the bulb and put in a new one. Turns out you need about a 10" slotted screwdriver to reach the lower headlight bracket before you can get the to the socket. It required finding a Saturn dealer in the unfamiliar area and having a technician do it. Took him about 40 minutes with $38 for labor + bulb and nylon screw(?) he dinged up trying to reach it.
Funny thing is he said, "be thankful it isn't an Aura, to replace a bulb we have to take off the front bumper."
Anyway, why not make simple vehicle maintenance task... simple? Should owners really need to go to dealership to replace map, dome or head or tail light bulbs?
Its doubtful the testers in this spearhead approach will ever experience a problem like that, and if they did more than likely they write up a report of the failed item and have it fixed by someone else.

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Old 01-18-2008, 05:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Outlook Sprearheaded GM's New Approach to Improving Vehicle Quality

DAS,
I agree with you. But like you said, the Outlook is a 'stunning' (looking) car - inside and out. Because of this, I took the risk and bought it.

There are some 'tests' that you can do to certain objects to test its 'life expectancy' and endurance in a short amount of time. Think of what GM is currently doing to the first set of 'rechargeable batteries' they got for the Volt. They are doing 'stress' testing under 'harsh' conditions to determine the life cycle (and other behaviors) of these batteries.

I truly hope GM did some of those tests in those 6-months. But for now, I am very happy with this vehicle. It also drives great and the engine is responding better than I had hoped.

I will still keep an eye out for a 'water leak'.

BL.

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Silver exter and ebony cloth interior
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Outlook Sprearheaded GM's New Approach to Improving Vehicle Quality

Bruce- thank you for agreeing, the Outlook is one nice vehicle and we were tempted to take the plunge in an effort to get out of our VTi Vue.
The VUE struck us the same way when we bought it. Compared side-by-side to the Honda CRV, the Vue looked the be the wiser choice for us, and that I believe is Saturn's/GM's strength. Up front their vehicles look very very good, but over long term use... cheap materials, engineering and craftmanship quickly undid that initial infatuation.
"How many people (tools) does it take take to change a Vue light bulb?"
In my previous post... I talked about our headlight problem. Maybe while they're road testing new vehicles, the executives think back about incidents that may have occurred in their driving experience. Say, losing a half day of vacation to fix a lousy headlight. Go through the process of resolving a problem start to finish the way the typical owner would.
Also consider how many transmission fixes, angst and lost time does it take to alienate a customer? Maybe, if they work through the failure like a customer and had to explain why they aren't at their desk working, rather than just writing up a report, they would appreciate the problem better.
Hopefully this spearhead will overcome the GMs problems and perceptions, and someday maybe we'll again consider a Saturn.
I wish you many happy miles and years of driving your Outlook.

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