Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Mark_Posh
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Whether or not all French cars are unreliable I can't judge but Renaults are for sure. My wife has had opportunities to lease Renaults for the last few years. These are new cars and every one has had electrical issues. The last one for example was a Clio (which she had for one year and had completed 8000 miles when returned) and the issues it had were :

1. The factory mobile phone was unusable (the remote end received unacceptable speech quality)
2. The engine cut-out (fuel save) would occassionaly not restart (needed to engage the ignition on/off to start car)
3. The car would be very hard to start (Diesel) and sometimes would take a minute when other times it would start within a second

There were other minor issues but my point is I always buy new BMWs or Porsche's and have had no issues with any of them. In short the build quality of these German cars are worlds apart from that of Renault.

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dobbster71
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Market generalisations are hard to change. In the UK you hear the usual comments that hark back to the 1970's: French cars have dodgy electrics, Alfa Romeos rust & fall apart, Fiat always break down (Fix It Again Tony), German cars are bullet-proof, etc.
I wouldn't say that French cars are poor; my father & brother both run Renaults with high mileages & they tick along nicely. Just give them regular maintenance & they are fine.
My brand of choice is Alfa Romeo & in 20 years of Alfa ownership, apart from regular maintenance & the replacement of "wear & tear" parts, I've only had 2 parts fail. Both were MAF sensors & both were made by Bosch! If I have one criticism of Alfa quality it is that the exterior paint finish should be better.
When I started on my Alfa ownership journey my friends scratched their heads. They had never considered an Alfa due to the common belief that it would fall apart. None of mine have! However, I always buy second hand, with 1 previous owner (private), low mileage & FSH.
A good friend bought a new Boxster in 2002. In the first 12 months he had 2 clutches replaced under warranty, amongst other issues, and spent most of that summer driving a Cayenne on loan from his local Porsche dealership! Once he got the 3rd clutch fitted he got rid of the Boxster & swore against Porsche ownership for good.

I believe that a big factor in car reliability is down to how the car was treated in its first year of use. When I was younger cars had to be "run in" for the first couple of thousand miles. Not sure if manufacturers still state this, but I can imagine that only careful owners would be bothered with treating a car carefully for the first year of its life these days.
WRC is for boys. Group B was for men!
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Starscreamer
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Because it is not Opel (German quality) :lol:
#33 2 THE MAX V3RSTAPP3N

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Andres125sx
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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My mother is still recovering from an accident caused by a Renault electric failure.

She was going to the north this august with my aunt and her best friend. When they started the trip the car stopped twice. One of them was considered her fault, the other wasn´t and the three were a bit surprised about the stop. Some hours later the car suddenly stopped on a highway. The truck behind mowed down them. My mother´s best friend died and my mother needed surgery on her right elbow and left wrist. Two months later she still is recovering and the doctor said she need patience to recover the strenght on the right arm because at the surgery they had to move the nerve. They´re still evaluating if she need a new surgery to free the nerve. She´s 70 years old wich obviously do not help the recovery


It was my mother who was driving at that point, they always take turns when in a trip, and she´s still feeling guilty and thinking about what could have she done to avoid it. I always says the same, it was a car failure, there´s nothing you could have done differently, just bad luck.... and a serious Renault problem. The car was only three years old. Moreover, my mother´s car is a Renault Clio 1.2 petrol with just 70bhp. Anyone used to this small petrol engine will never stall a diesel engine, so I´m 100% sure both stalls at the beginning of the trip were also related to some electric problem


She does not want to put any claim as the whole incident is simply too hard for her to remind, but I´ll read any suggestion any of you can do, as neither of us have any experience with lawyers or big manufacturers problems and we all are completely lost... My mother didn´t even assumed her best friend death yet as she´s always said firts the physical aspect, then the phsycological, so she has not think about it too much yet

rgava
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Andres125sx wrote:My mother is still recovering from an accident caused by a Renault electric failure.

She was going to the north this august with my aunt and her best friend. When they started the trip the car stopped twice. One of them was considered her fault, the other wasn´t and the three were a bit surprised about the stop. Some hours later the car suddenly stopped on a highway. The truck behind mowed down them. My mother´s best friend died and my mother needed surgery on her right elbow and left wrist. Two months later she still is recovering and the doctor said she need patience to recover the strenght on the right arm because at the surgery they had to move the nerve. They´re still evaluating if she need a new surgery to free the nerve. She´s 70 years old wich obviously do not help the recovery


It was my mother who was driving at that point, they always take turns when in a trip, and she´s still feeling guilty and thinking about what could have she done to avoid it. I always says the same, it was a car failure, there´s nothing you could have done differently, just bad luck.... and a serious Renault problem. The car was only three years old. Moreover, my mother´s car is a Renault Clio 1.2 petrol with just 70bhp. Anyone used to this small petrol engine will never stall a diesel engine, so I´m 100% sure both stalls at the beginning of the trip were also related to some electric problem


She does not want to put any claim as the whole incident is simply too hard for her to remind, but I´ll read any suggestion any of you can do, as neither of us have any experience with lawyers or big manufacturers problems and we all are completely lost... My mother didn´t even assumed her best friend death yet as she´s always said firts the physical aspect, then the phsycological, so she has not think about it too much yet
Very difficult situation, Andres.
But what you are describing had happened in exactly the same way to my former boss in a Mecedes A class on 2014 in Germany.
So, for the topic of the thread, no matter if it is a French, Italian or German car, reliability issues are still a big problema that can cause severe accidents if they happen in the wrong moment.

iulian_florea
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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We should have in mind the complexity of the vehicles.
Expensive cars with latest technology in turbos, automatic gearboxes, advanced suspension etc. are more proned to fail compared to uncomplicated properly built cars.

toraabe
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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dobbster71 wrote:Market generalisations are hard to change. In the UK you hear the usual comments that hark back to the 1970's: French cars have dodgy electrics, Alfa Romeos rust & fall apart, Fiat always break down (Fix It Again Tony), German cars are bullet-proof, etc.
I wouldn't say that French cars are poor; my father & brother both run Renaults with high mileages & they tick along nicely. Just give them regular maintenance & they are fine.
My brand of choice is Alfa Romeo & in 20 years of Alfa ownership, apart from regular maintenance & the replacement of "wear & tear" parts, I've only had 2 parts fail. Both were MAF sensors & both were made by Bosch! If I have one criticism of Alfa quality it is that the exterior paint finish should be better.
When I started on my Alfa ownership journey my friends scratched their heads. They had never considered an Alfa due to the common belief that it would fall apart. None of mine have! However, I always buy second hand, with 1 previous owner (private), low mileage & FSH.
A good friend bought a new Boxster in 2002. In the first 12 months he had 2 clutches replaced under warranty, amongst other issues, and spent most of that summer driving a Cayenne on loan from his local Porsche dealership! Once he got the 3rd clutch fitted he got rid of the Boxster & swore against Porsche ownership for good.

I believe that a big factor in car reliability is down to how the car was treated in its first year of use. When I was younger cars had to be "run in" for the first couple of thousand miles. Not sure if manufacturers still state this, but I can imagine that only careful owners would be bothered with treating a car carefully for the first year of its life these days.
Well Fiat .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oxeAgTxdFQ

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etusch
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012 ... ering.html

It’s clear then that there are plenty of reasons to buy a car from automakers like BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Volkswagen, but if reliability is your top concern, don’t be fooled by the myth of “German engineering”.

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etusch
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete (that is, unfashionable or no longer functional) after a certain period of time.[1] The rationale behind the strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases (referred to as "shortening the replacement cycle").[2]

Producers that pursue this strategy believe that the additional sales revenue it creates more than offsets the additional costs of research and development and opportunity costs of existing product line cannibalization. In a competitive industry, this is a risky strategy because when consumers catch on to this, they may decide to buy from competitors instead.

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Phil
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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I've already posted my view on this back on page 1, but after now being an owner of BMW 1 series (135i), bought second hand at 119'000km, I am very pleased to note how impeccable the car is, still, now already having added 30'000km to it.

The car still has this "rock and solid" feel to it I only ever get in new cars (that typically lasts a few years before fading away). There are no vibrating noises, no annoying niggles. If it wasn't for the digital counter showing its age and mileage, I would assume the car was still in its first year.

Now I am aware a BMW within this price range shouldn't be compared to a [french] car that cost about a quarter of it, but I can't help but notice that the Citroen was literally falling apart after similar amount of usage and mileage.

For the record, I've also driven many different Lotus's. Now these are obviously very different cars with a very different audience, but you can definitely tell Lotus do not come close in the quality department either. I love my Exige to bits for what it is, but if I ever sold or replaced it with something of similar spec, I'm not sure I could bring myself to get another one (and yes, I've driven the latest models). Probably would head for a Porsche this time, although many would fail to reach the agility and perhaps sheer fun of driving of the Lotus.

Anyway, back to french cars; Can't speak for Renault and Peugeot, but I'm definitely never buying a Citroen again. I myself and too many people that I know had massive amounts of problems with those cars. Everything from electrics down to the A/C, but also brakes, the power-steering, even the goddamn by-passenger seat broke within the first 4 years of ownership. Funnily enough, I know many people who had similar problems. A friend who owned a later C4 model (2008 or something) had the bonnet break after doing close to 180km/h on the German autobahn. From what we could tell, too much air went through the gap between the opening of the bonnet, causing it to bend to the point it looked like it was half open and damaged the lock/release there in the process. Suffice to say, the dealership was stumped and refused to believe it happened just by driving on the Autobahn at high speeds.

On a different note: My sister owns a little Ford Fiesta ST (MY2014 I think) and after 3 years of driving, I'm quite positively surprised at the quality, performance and running costs of the car.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. — bhall II
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Andres125sx
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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This is a common mistake, confusing reliability with durability or overall quality


Reliability is the ability to avoid any problem (mechanical, electric, whatever), from day 1 of the car. While durability is the ability to have a long lifespan. German cars have, currently, an average reliability, but they´re still the best in durability, so sorry but I disagree Etusch about planned obsolescence of german cars, they´re one of the best durability wise, exactly the opposite of planned obsolescence

Make a simple test as I did myself, go to a second hand car sales website wich can be arranged by km, and do the opposite people usually do, arrange highest km count cars first. You´ll notice most of them are Mercedes and BMW, with some going over 400-500.000 km


OTOH japaneese cars are the opposite, the best reliability wise, but far from the best durability wise. I think the difference is german cars use better quality materials so their lifespan is higher, but the QC are not as good as the japaneese, so even when the car is still perfectly operative, something will break apart from time to time, while the japaneese use normal materials wich will never last half million km, but their QC is awesome and in their lifespan you´ll see very little things if any breaking apart

Greg Locock
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Counterpoint: BMW 7 series.

Unreliable, not durable, costs peanuts secondhand.

hey, it's number 1! http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/g5 ... h/?slide=1

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Phil
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Greg Locock wrote:
Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:48 am
Counterpoint: BMW 7 series.

Unreliable, not durable, costs peanuts secondhand.

hey, it's number 1! http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/g5 ... h/?slide=1
I fail to see what the depreciation of a car has to do with the quality of it. Depreciation has everything to do with what the market is willing to pay. You could have a Bugatti Veyron on the market after 10 years but if there are no buyers for it at any price, the price will drop, irrespective of the quality or of it. Demand and supply.

I'm also unsure what they expect a mass produced car after nearly 10 years to be worth (e.g. the 7 series BMW). I'm quite confident though, in my country (Switzerland), a Citroen would hold a similar depreciation after 10 years, regardless how much mileage it has. A car bought at 25'000 would probably be close to worth nothing after 10 years, even if it barely made any mileage. They are so not desirable here. Peugeot's are better, so are Renaults. Most german cars typically have a much better depreciation too.

Of course, deprecation varies depending on model. A BMW 335i which is a very very popular car here, as such, there are many 4 and 8 year old models available (after 4 and another 4 years of leasing period). Because of the sheer numbers of cars on the second hand market, it means many of them can be bought for very good money because supply outweighs demand. However, the BMW 330d version is quite a bit rarer, and as such depreciates less at similar mileage and age.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. — bhall II
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J.A.W.
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Starscreamer wrote:
Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:47 pm
Because it is not Opel (German quality) :lol:
Ok, since Citroen/Peugeot have now taken Opel off GM's hands, will their quality improve,
or will Opel inexorably drop to their level?
Dr Moreau sez..
"Who breaks the law... goes back to the House of Pain!"

Greg Locock
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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