Porsche screws up


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/13/porsche-screws-up.html


So all that engineering know how and they can’t figure out a way to safely replace the part? Ouch. Or do they just need new screws in the proper place?


Sounds like they need the proper screws in the proper places- a trip to the shop should take care of it.


Ordnung, baby. The manual says do it wrong, you do it wrong.


When I read the title, I thought it was going to be about deciding to produce the Cayenne.


Be fair. There were 918 customers.




I was going to list both, but I decided to go with the earlier mistake.


I could use a screw.


First anarchy in German classrooms, now this. Coincidence?

Sure, it’s heavy and ugly and dumb and it’s not my real dad, but on the other hand it’s the reason Porsche still exists. Think of it as Porsche’s K Car.


Sometimes automakers make weird choices that make perfect sense to them, but can really mess things up for end users down the line.

For a while we had my mother-in-law’s old 1997 Volvo 960 wagon. At some point I decided it needed a new serpentine belt, so when it came time for the next oil change, I went down to Autozone and ordered me a new one. Showed up in a day or two, and I went to put it on, but it turned out to be a couple inches too long. I triple-checked the belt-routing diagram under the hood, and compared the new belt to the old belt. No dice: I was putting the belt on correctly, but the belt was 2 inches too long. “Oh, well,” thought I, “Autozone must have a bad supplier or bad catalog entry. I’ll just get a belt from the dealer.”

So I went down to Rusnak Volvo and got a belt. Turned out to also be 2 inches too long. I was stumped.

So I consulted Ye Olde Internette to see what was going on. A couple of Volvo chatboards later, I discovered that at some point, Volvo had figured out that using a slightly longer belt and rerouting the belt through the pulleys a different way provided more surface contact for the belt and pulleys, and less likelihood of belt slippage. So they sent this Service Bulletin to all their dealerships and authorized mechanics, and simply stopped making the old shorter belts.

Of course, they didn’t bother to track me (or my mother-in-law) down and issue us new routing stickers. I am of the opinion that Volvo is not used to its American customers being particularly avid DIY shadetree mechanics anymore (which is one reason why the Volvo factory service manuals aren’t typically available to consumers, and cost several thousand dollars for authorized service centers).


You mean the 924?


Haha! Touche.


Or the 914?


I actually sort of liked those, in a “yank the engine and stick it in A VW Ghia” kind of way.


The issue sounds more like “we have these two screws that hold your seat belts, they look a lot alike and may have been installed incorrectly, possibly, kind of. We need to check and make sure and make sure we’re off the hook liability-wise, as this is a fairly important safety system in the vehicle.”


I’ll get mine over there stat!



I wonder how many engineers Porsche employs to reduce warranty and inventory costs? Because the solution of a volume manufacturer would have been, either tweak the parts to use identical screws or make them non-interchangeable.


Serpentine belts are an invention of the Devil. They really do fall into the “bad idea in the interests of cheapness” category, along with polymer timing chains.


I agree. It may quite simply be a depth issue, where one goes 3mm longer than the other.

I doubt it would be getting such press if it wasn’t seatbelts, they’d likely have let something like trunk hinges go as unimportant. but seatbelts means you need a full court press to get people in the door in the first place.