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snopes
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Comment: For years I was told that automobile companies were required to
make parts for any given car for 7 years.

Is this true? It seems implausible that a company would make all of these
'obselete' parts, unless there is a law.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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As long as people buy the parts in sufficient quantities, they will make them. Seven years is not long when it comes to the life span of a car, and it's actually around that time that people really start to need (and buy) spare parts.

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/Troberg

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Mycroft
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I don't think it is a legal requirement, and don't forget that most manufactures only make the vehicle structure and engine from scratch; most other components (lights etc) come from other sources
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SiKboy
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Surely it would be good business sense to make parts for the cars you sell for a decent length of time? I mean, if I bought a Madeupcarco Roadster GT, then when it broke down 5 years later I couldnt get parts for it because the manufacturer doesnt support it, when it comes to buying a new car I wouldnt go for another Madeupcarco car because I knew that it would be hard to get parts for it if something goes wrong.

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This Space For Rent.

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smackmac
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I don't know about that rule, but here we get a lot of off-brand parts. We have rather old vehicles and are often needing parts.

Now whenever my husband finds new-old stock (NOS) he jumps on them, as they are the original parts.

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"Maybe getting in the last word doesn't really mean you win." - The Clarks

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robbiev - singin' off key
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I have heard the same thing regarding products of any kind, not just automobiles. I worked for an appliance company a few years ago and heard this many times when a part was no longer available.

I was never able to find an actual law that said anything about the 7 year thing.

OT
One of the things that made me lose faith in humanity was having the following conversation many, many, many, many times:

Me: That part is no longer available.
Customer: I understand a company has to produce parts for at least 7 years.
Me: I don't believe that is an actual law, but even if it is, it's irrelevant, since your refrigerator is 28 years old.
Customer: But don't you have to produce parts for at least 7 years?
Me: Your unit is 28 years old. It's irrelevant.
/OT

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Every time I see a good looking woman, I think, "0oooh. There's another one I'll never have!"

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Delta-V
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I can't find anything that says it's a federal law. There's some indication that there's a GM guideline of 10 years, which has been adopted by others, and some UL-ish comments on the fate of the EV1 and lack of replacement parts, but nothing that points to an actual federal law. (It's obvious that GM suppliers quit making EV1 parts well before the 10-year mark, or even 7-year).

This article says:
quote:
"'Maintaining service and parts, along with customer-service representatives, gets pretty expensive for a fleet of 600 vehicles,' said GM spokesman Joe Lawrence.

"If the cars were kept on the road, GM would be required to provide replacement parts for 10 years. Because many of the parts were made in a single run, GM has to cannibalize off-lease vehicles for parts, Lawrence said.

He doesn't clarify if that's because of a law or internal GM policy.

I'm sure that making replacement parts within the warranty period would fall under some consumer protection laws. Otherwise, I'd think manufacturers would continue to make replacement parts as long as it's profitable, and with the tooling already paid for, OEM replacement parts are rather high-profit items. A company like GM makes millions of cars using common parts, so replacement part demand would remain high for some time. You can still buy GM parts for alot of classic cars. OTOH, if you've got a Delorean...

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"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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Griffin at the Maul
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If you have a Delorean, a guy in Houston bought the rights to DMC as well as as much parts stock as he could find. He is also tooling new parts as needed, rebuilding and refurbishing cars, etc.

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Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Ah, DeLorean and spare parts. There is a nice story about that, that migh very well be a legend.

The story is that if you have a DeLorean, never bump the left front side. Apparently, when the economy of the company went south and Mr DeLorean wasn't able to pay the workers, someone got angry and threw the tool used to make that part into a nearby lake. As a result, no spare parts for that piece.

Anyone who can confirm or debunk this?

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/Troberg

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kanazawa
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I think what the OP meant was 7 years AFTER last production. But I agree with what's been said--that manufacturers will keep making parts as long as it is profitable.

What I'm guessing is that as cars get older, and fewer parts are needed, it costs more to make and stock those parts, so the price goes up. Eventually the price would get so high that no one would buy them--or as mentioned earlier, a third party takes over.

That being said, I'm a bit of a Honda fan, and I've found a website that apparently stocks parts for every Honda ever sold in the US--all the way back to the 1970 N-600, those tiny little two cylinder cars.

http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com

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Delta-V
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
The story is that if you have a DeLorean, never bump the left front side. Apparently, when the economy of the company went south and Mr DeLorean wasn't able to pay the workers, someone got angry and threw the tool used to make that part into a nearby lake. As a result, no spare parts for that piece.

Hmmm...a quick web search seems to confirm the shortage of left front fenders, but gives no real reason why. I've seen tooling for stamping fenders before, and I don't think even a drunk Irishman could heave one into a lake unless he used a forklift.

I wonder what would happen if you went to the local Jeep dealer asking for engine parts for a Delorean? Most of them were former AMC/Jeep/Renault dealers (even if they don't like to admit it), and some still carry Renault replacement parts. And since the Delorean had a Renault engine....

quote:
Originally posted by kanazawa:
I think what the OP meant was 7 years AFTER last production. But I agree with what's been said--that manufacturers will keep making parts as long as it is profitable.

Specificly, I'd say they mean the have to *provide* parts for a period after that part was last put on a car. I would guess this would be tracked by model year, not production date. If the part was last used on a MY2006 car, you'd have to provide parts until 2013 (or 2016, if the rule is 10 years). As a general rule, they wouldn't actually make parts until that date (assuming they were going to cease production), but would make a production run of parts they anticipated needing to last out the time period. Then they would either store, scrap or sell the tooling.

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"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Hmmm...a quick web search seems to confirm the shortage of left front fenders, but gives no real reason why. I've seen tooling for stamping fenders before, and I don't think even a drunk Irishman could heave one into a lake unless he used a forklift.
Well, the only information I have was that it was mentioned on a Swedish TV show about cars. They are usually competent, but that is of course no guarantee.

As for dumping it in a lake, they might have dropped it off a pier or a bridge, perhaps with the help of some moving equipment. It probably doesn't have to stay in the water for long before it's damaged beyond repair, and a company in financial trouble is not likely to get the operations needed to get it out rolling in that time.

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/Troberg

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Mystara
I Saw Three Shipments


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I would think each company would use demographic and projections to determine how many "extra" parts to make. I have read about companies having trouble with too many parts as well as not enough parts.

I don't recall ever reading that a company must provide parts for product due to a law. Rather most companies seem to do so out of loyalty and service to their customer.

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Look it up on the internet son.

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BoKu
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quote:
Originally posted by Delta-V:
...I wonder what would happen if you went to the local Jeep dealer asking for engine parts for a Delorean?

You might have better luck at a Volvo dealer. The Delorean engine is the PRV V6 that Volvo calls the B27, B28, or B280, depending on car and year model. PRV stands for Peugeot/Renault/Volvo, who conspired to share the development investment and its dubious rewards.

Based loosely on a GP racing engine, this V6 is a lightweight and elegant motor that is rather unsuited to street use. The undersized oil passages to the overhead camshafts sludge up unless you change the oil religiously. The heads warp and have to be either straightened or discarded; you can't flycut level them because the deck height is critical to the camshaft chain indexing. In the earlier B27 incarnations, the water pump is deeply buried, and it takes a major expedition to change it. The fuel injection is usually a weird twinned setup of the Bosch K-jetronic system, and synchronizing the right and left halves can be troublesome for the uninitiated.

That said, it is a pretty cool motor with lots of power. If you're mechanically inclined and stay on top of maintenance, it can be both durable and reliable. But it's not well suited to the "check under the hood twice a year" crowd that often gravitates towards the Volvo 240 and 740 platforms in which it was installed. It was well matched to the Bertone-bodied Volvo 780, but the low production numbers of that type would not alone have justified Volvo's share in its development.

By the time the PRV consortium had refined the V6 into a reasonably robust powerplant, Volvo had already decided to undertake the development of its own inline "modular" motor, installed as a 5-cylinder in the 850 and later V70, and as a 6-cylinder version in the 960 and later V90.

BTW Delta-V, I like your sig; I'm gonna send it to the guy who does 3D rendering for my sailplane designs.

Bob "never buy a 6-cylinder Volvo" K.

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Debunker
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I drive a 19-year old Acura, and I can still get OEM parts from the dealer. It may be a special order, but I have yet to hear that a part is no longer available.

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"A minibar is a machine that makes everything expensive." - Mitch Hedberg RIP

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Ben Who
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My garage mechanic did tell me that General Motors planned to stop "providing" parts for my Geo when the age of the car hit ten years old--this year. Now, I figure some parts must be "interchangeable--" I don't see a problem with sticking any old wheel with the same dimensions onto the axle. But if I were to break something on it that ONLY fit that car, like, say, the quarter panels, it'd be a long week on the Internet for me.

On a wildly unrelated note, the only real reason I got my last computer upgrade was because a part broke on it that they didn't make anymore. (Power source.) I happened to have a spare, so I bought it a little extra time, but I got nervous and replaced the whole box as soon as I could.

The ten year thing did seem rather plausible to me, as General Motors is probably in no mood to support its older merchandise when they're having so much trouble moving the new models. Still, since I'm hoping to wring a few more years out of it, I just hope that nothing breaks after the inventories run out.

Love, Who?

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Delta-V
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quote:
Originally posted by Ben Who:
My garage mechanic did tell me that General Motors planned to stop "providing" parts for my Geo when the age of the car hit ten years old--this year. Now, I figure some parts must be "interchangeable--" I don't see a problem with sticking any old wheel with the same dimensions onto the axle. But if I were to break something on it that ONLY fit that car, like, say, the quarter panels, it'd be a long week on the Internet for me

I can believe that, since GM didn't make the Geo cars in the first place. The Geo Storm was an Isuzu Impulse, the Prism was essentially a Toyota Corolla, and the Metro and Tracker were Suzuki products (Swift and Sidekick). Since the original manufacturer probably included a nice markup for themselves, GM likely doesn't make as much money off of Geo spares. So they'd want to get them out of the warehouse and database.

You might be able to get said quarter panel from the 'other' dealer. Then again, it'd probably cost more than the car is worth, but might be cheaper than the GM dealer. It was always cheaper to get Eagle Talon parts from the Mitsubishi dealer than from the Jeep/Eagle dealer.

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"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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