Automakers have been playing the planned obsolescence card for a long time now. From discontinuing replacement part production to the ever so quick model replacements and visual face-lifts, we have seen it all.
Nonetheless, the most frustrating of them, to the true driveway mechanics, are those notorious parts, that keep failing ever so often or are clearly designed to fail at a certain point. It is really only then, that we feel cheated and defeated, knowing that the accounting & marketing teams left us a lovely surprise in the form of a DPF filter that keeps clogging, or a cheap 02 sensor that keeps failing but happens to be molded in plastic together with the $2k ABS unit.
I know that each car maker is as guilty as the next, but having been a petrolhead for a very long time now, I have always seen the Mercedes W210 as the precursor & poster child of planned obsolescence.
From failing MAP, Oxygen, cam shaft, crank shaft sensors, brake pedal switches, temp regulator & a steering pump it is a car that makes any mechanic smile.
If you are reading this and have a w210 Merc sitting on a driveway, here is a fun challenge: Go and lift out your rear seats, you get points if you floor is still there, as these lovely cars were known for their rust issues as well.
I am not trying to single out Mercedes here, what is the car you picture, when you here “Planned Obsolescence”?