New car build quality - SjB {P}
What's the worst new car build quality issue that BRs have experienced?

For me it was a 1984 MG Metro that leaked rainwater through the gutter where side panels joined roof, like a sieve. Afer weeks and weeks of failed attempts to trace, it was eventually solved by the supplying dealer removing the headlining, and squirting expanding foam just about everywhere, before refitting headlining. Low tech, and I wasn't happy at the time, but I kept the car another eight years, and it never leaked again!

This is small beer compared to what I've just read in Murray Walker's autobiography though, from his days as Vauxhall advertising account manager: He was shown a brand new Victor that had drum brakes on one side, and discs on the other!
New car build quality - Aprilia
I remember when my father had his garage. He had a contract to look after a small number of Cortina's (Mk III, I think) for a local company. Not many seemed to make it past 12k mi. without some sort of major repair. I remember him showing me one that had a piston with a different crown to the other three. He contacted Ford and they told him it was OK!
New car build quality - SjB {P}
Crikes, Aprilia, you've just reminded me!

After (I think) seven years with the aforementioned MG Metro, I heard a rattle as something metallic went down the exhaust pipe, followed by the engine chuffing on three cylinders.

This got worse over the next few days, to the point where it was burning oil like crazy, too.

I rebuilt the engine myself (taking the opportunity for an overbored block and some tuning, too, as this was cheaper than fitting OEM parts), but was amazed when I took the head off to find the offending piston was fitted back to front! Each piston had an arrow on the crown, as the gudgeon pins are offset, but this one managed to last many thousands of miles before crying "Enough"!
New car build quality - Altea Ego
1979 Fiat 131. It arrived with 25 miles on the clock and a rusty tailgate that holed in 18 months. The disks pads shot out after 100 miles and the brakes failed. The prop shaft dropped off at 70 mph after 10,000 miles and bounced for a 1/4 mile down the kingston bypass. I had it for 40,000 miles, two years and nine months, and it that time it had 6 sets of brake disks.

A trully awfull car build wise, but fun to drive and quite quick for a 79 1600.
New car build quality - ShereKhan
My father had a brand new MG Metro in 1985. It was atrocious. We had the car six weeks as the tailgate leaked water. The front seat trim tore away from the rear of the seat. The dealer wasn't intrested.

As my father was off sick he decided at the time to have a look at a brand new 86C Volvo 340 1.7 GLE. They offered him £500 more than what we had paid for the MG Metro. He signed straight away!

Story doesn't end there though! 8 weeks later the car came through. Dealer very friendly (Lex Volvo Bristol) then the problems began. The car drank oil instead of petrol. The engine was produced inconjuction with Renault. Got told by the dealer to buy oil and they will refund the cost of the oil.

After a few weeks one of my dads colleagues spotted a major fault in the bodywork. During production the side protection bars - the ones in the doors had been installed in such a way that they caused the doors to be marked. The dealer then got real nasty. They refused to accept the fault. Ended up calling specialist from Volvo UK who also couldn't see fault. Then specialist from Sweden came to see the car. He could see the fault - Hurrah! However Volvo UK offered four brand new doors fitted to the car at the factory to rectify the fault. The car was only 4 weeks old!!

After the threat of legal action. We ended up trading the car back to the dealer and going for the 86D 360 GLEi. The dealer must have lost a lot of money on the car as we had it loaded with vitually every option; factory roof (£500), economy gauge (£200), outside temperature gauge £200), floor trays (£200), metallic paint for free. When the car arrived we had to check to see if there was tool markings on the car before they would do the PDI.

The car was running up until a few years ago - It got wrote off by a bus. I ended up breaking the car for parts - Its the first time I have ever breaked a car for spares. The car was built like a tank!

I doubt I'll ever see a car like that again

306 2.0 SE Cabriolet
New car build quality - Marc
Did those plastic floor trays cost £200?!

I had them in my (used) 86C 340 GL about 10 years ago. I thought they were great - never seen better since
New car build quality - ShereKhan
They sure did - My dad insisted on having them. Might as well make sure the dealer was stitched up good and proper after all the hassle.

I've also never seen any that are better. Shame as I want some for my 306 cabriolet :(
306 2.0 SE Cabriolet
New car build quality - Marc
I lived in Bristol as a student at the time when I had this car and also used Lex Volvo (on the triangle in Clifton) for parts - always thought they were reasonable on price until I had to get a new headlamp unit. I think they wanted around £150 or something for it. Got the same Hella unit from a european parts specialist in Brislington for half the price by ringing around.

The car was still going strong when I sold it (probably due to tough 1.4 pushrod engine). I still rate the dutch built Volvos as a good alternative to Escorts/Astras. We now run a 440 CVT auto as a 2nd car and I think it's great about town
New car build quality - Tomo
SWMBO had a MK I Cortina to which I was summoned for various upsets (why not the AA, they were paid) like the failure of the connecting wires to support the ignition coil after the spring nut things below the battery tray had corroded. And again I proceeded back to Glasgow from Ullapool (with a fearful hangover, as it happened, par for the course in these parts) filling up from streams and lochans until I met my brother with a van load of water; we left the thing on the forecourt of the garage which had strongly pooh-poohed my suggestion that there was reason to suspect the head gasket; I think it was actually par for the course for that model.

Which was a monument of reliability compared to her Vivas. The best they did was when the gearbox of one of them fragmented a week before the guarantee expired.

The Imp I said should have had magazines like a Sten gun, for water pumps and clutches, Fortunately I could drive across Glasgow to the agent without these amenities.

Gott Sei Dank, she then discovered Toyotas; the first 4 cog Carina was taken through the Vaterland from Evian to Denmark
four up and afterwards was reported to me as being "buzzy" on the autobahn, having been passed by one or two things. On enquiry there was no idea of tacho readings but the speedo had been showing a sustained 110 - must have been well over 90 true.

Wish these things happened to me.

Anyway, I tried to explain one or two things, and provided the excuse for a Celica which she really fancied - 5 speeds.

Three cheers for Jap - fluffy pink dice, is it?

New car build quality - Bilgewater
I bought a new mk3 Cortina in 1975. It was an L model, but part of the dash was from an XL.
The passenger seat belt reel was a right handed one.
One of the bolts from the door hinges fell out and it had no thread on it. How this happened I don't know, because if the bolt had missed the thread cutting process the shank would have been too large to be pushed into the hole.
The starter ring gear came off the flywheel after three days.
The rear axle casing was badly machined and oil kept getting past the wheel bearings onto the brake linings.
The prop shaft was out of balance.
The front suspension creaked and was found to have no grease in the ball joints.
A noisy tappet was caused by a piece of swarf in the oil spray bar on the camshaft.
After these problems were fixed it wasn't a bad car.

New car build quality - dan
I recall being in a Majorcan hire car aged 5 (1980) called a seat! The back seat was two bars and a hammock like cloth between them. It pulled violently to the left and the engine was mounted upsidedown with the sparks at the bottom. When you went through any surface water at all, the spray would cause the car to cut out.
New car build quality - Altea Ego
Ah the joys of hired SEAT's in spain as a kid, remember them fondly. We drove up to the hills once (Rhonda I think), and I left a nearly full bottle of coke on the seat, in the sun, parked up. The thing exploded, Covered the entire inside of the car with coke, which then baked into a nice thick sticky brown sludge.....

Even Bart Simpson would admire me for that one
New car build quality - madf
Brand new BL Allegro 1500.

Hydrospastic supsension kept losing pressure: after 4-5 attempts dealer had to replace ALL the pipes.

Windscreen washer motor failed 3 times.

Engine drain plug was lose, and I almost blew engine up due to oil loss - just nticed oil warning light blinking on a corner in time.

All that in 1st 1000 miles.

After that it was very reliable:-)

New car build quality - Ian (Cape Town)
I left one of those 3-for-a-pound plastic lighters in the car once - it went bang when the sun got on it, and showered the interior with sharp little slivers of plastic.
I only discovered this when I got in, and sat on one of the offending shards, which penetrated quite deeply. Ouch.

Value my car