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I had a discussion with someone who has personal, inside knowledge of the actual production of the Dart. Based on what was shared to me, I felt so strongly compelled to share what I heard. Of course I tried my best to keep this person as anonymous as possible. Those that read this and chose to purchase that's fine, just now you have knowledge on your side and can make the best decision for yourself or a family member.

The major issue is simply production over quality. The plant cares not about anything regarding quality and putting it together well. The actual assembly line people are given infractions if the production is slowed or stopped to fix an issue; be it small or large. They are praised for the amount of cars that come off the assembly line and certainly not for the quality. This has resulted in nearly 50% of the cars going to the side for another mechanic to 'fix' the problem. This is not laziness per se of the workers, it is fear of losing their jobs.

The 50% I mentioned a lot seems to be minor, stupid mistakes. Like grease on the seats- requiring removal of bad seat and installation of a new one. Others are issues with the paint on exterior being scratched. Things that when you hear it seems that no one is taking a sense of ownership within the assembly line.

Some issues mentioned to me is the hood. Apparently the Dart hood has a type of curvature that is new. Issue seems to be that the hood simply does not close over the wheel casing. This happens with SOME of the cars but not all- so it isn't a design issue. The reason is unknown why some are great and some hoods just don't close. The plant dudes that are working of this issue as it is serious. These seem to be fixed prior to being released from the plant, but many are still waiting for a fix, some are simply scrapped.

In regards to actual body of the car there are issues with some assembly line people not taking the time to drill in the screws (6 in front, 6 in back) in alignment. Making the screws for the front/rear bottom of the car ****** up. The problem was resolved by my friend who took care of both sides- but this person was demonized because management only wanted to have the front end taken care of 'not both'! Well-- if one side is kitty wompus it screws up the whole frame, no?

A/C units not even plugged into the electrical system. This requiring a complete gut job to connect the electrical. Same issue for the windows. Wrong colored doors put on. (How does that happen?? Again-- don't get in the way of the production machine!!)

The actual parts for the car pre-production are excellent. So far as I understand all the cars that do leave the plant for sale are in good shape. It's the huge glut of 50% that are not, waiting to be fixed by dedicated mechanics whose sole job is to fix these errors, mistakes. This is from an automaker that's been in business long enough to know better. You would think that after the difficult economy, recession that hit the automotive industry in the US that they'd have learned a few lessons.

It seems that maybe they haven't--or at least have not conveyed that to the assembly people. Based soley on what I heard from this person this problem stems directly from upper management--where they do not dare stop the line to fix a problem and that is certainly known to those on the floor. Upper management culture is production, production, production. They know better, they drink Pepto Bismol by the gallon because of these issues which to me hearing it would seem to allow the assembly line workers autonomy to correct the issues on the spot. However it seems they are allotted a small amount of time to do a specific job and then the car moves on down the line.

Again, this person could not take the ridiculousness of how this plant was operated and couldn't be paid mega bucks to stay which is why person left. Nor would this person consider purchasing a Dart, though it's adorable, has much else going for it. The concern was what was missed in production that was over looked by the mechanics post production pre-release? Too many things...

How would this bode for your purchase? Just be smart. Look at everything on the vehicle, paint, electrical, hood, even the underside of the car. These are the primary concerns at the plant and they should be yours too. Those mechanics looking at the car post production are doing them very critically and THEY have autonomy to what's right by the car and you the customer but they're human.

For me and my potential purchase--I am still debating on getting a Dart. It has a lot going for it. Perhaps what was shared with me is an ongoing issue within the automotive industry and its like hearing about someones orthopedic operation. You never knew all the horrible things that must be done to correct that ACL until you get an inside scoop--but the end result is a person walking around upright and pain free. *shrugs*.
 

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Thanks for sharing Karen,
I can only imagine the semi-controlled chaos that must go into a launch such as this.

I would think that the statement about the plant not caring is a bit of an overstated opinion as I'm sure there are plenty of people at the plant concerned with quality and that take pride in their work. Unfortunately what you alluded to is also true, they have quotas to meet and there has to be a carrot and stick type reward system in place.

While I don't work in the industry I would think the rational would go something like this. If X % of cars pass through the line defect free the line continues with the other % being routed to the mechanics for defect remediation. (or whatever you want to call it)

I think the key takaway from your statement is that they will get it right before it ships. I know Dodge has really hyped the QA process as being a top priority for this car.

That being said I will definately take your advice and give the car a through once over prior to taking ownship once mine gets delivered. I'll let everyone know what, if any defects I find upon delivery.
 

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Now I know why my Dart is going in the shop for the 3rd repair of the same thing ... a defective clutch switch or so they claim.
 

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We purchased our Dart last week. I went over it well. The hood closes fine and everything works well. I learned of some concers people had with the Challenger having body issues but did not have any on my 09. I was glad to find that out and looked the body over good before purchase. What is a clutch switch?
 

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Just got my Dart last night and it looks and performs perfectly...no complaints yet.
 

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I have had my Dart for 10 days now and it runs Great Body is great, paint is as well, the only issue I have had with it is the LCD Screen in the Dash has Locked up one time but it fixed it self with a Reboot. The whole screen Blacked out and Started right back up only took maybe 5 sec and it has worked Great since.
 

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I now have had my Dart for a month and a half, have 2k miles on her. We love the car, no problems. I did have to get a rear inner fender well replaced because it was cut short and did not meet the quarter lip. That is it, everything else is great.
 

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No problems with my new dart. I owned a 1966 dodge dart which was my first car-used of course. Does anyone know what he yellow light built in to the drivers side view mirror indicates if it is lit?
 

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I've had mine for a week now and everything functions well. Cool AC, no issues. That's crazy how the plants are running things anymore...Thanks for that inside look though Karen!
 

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I hardly could get through this post. I have worked on/ been in well over a hundred or more of them. I have never once seen different colors or wrong parts. the only thing i have seen go bad on them (and yes every single car in the world has that one problem) is the connect keyless system. sometimes the key code doesnt stick in the computer memory. and you actually have to unlock the door yourself until you get to a dealer to fix it. its a quick fix. oh yea and the duel dry clutch has a few issues but its an entirly new system so they have to see how it works and what to fix before its perfect. i know for a fact that chrysler cares dearly for quality. after a few mess ups like the caliber they worked hard to become quality orientated.
 

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These "issues" you speak of are more of a norm for any auto production line.
I have friends that work for BMW here in SC and a few that work at a couple of Ford plants up in Mich. these issues are within the "standard" that a company chooses to set for itself. Even in my line if work bit ever single corrugated box that comes off our machines is 100% prefect, but well within our ISO standards.

I've had my Dart Rallye for a month now, with no issues so far. So I'm as happy as can be with it.
 

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I am having issues with my Dart, it is not staring with the auto start. It is also surging and the speedometer only works when it wants to. The dealer has had it for a week now, I went to pick it up yesterday and guess what it would not start. Think twice before buying one.......
 
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