Is Accelerated Wear and Tear Testing Good Enough?

When people say "Your Ferrari 458 Italia is smoking" you normally think they’re talking about the Victoria Secret model in the passenger seat, not the back wheel thats combusted and is burning your body work like newspaper. 

This tragedy has been effecting millionaires across the globe (I know heart breaking for the poor little fella’s) with a fault in the glue connecting the wheel arch. Apparently it catches on fire after excessive use……...  “Well sir you’ll just have to keep your Ferrari under 60km an hour until we get this sorted”. Yeah right.

Considering this is one of the fastest cars on the road in the world surely this fault would have been uncovered in their accelerated wear and tear testing? This testing consists of car manufacturers basically pushing a car to its limits over a short amount of time, simulating on road wear and tear in a shorter time frame. They will slam the door 1000’s of times, freeze the car in a massive fridge, cook it outside and redline it for days on end. But is it employed long enough & does it simulate real life wear and tear?

The Ferrari problem was caused by glue connecting the wheel arch to the chassis melting and being caught alight by the exhaust pipe. If a few weeks in the Australian sun set it alight surely revving the car for a few days straight would have been unearthed the problem before sale.

But this brings up a larger issue. Are manufacturers becoming too concerned with churning out model after model in the hope of creating the next big thing? Are they now shortening testing times at the cost of their customer’s safety? Are accelerated wear and tear tests tough enough?

You only need to look at the Toyota debacle of this year and last to see even the most stringent companies can be blase on vehicle testing. Are corners being cut? Or are the recall issues are being blown out of proportion due to overhyped media coverage?

What do you think?

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