Cars as Systems ... long term support?

Modern cars are systems of complex hardware and software controlling or affecting every aspect of driving. Are there regulations in place requiring manufacturers to provide updates to these systems after warranty expiration? My daily driver is a 19 year old Mitsubishi… will 2019 model year and newer cars be driveable for that long?

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That is the problem, there is no legislation, AFAIK, about software/security updates. There are regulations about how long a manufacturer has to make spare parts available, but software is “new”, at least in the fully connected variety.

The older software was pretty stable and just ran and the unstable stuff was in the entertainment system, so it didn’t really matter… I had a Ford Mondeo from 2003, which had an entertainment unit with climate control and navigation. It would often crash on a long run. But it wasn’t controlling the motor and it wasn’t connected to the outside world, so it was inconvenient, but not a major problem.

With modern cars, which in many countries now have to be “online” by law, that means as soon as the manufacturer stops providing security updates, the vehicle is no longer safe to be used on the road… I’ll be sticking to non-intelligent cars for as long as possible.

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I wish it were possible to have the car management system and the entertainment system be separate. I have a 2013 Prius which has that Sirius Xm radio that i hate but the stereo can’t be replaced easily because it is part of the cars management system.
I’ve had so many issues with the Bluetooth audio tether that i bought a separate Bluetooth-aux device to plug in for music/podcasts and phone calls.
The next car i get just might be an older car with really simple functions and then I pray hard kits are made for better safety systems that enable smart braking systems and re-gen braking.
I have recently taken up fixing my own cars and found it rather easy even though i really still hate finding grease under my nails for days. If only mechanics hadn’t become so expensive for really simple repairs\replacements. Maybe Tesla will make these customisation options easier in the future.

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I had a 1991 Eagle Summit, which was just a rebadged Mitsubishi. That car was a nighmare for repairs. A suspension issue was fixed 11 times under warranty, and they spend over $10k in parts by the time it was done right.

I also had a problem where the car would shut down and not start at random times for random lengths of time - this happened for years… Even starting 3 weeks after I bought the car. And, when it happened, a sulfur like smell came thru the a/c vents. No one could ever figure it out until many years later - it finally wouldn’t start for good, and it turned out the computer was out. They replaced the computer module and I NEVER had that problem again.

So, even going back that far - there were computers in cars. And, that particular one was not reliable. If you want to avoid the whole computer issue, you gotta go back to an even older year car than the 1990s…

Many years ago, I read an article stating Mitsubishi admitted that they hid known flaws in their cars for years… After that admission and with my past problems, I would never own another Mitsubishi vehicle again.

Outside of warranty, I replaced that computer, the entire rack and pinion steering system, and other things. That car was a lemon for sure.

Yes, onboard computers for key controls have been onboard since electronic fuel injection was introduced.

But the key point is, apart from them going wonky at some point and needing to be replaced, is that they can’t be accessed from outside the car, wirelessly. That is, sadly, changing.

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We had a nightmare of a 1995 Ford Contour. A great driving car … acceleration, handling, braking … but what a quality disaster. Within the 3 years we owned it the warranty paid for: new clutch, new engine control processor system, new power steering pump, and on and on. They even flew a warranty adjuster out from the east coast to verify that the car only had the mileage claimed and that it wasn’t abused. We sold that beast the week the warranty expired.