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Thread: QVM OR NOT TO QVM . THAT IS THE QUESTION!

  1. #1
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    A lot of time has been spent on drivers certification. If a company has a certification safety program, should vehicles be part of the overall rating of the company?

    Let's open this up.
    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board Member


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  2. #2
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fivestaroregon:
    A lot of time has been spent on drivers certification. If a company has a certification safety program, should vehicles be part of the overall rating of the company?

    Let's open this up.
    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board Member
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John,
    In a word, "No." This is a slippery slope that NLA is starting down. It's not enough that we have government regulation to deal with, now we have NLA. What's going on here? This "standards" concept is running amuck. Let me tell you a story to show where this can go. When I was a pup and in law school, I worked for the Electronic Industries Association in Washington. My job at that time was assistant to the V.P. in charge of "government relations," which means lobbying. All the major electronics firms were members of EIA. One day we got a heads up that the Department of Defense (DOD), through its Defense Communications Agency (DCA), was going to "standardize" its communication gear. In short, DCA was at that time building a global communications network and they thought they shouldn't have to bid gear from Motorola, gear from GE, gear from Sanders, etc., etc. because of compatability problems, spare parts and training personnel to operate and fix. This was one of the biggest threats to the electronics industry that has ever come down the pike because, first of all, every maker had proprietary techniques (in some cases patents), and it would have all competitors building the same "black box." A good idea from DCA's point of view, a bad idea in a capitalist economy. Our job was to kill the standardization program, which we ultimately did. What we eventually got in place was "performance standards" so that everyone could build a different black box, but DCA could be sure the black boxes could speak to each other and otherwise meet required "performance" minimums. Where we are with the CTCP program is not dissimilar. Limousine companies have many different complexions. Some are mainly corporate, some are mainly weddings, proms and nights out, others have different mixes. The performance of their chauffeurs has different emphasis. Their cars have different mixes and different needs. If you start writing standards for all this stuff, you'll create a beauracracy bigger than OSHA and lead the industry straight into "government" standards and we'll all end up regulated in a way that we just gone done fighting off (TEA-21). This is a dangerous mindset and one has to wonder where it's coming from. As I have posted earlier, the only sensible way to quality in a service business is through ISO 9000, which has long recognized for companies and competitors to be "different" yet follow approved quality "processes." ISO 9000 allows everyone to run their companies their own way and still be "certified" as meeting international "quality" standards.

    [This message has been edited by jhj (edited 09-17-2000).]

  3. #3
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jhj:
    John,
    In a word, "No." This is a slippery slope that NLA is starting down. It's not enough that we have government regulation to deal with, now we have NLA. What's going on here? This "standards" concept is running amuck. Let me tell you a story to show where this can go. When I was a pup and in law school, I worked for the Electronic Industries Association in Washington. My job at that time was assistant to the V.P. in charge of "government relations," which means lobbying. All the major electronics firms were members of EIA. One day we got a heads up that the Department of Defense (DOD), through its Defense Communications Agency (DCA), was going to "standardize" its communication gear. In short, DCA was at that time building a global communications network and they thought they shouldn't have to bid gear from Motorola, gear from GE, gear from Sanders, etc., etc. because of compatability problems, spare parts and training personnel to operate and fix. This was one of the biggest threats to the electronics industry that has ever come down the pike because, first of all, every maker had proprietary techniques (in some cases patents), and it would have all competitors building the same "black box." A good idea from DCA's point of view, a bad idea in a capitalist economy. Our job was to kill the standardization program, which we ultimately did. What we eventually got in place was "performance standards" so that everyone could build a different black box, but DCA could be sure the black boxes could speak to each other and otherwise meet required "performance" minimums. Where we are with the CTCP program is not dissimilar. Limousine companies have many different complexions. Some are mainly corporate, some are mainly weddings, proms and nights out, others have different mixes. The performance of their chauffeurs has different emphasis. Their cars have different mixes and different needs. If you start writing standards for all this stuff, you'll create a beauracracy bigger than OSHA and lead the industry straight into "government" standards and we'll all end up regulated in a way that we just gone done fighting off (TEA-21). This is a dangerous mindset and one has to wonder where it's coming from. As I have posted earlier, the only sensible way to quality in a service business is through ISO 9000, which has long recognized for companies and competitors to be "different" yet follow approved quality "processes." ISO 9000 allows everyone to run their companies their own way and still be "certified" as meeting international "quality" standards.

    [This message has been edited by jhj (edited 09-17-2000).]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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    Jim
    Thanks for your post. First of all, this is my own post. I just have a general concern of safety issues. I have received in the mail and seen ads on companies producing non QVM vehicles in paticular those over the 120" mark.

    Jim, with your law background, lets have a dialog for others to view and analyze. It's my understanding, that when a vehicle is altered, whether for a limo or not, Does this void the warrantee?

    In a case of a limo, Lincoln or Cad. Is the manufacturer liabilty for any defects that could arise from the conversion?

    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board Member

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    [This message has been edited by fivestaroregon (edited 09-17-2000).]

  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fivestaroregon:
    A lot of time has been spent on drivers certification. If a company has a certification safety program, should vehicles be part of the overall rating of the company?

    Let's open this up.
    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board Member


    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    John, Bob Haswell of Craftsmen Limousine is the most articulate of the Non-Qvm builders, and he knows a great deal about constructing the cars. His number is 1-800-762-0447.

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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fivestaroregon:
    Jim, with your law background, lets have a dialog for others to view and analyze. It's my understanding, that when a vehicle is altered, whether for a limo or not, Does this void the warrantee?

    In a case of a limo, Lincoln or Cad. Is the manufacturer liabilty for any defects that could arise from the conversion?

    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board Member
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Wow! You raise in a few questions a whole bunch of issues. There are multiple warranties with respect to a motor vehicle. There are the implied warranties involved in any sale of goods under the Uniform Commercial Code - warranties or merchantability, fitness for purpose, etc. Then there are the express warranties given by a manufacturer and seller. These warranties all interplay. For example, most express warranties typically disclaim the implied warranties, with varying efficacy. Then there is the issue that the end-user is buying the car from the coach-builder rather the manufacturer. You end up with these layers of participants in the sale and overlapping warranties with varying degress of effectiveness. By the way, I should add that certain aspects of these issues are in a gray area, so you can get different opinions of different aspects of these issues, depending on who you're talking to - atty. for auto manufacturer versus attorney for consumers groups versus attorney for coach-builder. An express warranty, such as those provided by the manufacturer, usually provides that it is void if the vehicle is materially altered. That may or may not actually void the warranty in a particular situation. The theory is that the vehicle is designed as a unitary machine and altering even a small material part of the whole will result in other parts going out of kilter - not unlike a human being when something starts to go wrong. The larger question is whether, when the express warranty is voided, the implied warranties come in to play?
    Perhaps more important than the question of whether the vehicle manufacturer is liable for defects in a converted vehicle, is whether the manufacturer will be "sued" for a defect, particularly one resulting in personal injury, because even if the mfr. is found NOT to be liable, the cost of defending lawsuits and insurance permiums are adversely affected by the mere fact of litigation. Certainly, if personal injury is caused by the failure of a mechanical system, everyone in the chain of title and who touched the vehicle will get sued, ranging from the livery operator to coach-builder to the garage which performed work on it to the manufacturer to the supplier of component subsytems. Who will be found liable depends on certain facts - for example, if a brake failure results in a collision and injury, and wear or failure to replace or mantain is ruled out, then the question will turn to whether the brakes were adequate for the vehicle. The mfr. will try to prove they were designed to be adequate for the unitary vehicle it designed and made, but that the stretch caused added weight which made them inadequate. The coach-builer will say (like John Sinibaldi frequently says, "Not so"). The injured passenger (or bystander or pedestrian) will say, but Mr. Manufacturer, you know that your vehicle is a popular vehicle to be stretched and this is a prevalent USE of your product, so don't you have the obligation to design to deal with these KNOWN uses. Somewhere in this maelstom, a jury makes a decision pinning liability on someone, sometimes without rational result.
    If that didn't answer the questions posed, tell me.
    Now, answer the questions posed about NLA!

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fivestaroregon:


    Jim, with your law background, lets have a dialog for others to view and analyze. It's my understanding, that when a vehicle is altered, whether for a limo or not, Does this void the warrantee?

    In a case of a limo, Lincoln or Cad. Is the manufacturer liabilty for any defects that could arise from the conversion?

    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board Member
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I just re-read my response to your post and realized how partial that answer was. I didin't touch the issue of negligence at all, and I didn't clarify who these issues are important to.
    The owner of a vehicle is interested in the warranty as it relates to repair and replacement of subsystems, usually because they are covered by the express warranty. In the absence of an express warranty, the owner is interested in the implied warranties, although they are not as directly useful for repair and replacement issues. Injured parties are interested in the implied warranties, but also in the negligence of persons who own, operate, maintain and manufacture vehicles. There is no way for a manufacturer, ciach-builder, owner-operator or garageman to avoid liability for negligence in the manufacture, maintenance or oepration of a vehicle, and the issue boils down to whose negligence, or combined negligence, was the proximate cause of an injury resulting from the design, manufacture, conversion, maintenance or operation of a vehicle. This is what scares the manufacturers, because when the vehicle is modified (in part depending on by whom it is modified) there will almost certainly be claims against everyone arising out of an accident and finger-pointing at each other. The deepest pocket is the biggest target (compare the depth of the pockets or Ford or GM with the pockets of even the most well-heeled coach-builder and you'll figure out why Ford and GM want to control the conversion process and specs).
    I hope this addition clarified a little what is a not very clear situation to begin with.

  7. #7
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jhj:
    Wow! You raise in a few questions a whole bunch of issues. There are multiple warranties with respect to a motor vehicle. There are the implied warranties involved in any sale of goods under the Uniform Commercial Code - warranties or merchantability, fitness for purpose, etc. Then there are the express warranties given by a manufacturer and seller. These warranties all interplay. For example, most express warranties typically disclaim the implied warranties, with varying efficacy. Then there is the issue that the end-user is buying the car from the coach-builder rather the manufacturer. You end up with these layers of participants in the sale and overlapping warranties with varying degress of effectiveness. By the way, I should add that certain aspects of these issues are in a gray area, so you can get different opinions of different aspects of these issues, depending on who you're talking to - atty. for auto manufacturer versus attorney for consumers groups versus attorney for coach-builder. An express warranty, such as those provided by the manufacturer, usually provides that it is void if the vehicle is materially altered. That may or may not actually void the warranty in a particular situation. The theory is that the vehicle is designed as a unitary machine and altering even a small material part of the whole will result in other parts going out of kilter - not unlike a human being when something starts to go wrong. The larger question is whether, when the express warranty is voided, the implied warranties come in to play?
    Perhaps more important than the question of whether the vehicle manufacturer is liable for defects in a converted vehicle, is whether the manufacturer will be "sued" for a defect, particularly one resulting in personal injury, because even if the mfr. is found NOT to be liable, the cost of defending lawsuits and insurance permiums are adversely affected by the mere fact of litigation. Certainly, if personal injury is caused by the failure of a mechanical system, everyone in the chain of title and who touched the vehicle will get sued, ranging from the livery operator to coach-builder to the garage which performed work on it to the manufacturer to the supplier of component subsytems. Who will be found liable depends on certain facts - for example, if a brake failure results in a collision and injury, and wear or failure to replace or mantain is ruled out, then the question will turn to whether the brakes were adequate for the vehicle. The mfr. will try to prove they were designed to be adequate for the unitary vehicle it designed and made, but that the stretch caused added weight which made them inadequate. The coach-builer will say (like John Sinibaldi frequently says, "Not so"). The injured passenger (or bystander or pedestrian) will say, but Mr. Manufacturer, you know that your vehicle is a popular vehicle to be stretched and this is a prevalent USE of your product, so don't you have the obligation to design to deal with these KNOWN uses. Somewhere in this maelstom, a jury makes a decision pinning liability on someone, sometimes without rational result.
    If that didn't answer the questions posed, tell me.
    Now, answer the questions posed about NLA!

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Jim
    Thanks for the input. The last line of your statement is on another forum topic. Please refer to that area for my answer to your question.

    I want to keep this forum on the topic of vehicles.

    I would like to hear from owners of non-QVM vehicles to share their opinions of their equipment. Good or bad. Let's hear from you.
    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board Member

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  8. #8
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fivestaroregon:
    I would like to hear from owners of non-QVM vehicles to share their opinions of their equipment. Good or bad. Let's hear from you.
    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board Member
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John,
    We don't operate non-QVM vehicles and you didn't ask me, but I'll tell you why we don't since I've neither heard nor seen many refer to our reasons. First, from a marketing standpoint we don't go after the part of the market that is so price sensitive that they want these 14, 15, 16 or more passenger vehicles. In our experience, these are nights-out and low-end weddings. Second, and most important, we are in an Eastern city (people in Philadelphia, however, think we're in the mid-west) with narrow streets, many 2-lane roads, and roads and streets not designed to more modern standards. We do not have the wide boulevards typical of Western cities, and interstate highway ramps, etc. can in some cases be very tight. The chauffeurs that work for us who have at points in time driven the non-QVM vehicles tell us that the problem with the long-long vehicles is trying to drive them safely. They report that when trying to make a 90-degree right-hand turn, for example, they have to negotiate into either the passing lane (in the case of a 4-lane highway) or into the land of opposing traffic (in the case of a 2-lane highway or street), at the same time that following traffic is trying to then pass on the right, so the driver is trying to block traffic from passing him/her, the result of which the vehicle is being frequently negotiated into operational conditions which are not only illegal and certainly unsafe, but the chauffeur is spending more time looking in mirrors and trying to protect all dimensions of his operation than is safe. Also, our area is very hilly with lots of steep grades (not unlike parts of Portland, John), with almost no flat areas. We do have concerns concerning vehicle performance. For example, severe stretches are underpowered when trying to enter an interstate highway on a substantial upgrade, and constant braking on downgrades makes us queasy given the weight of the vehicle. In short, if we were in Las Vegas where there was not only a big market for long, long limousines, but also flat terrain and wide boulevards built to modern standards, we probably wouldn't bulk at meeting this market with non-QVM vehicles. In the conditions we operate in, we see no positive reasons for the use of the non-QVM (otherwise known as long, long) vehicles, and lots of negative reasons.

    [This message has been edited by jhj (edited 09-17-2000).]

  9. #9
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    Here is still another topic that no one will want to take part in because jhj wants to take over the airwaves and continue to push his ISO 9000 along with all his other mindless bullshit down our throats.

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lance:
    Here is still another topic that no one will want to take part in because jhj wants to take over the airwaves and continue to push his ISO 9000 along with all his other mindless bullshit down our throats.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Lance

    This topic was started by me not jhj. Forget about the ISO 9000 on this forum. I am wanting feedback on OVM vehicles vs NON Qvm.

    Don't be afraid to join the dialog. Everyone has the right to speak their minds. I have some real concerns about these vehicles and I feel it would be good to get feedback on this subject. This area has gotten alot of press lately. Lets separate facts from fiction. JHJ does not own the airwaves and neither do I. So anyone reading these posts, please jump in.

    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board Member

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  11. #11
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    In regard to your QVM vs. non-QVM vehicles I ask you this. In my fleet I have a 1997 Springfield non-QVM 100' stretch. I love this vehicle, however the question I pose is this? In 97, Springfield was a non-QVM builder but now they are QVM. Does this mean I should get rid of my 97 and what made Springfield become a QVM builder now? What do they do now to their limos that they didn't do in 97? I think why a coachbuilder is not in the QVM program should be addressed i.e. Just because the vehicle is longer than the standard 120'? My question is somewhat different than others because my non-QVM limo is under 120' long. Any responses?

    Anthony

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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Monte Carlo Limousines:
    In regard to your QVM vs. non-QVM vehicles I ask you this. In my fleet I have a 1997 Springfield non-QVM 100' stretch. I love this vehicle, however the question I pose is this? In 97, Springfield was a non-QVM builder but now they are QVM. Does this mean I should get rid of my 97 and what made Springfield become a QVM builder now? What do they do now to their limos that they didn't do in 97? I think why a coachbuilder is not in the QVM program should be addressed i.e. Just because the vehicle is longer than the standard 120'? My question is somewhat different than others becLiause my non-QVM limo is under 120' long. Any responses?

    Anthony
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Hi Anthony
    Thanks for your comment. That's a tough one.
    I would be incline to keep the vehicle. What is the status of any warranty work on the Lincoln part of the Limo. Have you had any discussions with the builder as to why they went to the QVM rated vehicles.Does this effect any warranties on your present vehicle?
    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board Member

    [This message has been edited by fivestaroregon (edited 09-18-2000).]

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    John,
    Obviously I'm going to keep the limo. I guess the question, which still hasn't been answered is, What makes a QVM vehicle safer or better than a non-QVM vehicle. As you scan through the posted topics on this site you constantly see this topic debated with no answer to my question. What makes a QVM better than a non-QVM and I don't mean the longer than 120' vehicles. As for warranty, expired last February, but no problems with the limo since I had it that would require me to test that issue. Thanks, looking forward to any responses.

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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Monte Carlo Limousines:
    John,
    Obviously I'm going to keep the limo. I guess the question, which still hasn't been answered is, What makes a QVM vehicle safer or better than a non-QVM vehicle. As you scan through the posted topics on this site you constantly see this topic debated with no answer to my question. What makes a QVM better than a non-QVM and I don't mean the longer than 120' vehicles. As for warranty, expired last February, but no problems with the limo since I had it that would require me to test that issue. Thanks, looking forward to any responses.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Montie-
    As far as I know, the thing that makes a QVM vehicle a QVM vehicle is that the manufacturer has approved the coach-builder as someone qualified to modify the production vehicle and, presumably, the engineering of the modification and the production proicesses by which it is modified. Whether that makes it "safer" or not is difficult to determine. If you accept the premises that the OEM builds "safe" vehicles and knows how to approve a "safe" stretch of the vehicle, then presumably the QVM vehicle is safe. This doesn't necessarily mean that a non-QVM coach-builder can't convert a production vehicle to a "safe" limousine, but it does mean that the OEM is not looking over the coach-builder's shoulder and is not lending the OEM's name to the conversion, which may or may not have safety implications. The other side of the coin is if OEMs have QVM-type programs, why doesn't the non-QVM manufacturer simply qualify itself and solve the problem the non-QVM status has for marketing the insurance. I have been told, but do not know myself, that the OEM will not certify a company as a QVM as to some (equal to or less than 120" stretch) but not longer stretches. This may explain why a particular coach-builder does not opt for QVM status if it has a strong market position in 120"+ vehicles. A lot of this is not a safety issue, but an OEM "liability" issue and the circumstances under which the OEM will or will not expose itself to liability for a vehicle converted by a non-QVM coachbuilder. There's a lot of politics going on here also.

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Monte Carlo Limousines:
    John,
    Obviously I'm going to keep the limo. I guess the question, which still hasn't been answered is, What makes a QVM vehicle safer or better than a non-QVM vehicle. As you scan through the posted topics on this site you constantly see this topic debated with no answer to my question. What makes a QVM better than a non-QVM and I don't mean the longer than 120' vehicles. As for warranty, expired last February, but no problems with the limo since I had it that would require me to test that issue. Thanks, looking forward to any responses.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Monte

    I am getting ready to fly to Chicago tomorrow. I will try to contact the Springfield Coach Company and see if I can get some information from them on your question and maybe try to get them to post on the forum.
    Talk to you later.
    John Sinibaldi
    NLA Board

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