Back in the 80s I worked for winston tire in LA, did brakes, struts, tires and oil changes. I don't remember which model it was but there was a nissan that you had to undo the motor mount and jack the engine up to get the oil filter out. Fucking retarded.
I still think its 50% bad design and 50% intentional to get more revenue in repairs.
Ya do a spark plug change on any 3800 series Chevy car. You have to undo the rear motor mounts and roll the engine forward to be able to reach in. It not intentional to make you take it to a garage. The 3800 was ment to be for rear wheel drive cars, but since its such a strong and good engine they started stuffin it in front wheel drive cars. No redesign so where you could get to them super easy on a rear wheel drive car you can't when it's mounted for a front wheel drive.
Companies start with chassi, drive terrain, main body structure, and then work on from there so its mostly ease of production. Once one peice is done just set the next on top and bolt it down. Sure they do something's so you have to take it to a shop but all the electronics now people just make things worse so why not help them not too?
Trust me when I say shops and techs hate this crap as much as we do.
I'll bet there's more to this method than just madness. With the high % percentage of cars being leased for 4-5 years, I'm sure that some of these serviceability issues are deliberate and intended to make getting another new car much more desirable than keeping the five year old one. Probably why the 100000 mile service interval involves changing nearly everything.
I went to an auto tech college and we talked about these things in class a lot. Garages and shop techs hate warranties and leases. Warranties are for customers so they will buy that brand that the brand specifies, leases are for people who like buying new cars constantly. Personally I think leasing is impractical and pointless unless you just want a new car. I know way too many people who have leases and swear they never will again because of all the restrictions. Anywho most shop techs get paid flat rate, meaning when you have a job you get paid X amount of hours to perform it reguarless of if you finish faster or slower than the aloud time. You pay this amount of time as a customer also reguarless of weather it's actually in the bay that long or not unless service guy decides to charge less, but that's another thing. As customers you don't pay warranties you car manufacturer does and their version of flat rate is usually 1/2 to 3/4 of the time as normal flat rate. At this time a tech really needs to bust ass to finish the job on time. Same goes for leases they have a warrantie also, but the dealer eill add the extra stipulations because they want them to come back in good shape. So now thinking to make shit harder to help shops and warranties and leases really does not make sense anymore. If the company would make it easier then they would pay less for your car to be fixed when its in the shop under warranty. That hour 2 hour long spark plug/wires change could take half an hour if it was all just right on top in the open.
It's like batteries being put in rediculas places anymore (saw one under the back seat, also have seen trunks). It's not to be an inconviance to you but because they are running out of room in the engine compartment. You will still have to jump it and what not and companies are aware of this, that's why they tell you in the cars manual.