I think it's kind of funny how it progressed. After somebody made a design error somewhere in the early 80s, they copied that circuit into numerous GM cars all the way up into the early 90s. It wasn't Fiero specific. I've seen it happen in a video of a 91 Grand Prix, so I seriously doubt any 88 car had it fixed. Somehow the GM bureaucracy just kept copying the circuit without noticing or caring about the problem.
I've noticed on some later affected cars, the temperature gauge is physically damped so that instead of slamming against the peg, it softly leans into it then falls back. So instead of fixing the problem, they added more expense to the gauge instead. It's as if somebody doing gauges at GM got blamed, and had to come up with a solution on their end because they couldn't convince the electrical guys to fix the real problem.
The whole pegging needle episode, as minor but long lived as it was, makes GM look maddeningly dysfunctional.
.. That and the fact that our cars have four coolant temperature sensors.
And there's littler stuff that amuses me, like the needles on the aux pod (oil pressure and voltmeter), which you'd think were designed as twins of each other, don't point the same direction when the car is turned off. One nicely points to the first hash mark, the other drops horizontal.
I guess we can say the car has "character".
[This message has been edited by armos (edited 07-12-2013).]