Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Yet another reason why American automakers are going bankrupt – From a Consumer Reports survey on automobile reliability: “Of the 31 cars that earned top rating, 29 were Japanese. Of the 48 cars that earned the lowest rating, 22 carry American nameplates, 20 are European, 4 are from Japan (all from Nissan and its Infiniti division), and 2 are from South Korea.” What a great slogan: "Slightly better than a Yugo." USA! USA!

8 comments:

JoeFriday said...

scary! I literally just finished reading the same article online then clicked on your blog to see your post

one thing that I noticed about the list of best versus worst vehicles.. most of the 'best vehicles' were mid-level cars.. meaning they weren't the cheapest on the market, but they were far from being premium.. while much of the 'worst' vehicles were in the high-end category.. I'm wondering if the survey was conducted by tallying service trips to the dealership.. in which case I can understand the Audi S4 being considered 'bad' because the warranty is so comprehensive that it covers everything but tire replacement for 50k miles.. meaning, when it's time to change the oil or spark plugs or windshield wipers.. you take it to the dealer and Audi picks up the tab.. same for new brake rotors and pads.. so Audis, and possibly similar vehicles, will make a lot more trips to the dealer than a typical Toyota

another factor would probably be that people who drop $70k on a new car expect it to be perfect.. if there's a slight dash squeak or rattle, or if the car shimmies slightly at 70mph, it goes back to the dealer.. I highly doubt any Toyota Prius owner is going to complain since a cheaper car is expected to be... well, cheaper

I remember reading a customer satisfaction survey (possibly J.D. Powers) a few years ago.. a particular Mercedes was downgraded by owners remarks due to 'excessive brake dust'.. hello people! a 'performance car' (altho I wouldn't consider hardly any Benz to be in that category) is going to have performance wheels and tires.. which means more than average brake dust

so I'm a bit reluctant to believe a lot of those surveys.. altho I agree there's a reason very few american cars make the 'best' list.. QC isn't quite as important to UAW lineworkers as their paid healthcare is

Eric said...

Good point.

On a similar note, I was happy to see my cheapo Subaru Impreza was one of the most reliable (actually I drive an Outback Sport which is basically an Impreza with a scaled-down Outback frame).

JoeFriday said...

very nice car.. I was strongly considering an Outback when I was car shopping 4 years ago.. AWD was a top priority for me, being that I live in the Great White North known as Wisconsin.. my boss, who is a long-time Audi owner, eventually talked me into buying an Audi A4.. very similar to the Scooby WRX, but a little more refined

Pat Patterson said...

What is truly depressing about these statistics is that many of the reliable nameplates are probably cars made in the US via foreign ownership. I wonder if some of the negative findings are a product of people expecting American branded cars to be unreliable while not expecting the same from a "foreign" car? I also suspect that there might be more demand for my beater '86 Mustang GT than an '86 Honda Accord, though obviously a different issue.

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