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10-18-2007, 08:26 PM #1
Toyota Loses Out In New Car Reliability Survey
For years, cars made by Japanese auto giant Toyota had a sterling reputation as some of the safest and best built on the road. But one new survey may have tarnished that reputation, leaving the car manufacturer looking at the bumpers of those in front of it on the quality scale.
A survey by Consumer Reports magazine indicates Honda is the new king when it comes to reliability in 2008 model vehicles, with the Acura named best performing car overall. The non-profit publication bases its ranking on past performances of automobiles as submitted by its one million readers.
But while Toyota slipped from its usual top position, it still showed strength. Its Lexus and Scion models hit the Top 10, and the company had 17 cars overall in the top 39. Why did the automaker fall to fifth place among its peers? Buyers cited problems with the automatic transmission in the V6 version of the Toyota Camry sedan, the four-wheel-drive system in the V8 version of the Toyota Tundra pickup and the accessories and audio system in the all-wheel-drive Lexus GS sedan.
The change is seen as being important because the rankings are often used by car buyers to help them decide on their next purchases. At one time, all of Toyota's vehicles received an automatic recommendation from the publisher. But the editors claim the company "is showing cracks in its armour" and will now have to earn its way back to the top. "We believe Toyota is aware of its issues and is trying to fix problems quickly," the magazine's David Champion notes in a statement.
How is Toyota spinning all this? The company claims the fact a large number of its cars are still in the Top 10 is encouraging, and that while they appreciated the former 'automatic' recommendation, every car should have to earn its stripes. "Frankly we think that as we redouble our efforts around quality they may afford us that exception again in the future," responds spokesman Xavier Dominicis.
The top rated North American car was Buick, which came in 10th. And after years of struggling, Ford also received high marks for its products. Forty-one of 44 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models - or 93 per cent - scored average or better in predicted reliability, compared with 67 per cent of Chrysler's models and 49 per cent of those made by General Motors.
But for all those that passed the test with consumers, there were others that failed dismally. The Hummer and the Land Rover were found to be the least reliable of all models tested. And Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz also failed to earn kudos. Both are high end vehicles with equally high end price tags and repair costs.
Not so cool after all, are we Toyota....
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