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Toyota Dominates U.S. Vehicle Quality Survey

By Tom Brown

DETROIT (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp. (news - web sites) was the highest-ranking automaker in an annual vehicle quality survey released on Tuesday, with its Lexus luxury brand winning top honors for the 10th consecutive year.

The closely watched J.D. Power and Associates survey of long-term vehicle dependability is based on responses from 48,000 owners of three-year-old vehicles in the United States when questioned about scores of specific problems ranging from wind or brake noise to uneven tire wear and stalling engines.

The survey is key to the auto industry because 52 percent of new car buyers say long-term quality is one of the most important factors in their choice of brands, according to J.D. Power. It is also important to automakers because of warranty costs.

Toyota's Lexus unit topped the brand rankings with 162 problems per 100 vehicles. But Japan's largest automaker also led manufacturers overall, with 207 problems per 100 vehicles, followed closely by Honda Motor Co. (news - web sites) Ltd. with 210 problems.

Porsche AG, with 240 problems, General Motors Corp. with 262, and BMW AG with 264, rounded out the top five.

"The two (Toyota and Honda) are head and shoulders above everybody else and the factor there is that they were the first in the industry to recognize that building vehicles that last is really the most important thing," said Joe Ivers, J.D. Power's executive director of quality and customer satisfaction research.

"Building vehicles that last tends to produce a whole lot of benefits that aren't immediately obvious. One of course is that it satisfies more customers, it gets you more customers," Ivers told Reuters.

For the second straight year, GM was alone among Detroit's traditional Big Three automakers in ranking above the industry average of 269 problems per 100 vehicles. Its Buick brand placed No. 2 behind Lexus and its Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Saab and Saturn nameplates all scored above the industry average as well.

Ivers said Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler unit of DaimlerChrysler also made impressive gains.

"The domestics have been touting for a couple of years now the commitments they've been making to long-term quality, and we just had not seen, until now, consistent evidence of that. Now we're really seeing that," Ivers said.

PERCEPTION LAGS REALITY

Despite improvements, Ivers, who noted that GM was neck-and-neck with Toyota in the number of highly ranked vehicles, cautioned that Detroit has an image problem stemming from some of its poorly built vehicles of the past, however.

"It takes a long time for a reputation to get healed ... The perception tends to lag the reality sometimes by as much as 10 years," Ivers told reporters on a conference call.

"There's a large cross-section of customers out there who just will not consider a domestically produced vehicle and in many cases the (past) quality is the barrier," he said.

Volkswagen AG and its Audi unit both improved over last year's results. But VW was still near the bottom of the survey and Ivers said virtually all European automakers were struggling with quality problems.
Land Rover, which Ivers described as a perennial loser, finished last among individual nameplates. "They're highly desirable vehicles but they tend to have a tough time getting customers to buy more than one," he said.

Since their 1998 linkup with Chrysler, executives at Daimler have boasted about how Mercedes-Benz would show its poor American cousin how to build more dependable and desirable vehicles.

But Chrysler and its Dodge, Jeep and now-defunct Plymouth brands all out-ranked Mercedes, which had 327 problems per 100 vehicles, up from 318 problems in last year's survey.
 

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passaturbonium said:
B5_Passat said:
Just read this on CNN/Money - it's too bad for VW but it's also well deserved.
So why buy one?

I cant relate to that article on VW. Maintnance is expensive just like my Toyota...

I dont know about these "surveys"
skip hopping ... Ignorant is bliss ... skip hopping ...
 

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The truth is that VW needs to work harder on reliability/quality (as do all German makes). You'd be hard pressed to find many articles that say differently (J.D. Powers, Consumer Reports, etc.) VW produces vehicles w/ many desirable aspects, but reliability/quality is not really one of them. Heck, even the American marques are surpasing the Germans and they're usually cheaper and easier to fix.
 

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Vehicles in the US are rated similar to appliances… Who questions as to what their made of, what technology is used, how well they perform or how they are constructed. Just buy it and expect it to work flawlessly. When it breaks or wears out replace it… Which is ok for most… thus Toyota’s reputation? But then again, how many Toyota’s do you know of that are constructed with the same craftsmanship, materials, build quality and performance of a Volkswagen.

Volkswagens, have faulty coil packs and window regulators… it happens. Amazing how quiet :mad: JD Power and the rest of them kept about Toyota’s sludge problems, defective transaxles, head gaskets… just to name a few. And for those that think Honda’s are bullet proof… have you seen the piles of snapped control arms removed from Accord’s? What about the faulty igniters which plague plenty of Honda’s and Acura’s. :roll:

The following has to be a misprint: :nervous:

“Mercedes-Benz would show its poor American cousin how to build more dependable and desirable vehicles.”

What they meant to say is… Mercedes’ poor American cousin should them how to build less dependable and less desirable vehicles…
:cry:
 

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B5_Passat said:
passaturbonium said:
So why buy one?
Because on the hole preparation B5.5 feels good! :lol:

Truthfully, even given VW's reliability issues, the car still rocks. Plus, I have a great independent mechanic for those ills that can't/won't be covered under the B2B warranty.
OooooooooK

I agree with Elias...there isnt much consumer info on how these vehiclesa are build, materials, engineering etc. To me those are more important then reliability.

I have worked, been in and seen many American factories....and compare those to VW and its night and day. Not sure about Japanese makes...never seen them, but I know that 90% of Japanese cars are made in US....which tells me alot.

:)

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Elias said:
The following has to be a misprint: :nervous:

“Mercedes-Benz would show its poor American cousin how to build more dependable and desirable vehicles.”

What they meant to say is… Mercedes’ poor American cousin should them how to build less dependable and less desirable vehicles…
:cry:
Yeah, because Mercedes Benz quality problems are Chryslers' fault!?! :crazy:
 

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Several years ago, I think it was about 15 years or so… one of the auto magazines, had a lengthy article on vehicle manufacturing. They visited 3 assembly plants. Cadillac, Lexus and Mercedes.

Cadillac: Assembly line, radios blaring different music from each station, employees not in any type of uniform, one was even eating a sandwich at his station. Tools and miscellaneous parts were scattered at each station, work area was dirty. The overall working atmosphere was chaotic.

Mercedes: Each employee was part of a 4 to 5 man team, dressed in blue overalls and wearing white gloves. Each car came to them and hand assembled for the most part. Tools were carried in carts. No radios, clean spotless working areas, with hardly any background noise or distractions.

Lexus: Assembly line, excellent working conditions, all employees had same uniform and gloves. Very neat, organized and streamlined. However, every employee was under extreme pressure to produce flawlessly. For example, if one station screwed up, the entire assembly line would stop to fix the problem.

Based on the above, its clearly evident why Cadillac is now struggling to stay alive :roll: , Lexus has made a reputation for itself by selling well built Toyota’s :thumbup: , not historically offered in the US in addition to re-badged current models. Somehow, the US public perceives quality with quantity! :nervous: That’s quantity as in dollars! I have to give them(Lexus) credit for pinpointing the American market… Provide an overpriced Toyota with bling bling and back it by kiss-ass and fu-fu service. Isn’t everyone out there ranting and raving about the Lexus’ service. If I want to get pampered, I’ll go to an expensive spa for the weekend. I will not pay 2 to 3 times the price of a Toyota so I can get fufu when it breaks. :roll: Mercedes is another story… they abandoned their core product, which was a world benchmark, for mass production profits. Then came Chrysler… :cry: :cry: :cry:

Too bad the majority of the public is easily swain by the BS publicity in this country. This is what JD power and consumer reports thrive on. As far as consumer reports goes, they should be shut down immediately. They managed to destroy Suzuki’s future through their pure stupidity! Of course the Samurai is going to roll if pressed to hard on a turn. Each vehicle has its threshold. Stop the bullshit! :mad: :mad: :mad: But it was too late; the uneducated US public fell for it. Too bad, I liked those little trucks :bow: ! Does anyone know why they were still successfully sold throughout the rest of the world after the morons at consumer reports rolled one? :roll:

Although I always refer to them as rice-burners and appliances, I have absolutely nothing against Japanese products. I’ve owned them for years and called them names then. But when it comes to cars, please don’t compare Japanese to European. :(
 

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Elias said:
Although I always refer to them as rice-burners and appliances, I have absolutely nothing against Japanese products. I’ve owned them for years and called them names then. But when it comes to cars, please don’t compare Japanese to European. :(
Lexus - VW family here, and the above report isn't that far fetch. But Sir Elias, I needed that ^^ ... thanks for a good laugh. Wonder where Sharky is today ?
 

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Elias said:
But then again, how many Toyota’s do you know of that are constructed with the same craftsmanship, materials, build quality and performance of a Volkswagen.
Elias,

define those terms? Toyota builds high quality automobiles, they last a long time. These statements are all backed up with industry surveys such as JD Power, and Consumer reports.

I believe VW makes great cars, they are safe, and drive well. Unfortunatly they have reliability problems. I think we all know that here. Most of us don't mind, we like our car for attributes other then reliability.

I believe toyota's craftsmanship, materials, build quality and performance are just as good, if not better then VW's.

but thats MO
 

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Elias said:
Volkswagens, have faulty coil packs and window regulators… it happens. Amazing how quiet :mad: JD Power and the rest of them kept about Toyota’s sludge problems, defective transaxles, head gaskets… just to name a few. And for those that think Honda’s are bullet proof… have you seen the piles of snapped control arms removed from Accord’s? What about the faulty igniters which plague plenty of Honda’s and Acura’s. :roll:
Atleast in the case of Toyota's sludge problem, it only was a problem in 3,000 out of over 3,000,000 engines that werer built.

hardly the same scale as VW's coil pack issue....

:crazy:
 

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Elias said:
Based on the above, its clearly evident why Cadillac is now struggling to stay alive :roll: , Lexus has made a reputation for itself by selling well built Toyota’s :thumbup: , not historically offered in the US in addition to re-badged current models. Somehow, the US public perceives quality with quantity! :nervous: That’s quantity as in dollars! I have to give them(Lexus) credit for pinpointing the American market… Provide an overpriced Toyota with bling bling and back it by kiss-ass and fu-fu service. Isn’t everyone out there ranting and raving about the Lexus’ service. If I want to get pampered, I’ll go to an expensive spa for the weekend. I will not pay 2 to 3 times the price of a Toyota so I can get fufu when it breaks. :roll: Mercedes is another story… they abandoned their core product, which was a world benchmark, for mass production profits. Then came Chrysler…
Elias,

You equate cadillac's problems with their assembly line. I guess I do not see the corelation. I believe the problem was largely the product that they offered. Now that they are offering the CTS, STS, SRX, and XLR, I believe they have turned them selves around, and are moving upwards.

I know that up until now lexus's were badged as Toyota's in Japan. But over here the two brands share little other then a parent company. There are different design teams that design each. They use different drive trains, chassis ect...

I would hardly consider an LS430 to be just an over priced Toyota...

Is an audi just an over priced VW?

People rave about Lexus service because its excellent. They buy a luxury car, and expect luxury service, whats the issue? You keep talking about the price, are Lexus's over priced compared to the competition?

What do you mean by "Somehow, the US public perceives quality with quantity!"?

-Nick
 

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TAckhouse1 said:
Elias said:
But then again, how many Toyota’s do you know of that are constructed with the same craftsmanship, materials, build quality and performance of a Volkswagen.
Elias,

define those terms? Toyota builds high quality automobiles, they last a long time. These statements are all backed up with industry surveys such as JD Power, and Consumer reports.

I believe VW makes great cars, they are safe, and drive well. Unfortunatly they have reliability problems. I think we all know that here. Most of us don't mind, we like our car for attributes other then reliability.

I believe toyota's craftsmanship, materials, build quality and performance are just as good, if not better then VW's.

but thats MO
You may believe… and that’s a good thing… I unfortunately work with the automobile industry from many angles. Toyota’s sheet-metal is recycled steel and is partially galvanized.Volkswagen does not use recycled metals. Additionally all Volkswagens are 100% Galvanized. Sure both last a long time, but I want mine without rust holes 10 years from now. Don’t make me go on… please… :nervous:

Obviously, you missed my feelings on “industry surveys such as JD Power, and Consumer reports.” :mad:

Yes, I agree Volkswagens have reliability problems, Its just that VW hasn’t figured out how to mask them as well as Toyota and Lexus. Shit, I purchased an AUDI… that’s a glorified Volkswagen in reality, All I got was stale muffins and shitty OJ when I brought it in. And they pointed me to the bus stop when I asked for a loaner. :lol: :lol: :lol:

If Im ever reincarnated Im gonna buy a Lexus IS 300…thats a glorified Toyota Altezza in reality Its been in production for years before it came here. Some countries use them as cabs… bet you didn’t know that… Then I too can sip my cappuccino when I take my overpriced riceburner, I mean Toyota, I mean Lexus for service.
 

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Elias said:
You may believe… and that’s a good thing… I unfortunately work with the automobile industry from many angles. Toyota’s sheet-metal is recycled steel and is partially galvanized.Volkswagen does not use recycled metals. Additionally all Volkswagens are 100% Galvanized. Sure both last a long time, but I want mine without rust holes 10 years from now. Don’t make me go on… please… :nervous:

Obviously, you missed my feelings on “industry surveys such as JD Power, and Consumer reports.” :mad:

Yes, I agree Volkswagens have reliability problems, Its just that VW hasn’t figured out how to mask them as well as Toyota and Lexus. Shit, I purchased an AUDI… that’s a glorified Volkswagen in reality, All I got was stale muffins and shitty OJ when I brought it in. And they pointed me to the bus stop when I asked for a loaner. :lol: :lol: :lol:

If Im ever reincarnated Im gonna buy a Lexus IS 300…thats a glorified Toyota Altezza in reality Its been in production for years before it came here. Some countries use them as cabs… bet you didn’t know that… Then I too can sip my cappuccino when I take my overpriced riceburner, I mean Toyota, I mean Lexus for service.
Elias,

Ok, so Toyota uses Recycled steel? Are you saying that the recycled metal will rust quicker?

I guess I don't understand your feeling on survey's such as JD Power, seriously. Could you explain more? I guess my feeling is that they interview 48,000 people on various cars. I'm sure part of it is interpretation on the car owners part. But what is the issue?

How are Toyota and Lexus masking problems? Didn't some one from Mitsu just go to jail over an isuse of this nature? Are you suggesting similar behavior?

I actually was aware of the Lexus Altezza. And I was aware that they user them for things like cabs in other countries. But I am sure that toyota isn't charging the same amount for an Altezza with a base 2 liter engine, no leather ect...as it would for an IS300. I believe for what the IS comes with in this country, the price is quite justified.

And you point out that you get less then stellar treatment with your audi. An A6 4.2 costs $3,000 more then a "over priced" GS430. Both are quite comparable cars...

-Nick
 

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TAckhouse1 said:
Elias said:
You may believe… and that’s a good thing… I unfortunately work with the automobile industry from many angles. Toyota’s sheet-metal is recycled steel and is partially galvanized.Volkswagen does not use recycled metals. Additionally all Volkswagens are 100% Galvanized. Sure both last a long time, but I want mine without rust holes 10 years from now. Don’t make me go on… please… :nervous:

Obviously, you missed my feelings on “industry surveys such as JD Power, and Consumer reports.” :mad:

Yes, I agree Volkswagens have reliability problems, Its just that VW hasn’t figured out how to mask them as well as Toyota and Lexus. Shit, I purchased an AUDI… that’s a glorified Volkswagen in reality, All I got was stale muffins and shitty OJ when I brought it in. And they pointed me to the bus stop when I asked for a loaner. :lol: :lol: :lol:

If Im ever reincarnated Im gonna buy a Lexus IS 300…thats a glorified Toyota Altezza in reality Its been in production for years before it came here. Some countries use them as cabs… bet you didn’t know that… Then I too can sip my cappuccino when I take my overpriced riceburner, I mean Toyota, I mean Lexus for service.
Elias,

Ok, so Toyota uses Recycled steel? Are you saying that the recycled metal will rust quicker?

I guess I don't understand you feeling on survey's such as JD Power, seriously. Could you explain more? I guess my feeling is that they interview 48,000 people on various cars. I'm sure part of it is interpretation on the car owners part. But what is the issue?

How are Toyota and Lexus masking problems? Didn't some one from Mitsu just go to jail over an isuse of this nature? Are you suggesting similar behavior?

I actually was aware of the Lexus Altezza. And I was aware that they user them for things like cabs in other countries. But I am sure that toyota isn't charging the same amount for an Altezza with a base 2 liter engine, not leather ect...as it would for an IS300. I believe for what the IS comes with in this country, the price is quite justified.

And you point out that you get less then stellar treatment with your audi. An A6 4.2 costs $3,000 more then a "over priced" GS430. Both are quite comparable cars...

-Nick
Elias - Recycled steel is not a bad process, nor will it produces inferior quality material. Galvanize is nothing more than applying a protective zinc coating over iron or steel to reduce corrosion, it's a hot dipping process. Don't know how you can partially dip sheet metal, it would have been much more cost effective to just dunk the material entirely.

Suggestion: research your topic before posting, your point will come across more intelligently. Perhaps then, people will take your posting a little more seriously.
 
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