Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Leesbro63
Posts: 6952
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Leesbro63 »

andypanda wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:03 pm "This is not exactly right. Yes, I'm sure that many accidents are because of people playing with their phones/tech in the car. But many more have been avoided due to auto-braking, lane-departure warnings, blind spot detection etc."

It's not? My post mentioned the survey saying that 25% of complaints were about infotainment. I don't think anything-tainment includes auto braking, lane departure and blind spot detection.
My point is that as the cars become more high-tech, the new safety tech features more than offset any increased infotainment risks. I agree that if people weren't futzing with the infotainment stuff, cars would be yet even more safe.
killjoy2012
Posts: 1177
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by killjoy2012 »

59Gibson wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:45 am Wow. Shutdown a discussion on cars now..ok
Not sure why the immediate response from some is to shut down discourse.
I'd love to see metrics from the mods here on how many warnings & reprimands have been handed out within car brand threads. I'm sure it's a large #.
These threads usually devolve into spouting car brand religion - nothing more.
59Gibson wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:45 am I do believe dispassionately reviewing historical reliability/repair cost/residual value of specific brands should play a huge part in making a decision on a vehicle, assuming it's the size, comfort etc you want/need. This is after all a personal finance board.
Sure, but how are you going to do that factually or statistically? By the time a car is 10+ years old and has proven it's long term reliability, it's no longer sold, and the new version of that car is running on a different design / platform -- only sharing the model's name.
Arguing on the brands overall reputation, which is all that's left, gets back to just arguing brand religion.
jharkin wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:34 am Reliability is a different measure. It’s the ability of a product to maintain quality and function over time under normal usage. And the long term reliability data doesn’t lie. a Volkswagen is an order of magnitude more likely to leave you stranded 5 years down the road than a Toyota. And conversely a Honda is more likely to go 100,000 miles with nothing but oil changes than a Chevy.
Opinion / religion at work.
jharkin wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:34 am This isn’t only statistics for me, it’s confirmed by personal experience. In my extended family we have owned Toyota’s, Honda’s, Acura’s, Kias, Nissans, Chevys, Fords, Volvos and even a couple Peugeot’s (my dad had a thing for them in the 80s). Without contest the Toyota’s and Honda’s have been the lowest hassle.
Opinion / religion at work. The Toyota Way is 20 years old and not really an industry secret. Neither is Lean Six Sigma.
galawdawg wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:48 am I'm less interested in whether my new vehicle has to go in to the dealer for covered warranty service during the initial ninety (90) days than I am in whether in three, five and ten years, the vehicle continues to operate reliably and safely. So the results of the IQS mean nothing to me.
1) JD Power also does a 3 year dependability study.
2) While I acknowledge the desire by most buyers to know the 5/10 year dependability of potential vehicle purchase, that's an impossible ask since no manufacturer offers the same vehicle for sale new for 10+ years. Testing previous generations of that model means nothing about the current generation. Unless you're going to default to just arguing car brands, which brings us back to religion.
galawdawg wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:48 am
So thanks for the effort to change "group think" OP, but as for me, after decades of owning US made cars (Ford, GM and Chrysler), I'll continue to choose the much more reliable Japanese brands...at least as far as long-term reliability! :beer
Religion...
We're wolves wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:41 am The problem with discussions and studies on "long term reliability" is that it takes 5-10 years to get data, and by that time, when you finally have the data and want to make an informed decision based on it, the cars have already been redesigned, discontinued, etc. such that it is almost meaningless. Maybe, for example, the 2010 Honda Accord had the best long term reliability after 10 years. That doesn't mean that a 2020 Honda Accord will also due to all the changes made in its engineering in those intervening years. It's a moving target and makes these studies generally of very little use in my opinion. A better set of data that you should consider is average repair costs. That is, if something goes wrong on your Mercedes, you know its going to be a heck of lot more expensive than if the same thing went wrong on your Chevy or your Toyota.
Agree 100%.
There's also a tendency on this forum to focus on perceived brand dependability above anything else... vs. what each vehicle brings the table in terms of size, comfort & performance. Not everyone is looking to buy a small, cheap, reliable 4 door economy car -- Camry or Accord. e.g. There was a thread (yesterday?) about 3 row SUVs and comparing a Model X to Suburban to a Highlander -- like those 3 are even similar in size, utility or performance.
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 2051
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by galawdawg »

Seems like an odd way to define "religion." I suppose if one's motivation is to shut-down discussion, then slinging that term around is one way to attempt to stifle debate.

But to the rest of us who enjoy the varying viewpoints, perspectives and opinions on Bogleheads... :sharebeer
User avatar
JoMoney
Posts: 10907
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:31 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by JoMoney »

Happy Hyundai driver here, I didn't see Mazda mentioned, but last I heard they were the surprising #1 in reliability according to Consumer Reports 2020, who moved Toyota down to #2
Tesla has always been 'problematic' as far as I've heard

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireSto ... y-74296414
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham
59Gibson
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:41 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by 59Gibson »

killjoy2012 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:22 pm
59Gibson wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:45 am Wow. Shutdown a discussion on cars now..ok
Not sure why the immediate response from some is to shut down discourse.
I'd love to see metrics from the mods here on how many warnings & reprimands have been handed out within car brand threads. I'm sure it's a large #.
These threads usually devolve into spouting car brand religion - nothing more.
59Gibson wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:45 am I do believe dispassionately reviewing historical reliability/repair cost/residual value of specific brands should play a huge part in making a decision on a vehicle, assuming it's the size, comfort etc you want/need. This is after all a personal finance board.
Sure, but how are you going to do that factually or statistically? By the time a car is 10+ years old and has proven it's long term reliability, it's no longer sold, and the new version of that car is running on a different design / platform -- only sharing the model's name.
Arguing on the brands overall reputation, which is all that's left, gets back to just arguing brand religion.
jharkin wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:34 am Reliability is a different measure. It’s the ability of a product to maintain quality and function over time under normal usage. And the long term reliability data doesn’t lie. a Volkswagen is an order of magnitude more likely to leave you stranded 5 years down the road than a Toyota. And conversely a Honda is more likely to go 100,000 miles with nothing but oil changes than a Chevy.
Opinion / religion at work.
jharkin wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:34 am This isn’t only statistics for me, it’s confirmed by personal experience. In my extended family we have owned Toyota’s, Honda’s, Acura’s, Kias, Nissans, Chevys, Fords, Volvos and even a couple Peugeot’s (my dad had a thing for them in the 80s). Without contest the Toyota’s and Honda’s have been the lowest hassle.
Opinion / religion at work. The Toyota Way is 20 years old and not really an industry secret. Neither is Lean Six Sigma.
galawdawg wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:48 am I'm less interested in whether my new vehicle has to go in to the dealer for covered warranty service during the initial ninety (90) days than I am in whether in three, five and ten years, the vehicle continues to operate reliably and safely. So the results of the IQS mean nothing to me.
1) JD Power also does a 3 year dependability study.
2) While I acknowledge the desire by most buyers to know the 5/10 year dependability of potential vehicle purchase, that's an impossible ask since no manufacturer offers the same vehicle for sale new for 10+ years. Testing previous generations of that model means nothing about the current generation. Unless you're going to default to just arguing car brands, which brings us back to religion.
galawdawg wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:48 am
So thanks for the effort to change "group think" OP, but as for me, after decades of owning US made cars (Ford, GM and Chrysler), I'll continue to choose the much more reliable Japanese brands...at least as far as long-term reliability! :beer
Religion...
We're wolves wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:41 am The problem with discussions and studies on "long term reliability" is that it takes 5-10 years to get data, and by that time, when you finally have the data and want to make an informed decision based on it, the cars have already been redesigned, discontinued, etc. such that it is almost meaningless. Maybe, for example, the 2010 Honda Accord had the best long term reliability after 10 years. That doesn't mean that a 2020 Honda Accord will also due to all the changes made in its engineering in those intervening years. It's a moving target and makes these studies generally of very little use in my opinion. A better set of data that you should consider is average repair costs. That is, if something goes wrong on your Mercedes, you know its going to be a heck of lot more expensive than if the same thing went wrong on your Chevy or your Toyota.
Agree 100%.
There's also a tendency on this forum to focus on perceived brand dependability above anything else... vs. what each vehicle brings the table in terms of size, comfort & performance. Not everyone is looking to buy a small, cheap, reliable 4 door economy car -- Camry or Accord. e.g. There was a thread (yesterday?) about 3 row SUVs and comparing a Model X to Suburban to a Highlander -- like those 3 are even similar in size, utility or performance.
Do you truly believe the quality of all auto makers have been the same the last 40 years? Reputations are built through long periods, not out of thin air. Their history is a big piece of the puzzle in assessing a manufacturer. What they've done in the past and are most likely to continue to do. As I noted most makers have improved dramatically over the last 15-20 years, but not all equal.. No dogma here- just honest impartial assessment.
JackoC
Posts: 2081
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by JackoC »

dbr wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:54 am
We're wolves wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:41 am The problem with discussions and studies on "long term reliability" is that it takes 5-10 years to get data, and by that time, when you finally have the data and want to make an informed decision based on it, the cars have already been redesigned, discontinued, etc. such that it is almost meaningless. Maybe, for example, the 2010 Honda Accord had the best long term reliability after 10 years. That doesn't mean that a 2020 Honda Accord will also due to all the changes made in its engineering in those intervening years. It's a moving target and makes these studies generally of very little use in my opinion. A better set of data that you should consider is average repair costs. That is, if something goes wrong on your Mercedes, you know its going to be a heck of lot more expensive than if the same thing went wrong on your Chevy or your Toyota.
That's exactly right. So the problem is to believe that there is a generic superiority of some makes and a generic inferiority of others. And that is where people are asserting to just go and buy Japanese, such as Honda, Toyota, and especially Lexus and especially not Jeep.

It is also not very helpful to quote problems some design has had from five or ten years ago when the problems your new car will have this year will be some as yet not known collection. You can look at those historical problems and choose used cars accordingly.
I think that's a valid point in cases where reliability rankings, let's say per CR since again I don't know the good argument against basically accepting their findings, varied a lot from model to model within a make and by year. Which in some cases is true. For example, the shortcut for many people would be to say 'Acura, it's reliable' but CR has given more than one Acura model in recent years pretty poor reliability ratings (the recent generation TLX and MDX both for example for awhile not just one model year). That hasn't been as true of Honda brand vehicles (from the same parent company, obviously) for whatever reason. But FCA products have gotten generally bad reliability ratings from CR for a long time, no apparent trend of them catching up with say Lexus. It's entirely valid IMO to factor that against FCA, reliability track record, no 'religion' involved there. There are uncertainties. You *could* be missing out on the 'great turning point' where Fiat Chrysler finally becomes equal to Toyota Motor on reliability starting right now...but probably not. :happy A given FCA vehicle could be fault free for a decade and a given Lexus could be a lemon. There's extra variability when it comes down to one individual vehicle. But all you can do is play the odds and they say your chances are still significantly better with Toyota Motor than FCA on reliability as a rule.

In some cases, not saying you are necessarily, people seem to think all they need to do is establish lack of absolute certainty what will go wrong if anything over the next 10 yrs in the new car you buy today, and then we can throw CR out the window, and in particular argue (this seems to be the theme, often) that the Detroit brands aren't any less reliable overall than the Asian brands, to think otherwise is 'religion', or 'old thinking', since 'now it's all globalized so that couldn't be true' etc. Problem with that thesis is clear evidence against it in the CR ratings looking generally. There's still a definite tendency across models and makes for the Asian brands to beat the Detroit brands on reliability per CR, and still nobody has shown how CR data is systematically biased other than to just take that difference in outcome as 'evidence' of a supposed bias.
Hiker-Biker
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:45 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Hiker-Biker »

JoMoney wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:39 pm Happy Hyundai driver here, I didn't see Mazda mentioned, but last I heard they were the surprising #1 in reliability according to Consumer Reports 2020, who moved Toyota down to #2
Tesla has always been 'problematic' as far as I've heard

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireSto ... y-74296414
That’s correct. We’ve had 4 Mazdas and all are/were reliable. Why choose them over Honda or Toyota? Because everyone has them and they are boring cars.
User avatar
JoMoney
Posts: 10907
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:31 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by JoMoney »

Hiker-Biker wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:06 pm
JoMoney wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:39 pm Happy Hyundai driver here, I didn't see Mazda mentioned, but last I heard they were the surprising #1 in reliability according to Consumer Reports 2020, who moved Toyota down to #2
Tesla has always been 'problematic' as far as I've heard

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireSto ... y-74296414
That’s correct. We’ve had 4 Mazdas and all are/were reliable. Why choose them over Honda or Toyota? Because everyone has them and they are boring cars.
I've never owned a Mazda, but I've had a few as rental cars and was surprised at how not boring it was to drive. The few that I drove looked like a boring economy car, but handled amazingly well. Fun to drive. 'zoom-zoom' ;)
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham
User avatar
Brianmcg321
Posts: 1300
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:23 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Brianmcg321 »

Lol at JD Powers.
Rules to investing: | 1. Don't lose money. | 2. Don't forget rule number 1.
User avatar
wander
Posts: 3580
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by wander »

Hiker-Biker wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:06 pm
JoMoney wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:39 pm Happy Hyundai driver here, I didn't see Mazda mentioned, but last I heard they were the surprising #1 in reliability according to Consumer Reports 2020, who moved Toyota down to #2
Tesla has always been 'problematic' as far as I've heard

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireSto ... y-74296414
That’s correct. We’ve had 4 Mazdas and all are/were reliable. Why choose them over Honda or Toyota? Because everyone has them and they are boring cars.
+1. I owned a Mazda 323 many years ago. It was very reliable. I got it from my older brother, I gave it to my younger brothers and they kept driving it until didn't like it anymore. I didn't know about car at back then, but I never had to take it to any shop for repair.
rockstar
Posts: 1337
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by rockstar »

This is my go to site.

https://www.carcomplaints.com/

You'll have more and better data for vehicles sold in higher quantities.
slidecreek
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:28 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by slidecreek »

One variable that never seems to be discussed in reliability studies is the demographics of the average owner.

Based on the car buying threads here, bogleheads love Toyota's. Are we more likely to be keeping current on all required maintenance and driving more conservatively than the average Jeep Wrangler buyer, for example?
Last edited by slidecreek on Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Svensk Anga
Posts: 803
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:16 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Svensk Anga »

I don't know if it is currently true, but for a long while the domestic 3 manufacturers were at a severe labor cost disadvantage at assembly compared to the Asian brands. In order for them to be competitive, they had to cut costs somewhere. I suspect that they assembled the parts supplied by the very lowest bidders and pressured those firms to cut costs to the bone. No surprise if those parts were not as reliable as other firms which were not so pressed on costs.

If I were buying today, I would investigate how much this is still true and avoid those firms with bad cost structure, unless otherwise indicated.
Topic Author
2tall4economy
Posts: 629
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:55 am
Location: Global

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by 2tall4economy »

59Gibson wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:05 am
David Althaus wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:24 am Try this end of the telescope:

Compare on Cargurus the asking price of a 5 year old Camry or Accord to any other comparable brand you choose. All else being equal the Camry and the Accord will likely command a higher asking price. Thus--there's your answer.

All the best
+1 Resale values are an excellent barometer. I do not put much weight in any of these "review companies".. Knowledge guided by experience- certainly not anecdotal. All manufacturers have stepped up their game since the late90s, but they're def. not equal yet, the poor quality image from the 80s still lingers. American/S.Korean tank the market by flooding the fleet/rental car markets, which kills the 1-4 yr resale value. Lease deals also tell you how much confidence the manuf has in the vehicle, because it's coming back to them in a few years. They know which vehicle will not depreciate as quickly.
Market price is a function of demand. Demand is dependent on perception. Ferrari's depreciate slower than nearly everything. But not because they are ultra-high quality.

Audi R8s depreciate much slower than Lamborghinis but are the same vehicle under the skin.

Agree it says something. That it relates to quality I don't believe so.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.
Topic Author
2tall4economy
Posts: 629
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:55 am
Location: Global

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by 2tall4economy »

cacophony wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:16 am J.D. Power is a market research company that sells the ability to use their logo for the award you 'won'. Consumer Reports is a non-profit that has a no commercial use policy. I know which one I trust, and it's not J.D. Power.
You're entitled to your opinion. Having worked inside an OEM I can tell you they are the gold standard and the thing that the companies pay the most attention to.

They are also the source for factory performance benchmarking and a lot of other industry benchmarking.
Last edited by 2tall4economy on Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.
Topic Author
2tall4economy
Posts: 629
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:55 am
Location: Global

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by 2tall4economy »

duplicate
Last edited by 2tall4economy on Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.
Topic Author
2tall4economy
Posts: 629
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:55 am
Location: Global

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by 2tall4economy »

dknightd wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:26 am
killjoy2012 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:18 am This thread is one of the reasons I think car discussions should be banned under the religion/politics rules.
I'd vote for that. Maybe. Let me think about it.
If so then we should ban all brand debates ;)

Windows vs Apple comes to mind.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.
Topic Author
2tall4economy
Posts: 629
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:55 am
Location: Global

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by 2tall4economy »

Normchad wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:57 am (Personally, I do believe the survey data, but still wouldn’t be caught dead in a Buick).
Now THAT, is perfectly fair :)

I have that feeling about quite a few cars myself.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.
Topic Author
2tall4economy
Posts: 629
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:55 am
Location: Global

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by 2tall4economy »

jharkin wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:34 am This is not by chance either, these are deliberate priority decisions by these companies. Toyota’s #1 goal is world beating reliability, and their manufacturing quality system is a benchmark for the industry (read a book called “The Toyota Way” it’s quite interesting band can be applied to many disciplines).
...a book published 17 years ago... believe this reinforces my point.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.
cacophony
Posts: 605
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:12 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by cacophony »

2tall4economy wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:04 am
cacophony wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:16 am J.D. Power is a market research company that sells the ability to use their logo for the award you 'won'. Consumer Reports is a non-profit that has a no commercial use policy. I know which one I trust, and it's not J.D. Power.
You're entitled to your opinion. Having working inside an OEM I can tell you they are the gold standard and the thing that the companies pay the most attention to.

They are also the source for factory performance benchmarking and a lot of other industry benchmarking.
Well consumers certain don't consider J.D. Power a gold standard, and educated consumers completely ignore it. Companies I'm sure care purely for their own marketing purposes.

Consumers care about long term reliability and there are only two sources for that data:

1. Consumer Reports
and
2. Truedelta

Unfortunately Truedelta stopped collecting data recently, but their conclusions largely agreed with Consumer Reports. The most reliable brand are Japanese. And FWIW, Tesla has relatively poor reliability according to the data.
Valuethinker
Posts: 42120
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Valuethinker »

Kagord wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:53 am Trying to remember, years ago, I thought I read the Initial quality was the first 90 days, and was any reason returning to the dealer, IE how to use something and minor annoyances. Dabbling in BI and data science for my career, I'm all for real data, I don't think the OPs link is that though.

I care about 25 years, not 90 days, that's my biased determination for "the life of a vehicle". Can't find much data on the percentage 1995 cars by model still on the road, and average expenses over that period.
That number would not be statistically significant?

For one it would be less than 1% of total model production for that year.

Also how the car was treated during that time would be too big a factor. Was the only winter driving in California or in Boston? What was the mileage? Was the car involved in any major accidents?

I can tell you in the world the most common 25 year old car is either a Toyota pickup (if they made such a thing in 1995? I remember seeing them in Syria, then) OR a Land Rover Defender.

The latter is anything but reliable. North American Road salt eats through it.

BUT parts are readily available and it is cheap to fix, especially drivetrain and body panels. Fuel efficient compared to say a Jeep, and it is made to tackle unpaved roads.

Former British colonies drive on the left so thats a huge fraction of the world that will take rh drive vehicle.

So Land Rover Defender is your man should you wish a vehicle that lasts 25+ years. Just remember to give your mechanic a good Xmas present ;-)
Valuethinker
Posts: 42120
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Valuethinker »

Svensk Anga wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:28 pm I don't know if it is currently true, but for a long while the domestic 3 manufacturers were at a severe labor cost disadvantage at assembly compared to the Asian brands. In order for them to be competitive, they had to cut costs somewhere. I suspect that they assembled the parts supplied by the very lowest bidders and pressured those firms to cut costs to the bone. No surprise if those parts were not as reliable as other firms which were not so pressed on costs.

If I were buying today, I would investigate how much this is still true and avoid those firms with bad cost structure, unless otherwise indicated.
The big Japanese makes now assemble in America. In a non UAW plant American car workers are among most productive in world and competitive on quality control.

(These days even unionised plants probably are as productive however benefits are higher in Michigan than in the Right To Work states like Kentucky or Tennessee, also probably hourly wages).

The pressure on component suppliers is true of all manufacturers but the leading suppliers make much better margins than the volume carmakers. 2-3x the net profit margins, typically.

When American car jobs moved they typically moved to Right To Work states and then to Mexico's macquiadora (sp?) plants.

The Mexicans were losing jobs to Chinese manufacturers but there has been a degree of re-shoring I believe.
Valuethinker
Posts: 42120
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Valuethinker »

slidecreek wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:28 pm One variable that never seems to be discussed in reliability studies is the demographics of the average owner.

Based on the car buying threads here, bogleheads love Toyota's. Are we more likely to be keeping current on all required maintenance and driving more conservatively than the average Jeep Wrangler buyer, for example?
In the last 24 years of my father's life he owned 2 Honda Accords and drove them each less than 5k miles pa. ;-)

We used to joke that his sister's car was "Subaru. I careful retired lady driver . . Who only used it off road to drive to the gravel pit" ;-). Good car but it had a hard life (she owned a farm).
User avatar
StevieG72
Posts: 1260
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by StevieG72 »

Kagord wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:30 am Curious if anybody else here has concerns of GDI engines or CVTs. I steer clear, even of the brands I trust, like Toyota, just because I don't see those two things lasting for 500K miles or 25 years, am I wrong here? There's certainly no history on this.
Count me in as not a fan of CVT transmissions. Recently bought my daughter her first car and did not get a Corolla due to CVT transmissions. ( as well as numerous recalls capturing just about every model year)
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
Leesbro63
Posts: 6952
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Leesbro63 »

StevieG72 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:53 am
Kagord wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:30 am Curious if anybody else here has concerns of GDI engines or CVTs. I steer clear, even of the brands I trust, like Toyota, just because I don't see those two things lasting for 500K miles or 25 years, am I wrong here? There's certainly no history on this.
Count me in as not a fan of CVT transmissions. Recently bought my daughter her first car and did not get a Corolla due to CVT transmissions. ( as well as numerous recalls capturing just about every model year)
My son's 2014 Corolla with the CVT has been fine at 70,000 miles. I wouldn't worry about it.
michaeljc70
Posts: 7470
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by michaeljc70 »

hunoraut wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:31 am Any survey is only as good as its design.
Initial quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
What constitutes a problem? Are they weighted? Is a loose air vent control the same as a door rattle is the same as a transmission failure? Does it matter if the problem is easily rectified?
The article from the OP says:

Almost one-fourth of all problems cited by new-vehicle owners relate to infotainment. Top complaints include built-in voice recognition; Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity; touchscreens; built-in navigation systems; and Bluetooth® connectivity.


It seems like a "problem" includes user error or if a customer didn't like the way something worked even though it worked as designed. This data is pretty useless IMO. I want to know what were problems that dealerships fixed. Like something was broken.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nowizard
Posts: 3211
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Nowizard »

J.D. Power is not the only company ranking vehicle quality, and Consumer Reports is as well known. J. D. Power is a marketing company that produces surveys in various areas based on their own description. That, along with increasing skepticism, is a factor for many in determining the "Best" source of information on vehicle quality. As with most things that are competitive, there will be varying opinions. Look at several sources and make your own decision. For example, years ago the Dodge Intrepid was advanced in its styling, had very poor quality reports but was a favored car by many aware of them. Quality is both objectively and subjectively defined.

Tim
User avatar
Helo80
Posts: 2089
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm
Location: Unsophisticated Investor

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Helo80 »

David Althaus wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:24 am Compare on Cargurus the asking price of a 5 year old Camry or Accord to any other comparable brand you choose. All else being equal the Camry and the Accord will likely command a higher asking price. Thus--there's your answer.
Toyota Tax is a real thing though and that includes Honda.

Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe were the same car, but the former commanded higher prices than the latter, because of perceived higher quality from Toyota. Both were built in the same auto plant, but badged differently.

It's also not uncommon for consumers to go into dealerships and buy 1-2 year old used cars, because they think they'll be saving tons of money on depreciation. Of course, factory incentives only apply to new vehicles sold, and rarely to anything on the used lot. Every once in a while, CPO incentives pop up.

There is absolutely a perception gap between the automakers and consumers.
Thank God for Wall Street Bets.
onourway
Posts: 2898
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by onourway »

2tall4economy wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:04 am
cacophony wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:16 am J.D. Power is a market research company that sells the ability to use their logo for the award you 'won'. Consumer Reports is a non-profit that has a no commercial use policy. I know which one I trust, and it's not J.D. Power.
You're entitled to your opinion. Having working inside an OEM I can tell you they are the gold standard and the thing that the companies pay the most attention to.

They are also the source for factory performance benchmarking and a lot of other industry benchmarking.
That pretty much confirms what many here are saying. JD Power is a marketing outlet for the manufacturers - so of course they pay attention to them. The manufacturers are also going to be most concerned about quality perceptions during the warranty period - especially the first six months or so as any problems during that period have a high likelihood of souring the customer permanently on that brand.

Note that these are pretty much polar opposites of what many buyers - especially Boglehead-types - are interested in - which is - as we’ve been saying - long term reliability of major systems.
User avatar
JoMoney
Posts: 10907
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:31 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by JoMoney »

Helo80 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:00 am ...
It's also not uncommon for consumers to go into dealerships and buy 1-2 year old used cars, because they think they'll be saving tons of money on depreciation. Of course, factory incentives only apply to new vehicles sold, and rarely to anything on the used lot. Every once in a while, CPO incentives pop up.

There is absolutely a perception gap between the automakers and consumers.
:thumbsup
1-3 year old used cars on a dealers lot are also frequently prior rental cars, that can often be purchased much cheaper directly from rental car companies used car sales... while it's debatable whether or not prior rental cars deserve their stigma, somehow people discount (or ignore) that when they're buying it off a dealers lot relative to buying cheaper directly from the rental company (who will often have an even bigger selection of the same model/year of the car.)
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham
tibbitts
Posts: 12845
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by tibbitts »

dsmclone wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:31 am There are so many factors that come into play with reliability. One of the biggest is redesign. =
Unfortunately that's just not true. Many manufacturers doggedly refuse to redesign seemingly trouble-prone components, especially if they mostly fail after the warranty expires. But sometimes even if they fail, even multiple times, during the warranty period. I don't understand that but it's certainly not limited to a few types of products or manufacturers, and it's not necessarily a Japan/Asia/Europe vs. U.S. issue.
tibbitts
Posts: 12845
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by tibbitts »

JoMoney wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:13 am
Helo80 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:00 am ...
It's also not uncommon for consumers to go into dealerships and buy 1-2 year old used cars, because they think they'll be saving tons of money on depreciation. Of course, factory incentives only apply to new vehicles sold, and rarely to anything on the used lot. Every once in a while, CPO incentives pop up.

There is absolutely a perception gap between the automakers and consumers.
:thumbsup
1-3 year old used cars on a dealers lot are also frequently prior rental cars, that can often be purchased much cheaper directly from rental car companies used car sales... while it's debatable whether or not prior rental cars deserve their stigma, somehow people discount (or ignore) that when they're buying it off a dealers lot relative to buying cheaper directly from the rental company (who will often have an even bigger selection of the same model/year of the car.)
I've compared prices between buying from Hertz/Avis directly and buying former rental cars from dealers and have found no significant difference. I don't believe dealers are buying these cars from rental companies at retail, but don't know how that works. I've bought four prior rental cars now and every one of them from a dealer, not the car company directly. In two cases the cars were certified by the same-manufacturer new car dealer, again at a similar price to the non-certified car from the rental car company.
Leesbro63
Posts: 6952
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Leesbro63 »

JoMoney wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:13 am
Helo80 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:00 am ...
It's also not uncommon for consumers to go into dealerships and buy 1-2 year old used cars, because they think they'll be saving tons of money on depreciation. Of course, factory incentives only apply to new vehicles sold, and rarely to anything on the used lot. Every once in a while, CPO incentives pop up.

There is absolutely a perception gap between the automakers and consumers.
:thumbsup
1-3 year old used cars on a dealers lot are also frequently prior rental cars, that can often be purchased much cheaper directly from rental car companies used car sales... while it's debatable whether or not prior rental cars deserve their stigma, somehow people discount (or ignore) that when they're buying it off a dealers lot relative to buying cheaper directly from the rental company (who will often have an even bigger selection of the same model/year of the car.)
Historically people saved by purchasing a 1-2 year old car, while still getting a near-new car experience. But in many cases today that's mythology. Often, particularly for high-resale Asian makes, the long term cost of the 1-2 year old car is more than for a new one, although additional cash up-front is needed for the new car. 1-2 year old cars are closer to brake and tire replacement and closer to end of warranty. But due to perception, these fetch an amount that ends up being more than a new car over the ownership time. Put another way, a well shopped brand new Honda or Toyota is often a better buy than a 1-2 year old Honda or Toyota.
Last edited by Leesbro63 on Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
JoMoney
Posts: 10907
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:31 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by JoMoney »

Leesbro63 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:26 am... Put another way, a sell shopped brand new Honda or Toyota is often a better buy than a 1-2 year old Honda or Toyota.
I certainly think that's true, people touting the "re-sale value" of those cars (or the "Toyota Tax" mentioned above) is the case in point. For someone who is going to own the car forever and drive it until the wheels fall off buying new is probably the better option.
Personally, I couldn't bring myself to buy brand new, I actually prefer that a car already have a scrape or two already on it so that I don't feel like I need to baby it or freak out when it gets scuffed. I definitely noticed the "Toyota Tax" when shopping for a few year old vehicle... which is why I bought 2 year old Hyundai ;)
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham
smitcat
Posts: 7356
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by smitcat »

Leesbro63 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:26 am
JoMoney wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:13 am
Helo80 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:00 am ...
It's also not uncommon for consumers to go into dealerships and buy 1-2 year old used cars, because they think they'll be saving tons of money on depreciation. Of course, factory incentives only apply to new vehicles sold, and rarely to anything on the used lot. Every once in a while, CPO incentives pop up.

There is absolutely a perception gap between the automakers and consumers.
:thumbsup
1-3 year old used cars on a dealers lot are also frequently prior rental cars, that can often be purchased much cheaper directly from rental car companies used car sales... while it's debatable whether or not prior rental cars deserve their stigma, somehow people discount (or ignore) that when they're buying it off a dealers lot relative to buying cheaper directly from the rental company (who will often have an even bigger selection of the same model/year of the car.)
Historically people saved by purchasing a 1-2 year old car, while still getting a near-new car experience. But in many cases today that's mythology. Often, particularly for high-resale Asian makes, the long term cost of the 1-2 year old car is more than for a new one, although additional cash up-front is needed for the new car. 1-2 year old cars are closer to brake and tire replacement and closer to end of warranty. But due to perception, these fetch an amount that ends up being more than a new car over the ownership time. Put another way, a well shopped brand new Honda or Toyota is often a better buy than a 1-2 year old Honda or Toyota.
"Historically people saved by purchasing a 1-2 year old car, while still getting a near-new car experience. But in many cases today that's mythology."
Agreed - certainly has been the case when you have a small business or when you can buy specific cars/trucks which hold value or even increase in value over some time periods.
lazydavid
Posts: 3591
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by lazydavid »

Svensk Anga wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:08 am
killjoy2012 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:18 am
- The auto supply chain is so globalized and intermixed today between American and Japanese vehicles, that it's somewhat laughable when someone claims one is so much better than the other. They all use the same suppliers, sometimes even the same parts!
This rings true to me. A couple years ago, we were shopping for a minivan. Like a good Boglehead, I considered the Honda the front runner. But there were complaints about its automatic transmission behaving badly. Researching further, I found that Chrysler used the very same transmission in their minivans, though maybe programmed differently. This transmission was built by a German company.
Yes, Honda had major problems with their programming of the ZF 9-speed they used in several products (Odyssey, Pilot, MDX). It hunted incessantly between gears, to the point I find it frustrating being a passenger in these vehicles, let alone driving them. Other manufacturers (including Chrysler) who used this exact same tranny had no such issues. Honda eventually figured it out around the 2019 MY if memory serves, but by that point they were starting to transition to an in-house 10-speed AT anyway.
like2read
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:30 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by like2read »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:13 am Depreciation numbers are difficult to get in any accurate way. Why? They use MSRP, not actual selling price.

If I go into a Jeep dealer right now, they're using "employee pricing" which is about 10% under MSRP. So if I buy a Grand Cherokee and then look at the official depreciation in 3 years, it might tell me it dropped $6k, but since I paid $4k under MSRP, then the % depreciation number is garbage.

On the other hand, a Wrangler, which I believe is not eligible for employee pricing, if bought well will have zero depreciation in 2 years from the sale price.

Buy any GM truck right now and demand $10k off MSRP and the salesman is going to laugh at you. Then he's going to point to the pickup parked near the road with the $12k off MSRP banner, which they do every year. So again, in 3 years, when the projected depreciation is $11,999, it actually has only dropped $1 from what you paid.

If a Tesla is listed for $59,256, you're going to pay $59,256. So it's one of the few cases where the depreciation % is likely accurate.

Buy a Buick, Maserati, AMG......despite whatever quality survey you believe, the depreciation will just be a picture of a huge rock. 50% in 3 years isn't unusual.

So what's my point? It's that supposed depreciation is meaningless without quite a bit of research. Consumer Reports does a good job with older cars (3 years or more). For new models, they suck. I bought a 98 Audi 2.8Q partly on rave Consumer Reports reviews. It was the new 5 valve engine and it was rated right up there with Acura, the king of the day. 2 years later, as a used car, it had a slew of problems and was "not recommended". I could agree with a new steering rack, alternator and transmission before the 50k warranty of the time expired.
Interesting observation about depreciation from MSRP. For what it is worth, found this website, which was linked from a Forbes magazine article, that lists 5 year depreciation by brand:
https://www.iseecars.com/cars-that-hold ... udy#v=2019
Last edited by like2read on Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ependytis
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:10 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Ependytis »

I’ll throw in my two cents since I haven’t seen these two points made: 1) buying a car late in the model cycle and 2) car extended warranties. A car late in the model cycle, because a lot of the bugs have been worked out, tends to be more reliable. If you look at car extended warranties, certain cars have extremely high cost in terms of the warranties. This is because the insurer knows they’re gonna have to pay a lot more to insure the car. When I buy a car, typically a Honda, I buy it late in the model cycle. I also look at what it would cost to buy an extended warranty and again Japanese cars tend to be lower cost than comparable cars.
H-Town
Posts: 3340
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by H-Town »

I haven't bought a car in 10 years. I feel like everything has changed since then. I don't plan to buy a car in the next 3-5 years. With this work-from-home environment, I can probably keep my car much longer than 5 years. Who knows? So probably by that time, we will have autopilot cars and more expansive public transportation and/or ride shares.

Instead of buying cars, I think to rent a car when the need arises. Like renting a car for a road trip, or renting a race car for tracks.
michaeljc70
Posts: 7470
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by michaeljc70 »

Ependytis wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 12:23 pm I’ll throw in my two cents since I haven’t seen these two points made: 1) buying a car late in the model cycle and 2) car extended warranties. A car late in the model cycle, because a lot of the bugs have been worked out, tends to be more reliable. If you look at car extended warranties, certain cars have extremely high cost in terms of the warranties. This is because the insurer knows they’re gonna have to pay a lot more to insure the car. When I buy a car, typically a Honda, I buy it late in the model cycle. I also look at what it would cost to buy an extended warranty and again Japanese cars tend to be lower cost than comparable cars.
That is true. It is also true that model redesigns can affect the resale value of used vehicles of the same model.
User avatar
Helo80
Posts: 2089
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm
Location: Unsophisticated Investor

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Helo80 »

JoMoney wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:13 am
Helo80 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:00 am ...
It's also not uncommon for consumers to go into dealerships and buy 1-2 year old used cars, because they think they'll be saving tons of money on depreciation. Of course, factory incentives only apply to new vehicles sold, and rarely to anything on the used lot. Every once in a while, CPO incentives pop up.

There is absolutely a perception gap between the automakers and consumers.
:thumbsup
1-3 year old used cars on a dealers lot are also frequently prior rental cars, that can often be purchased much cheaper directly from rental car companies used car sales... while it's debatable whether or not prior rental cars deserve their stigma, somehow people discount (or ignore) that when they're buying it off a dealers lot relative to buying cheaper directly from the rental company (who will often have an even bigger selection of the same model/year of the car.)
For the BH crowd and the makes/models they buy and the length of ownership, I would almost always recommend new unless a used deal came along from a family friend/relative/inheritance that was too good to pass up.

Even a well maintained 3-year old car coming off lease is going to have 3 years of age on the gaskets, seals, and everything else in the engine. That does not mean it's going to go tits up in the next 2-5 years, it just means that it's a 3-year old engine and will likely fail sooner than a brand new engine sold today. (Toyota uses the same engine in a lot of models, and generally does not do much to them year to year)

Though, I enjoyed this forum post from JD Powers and OP as BHs tend to be very much entrenched that Toyota/Honda build superior cars and everything else is junk. Yes, I have a Toyota, but I tend to be more free thinking, and there are a lot of good cars and trucks out there from many brands.
Thank God for Wall Street Bets.
smitcat
Posts: 7356
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by smitcat »

Helo80 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:19 pm
JoMoney wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:13 am
Helo80 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:00 am ...
It's also not uncommon for consumers to go into dealerships and buy 1-2 year old used cars, because they think they'll be saving tons of money on depreciation. Of course, factory incentives only apply to new vehicles sold, and rarely to anything on the used lot. Every once in a while, CPO incentives pop up.

There is absolutely a perception gap between the automakers and consumers.
:thumbsup
1-3 year old used cars on a dealers lot are also frequently prior rental cars, that can often be purchased much cheaper directly from rental car companies used car sales... while it's debatable whether or not prior rental cars deserve their stigma, somehow people discount (or ignore) that when they're buying it off a dealers lot relative to buying cheaper directly from the rental company (who will often have an even bigger selection of the same model/year of the car.)
For the BH crowd and the makes/models they buy and the length of ownership, I would almost always recommend new unless a used deal came along from a family friend/relative/inheritance that was too good to pass up.

Even a well maintained 3-year old car coming off lease is going to have 3 years of age on the gaskets, seals, and everything else in the engine. That does not mean it's going to go tits up in the next 2-5 years, it just means that it's a 3-year old engine and will likely fail sooner than a brand new engine sold today. (Toyota uses the same engine in a lot of models, and generally does not do much to them year to year)

Though, I enjoyed this forum post from JD Powers and OP as BHs tend to be very much entrenched that Toyota/Honda build superior cars and everything else is junk. Yes, I have a Toyota, but I tend to be more free thinking, and there are a lot of good cars and trucks out there from many brands.
"Yes, I have a Toyota, but I tend to be more free thinking, and there are a lot of good cars and trucks out there from many brands."
Yes - agreed. Even though we have had many Toyotas and Hino's there are certianly many other great cars and trucks out there.
milo minderbinder
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:57 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by milo minderbinder »

killjoy2012 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:18 am This thread is one of the reasons I think car discussions should be banned under the religion/politics rules. Everyone has an opinion, much of which is largely based on their personal experience or bias w/o any other real facts, and trying to use logic to explain/persuade just gets brushed off, or worse, taken as confrontational.

Some facts:
- The view point of the Japanese OEMs being a magnitude or more better than American is a 40 year old story. It's almost 2021; not 1980. The world has changed, but some like to live in the past.
- Globalization is real. Auto manufacturers generally favor purchasing parts and assemblies from suppliers, and make less and less of their own proprietary parts as the years tick by. This means less and less of the car content is proprietary to that OEM.
- The auto supply chain is so globalized and intermixed today between American and Japanese vehicles, that it's somewhat laughable when someone claims one is so much better than the other. They all use the same suppliers, sometimes even the same parts! Just look at the Takata air bag recall as one very public example.
- Generally speaking, vehicles with higher tech content score worse in JD Powers, CR and other surveys because it can be hard to use, has a learning curve that aggravates the new owner, and/or has bugs - as most tech things do. Unfortunately, this fact can drive some OEMs to shy away from adding new tech content for fear of not engineering the car to "test" well.
- How is Tesla even on any "long term dependability" study? That's a joke to begin with. Then again, if I was worried about long term reliability, I probably wouldn't buy a $100k vehicle that can only be repaired by a Tesla dealer, assuming there even is Tesla dealers a decade from now.

I'm all for weighing vehicle reliability in a decision, but there's 2 problems.
1) OEMs change their vehicles frequently, and redesign every 5-8 years. Just because a 2005 Camry proved to outperform 15 years later in long term dependability, has no bearing or proof that a 2020 Camry would do the same. It's a completely different vehicle! No one has a crystal ball.

2) All of these surveys/reports are biased in some way -- either they take money, get kickbacks, etc.

Sure, use the various dependability studies as one gauge in your purchase decision if you want. Given how intertwined the global auto supply chain is today, I think most people are kidding themselves - and they're really just buying a name that gives them comfort based on their personal experiences - which is fair. Hopefully people are weighing the more important things like size, comfort, capability, performance in their decision heavier.
Ban a topic because people tend to disagree about it? What would be left? Well chosen user name though.
JackoC
Posts: 2081
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by JackoC »

lazydavid wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:53 am
Svensk Anga wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:08 am
killjoy2012 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:18 am
- The auto supply chain is so globalized and intermixed today between American and Japanese vehicles, that it's somewhat laughable when someone claims one is so much better than the other. They all use the same suppliers, sometimes even the same parts!
This rings true to me. A couple years ago, we were shopping for a minivan. Like a good Boglehead, I considered the Honda the front runner. But there were complaints about its automatic transmission behaving badly. Researching further, I found that Chrysler used the very same transmission in their minivans, though maybe programmed differently. This transmission was built by a German company.
Yes, Honda had major problems with their programming of the ZF 9-speed they used in several products (Odyssey, Pilot, MDX). It hunted incessantly between gears, to the point I find it frustrating being a passenger in these vehicles, let alone driving them. Other manufacturers (including Chrysler) who used this exact same tranny had no such issues. Honda eventually figured it out around the 2019 MY if memory serves, but by that point they were starting to transition to an in-house 10-speed AT anyway.
This exchange though points to how issues (transmission 'hunting' is an issue though not necessarily a reliability issue) often come at the level of integration of the component into the overall design. Therefore the fact that lots of auto makers buy parts from same providers, such as transmissions from ZF, isn't necessarily a strong argument to expect reliability stats among makers to fully converge. Which was the original point on this series of exchanges, how it's supposedly 'laughable' to think Japanese brands would still have a noticeable reliability advantage over American ones because of 'globalization'. Thing is, seems like they still generally do, according to CR data. So I think the reliability issue overall, as opposed to anecdotes about one off cases, comes back to whether there's a good reason to thoroughly discount CR's data: I don't see that reason. I grant that CR's data is not the result of controlled scientific experiments. It could be affected by systematic differences in the likelihood of owners of various makes to report problems in their surveys, or that owners of some makes systematically drive the cars harder or are more lax on scheduled maintenance.

But as a car buyer having to make a decision under uncertainty, the absolutely scientific reliability tests do not exist, I don't find it plausible I should ignore CR and assume my odds are about equal with all makes dues to 'globalization' generally, or based on anecdotes. Not that I personally insist on Asian* brands. Of 21st century models, CR said new 2000 Mercedes E wasn't very reliable, I ignored it and ended up sorry, dumped it for new 2005 Lexus which is still around (though has run into significant repair costs this past year, inevitable eventually), 2002 Ford was meh, 2010 Hyundai also, both had some problems before they were old both gone now; 2015 BMW 328i problem free to date (the mating of ZF 8 speed to the engine on that car incidentally is a strong point IMO, very well done); 2018 M2 no problems but not a lot of miles. I'm willing to have cars with less than stellar CR records, or likely expensive repairs if they happen, if I like the car enough. I'm just not buying that CR data is worthless, and it still has some distinct skews by brand on reliability. And anyway there is by-model info also which I think is useful, smaller samples but one needn't judge just by brand.

*Hyundai seem to have basically joined the Japanese on CR reliability charts in recent times, it seems less true of the somewhat related entity KIA.
User avatar
snackdog
Posts: 978
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:57 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by snackdog »

Here is another source http://dashboard-light.com/vehicles/Res ... RAlpha.png which shows the dominance of Lexus/Toyota. It is based on several million used car inspections and thus addresses long term reliability by brand and individual model. It even notes specific issues, eg. Cadillac CTS was appalling up until about 2011, with issues in the engine and transmission (not just radio preset programming confusion).

People tracking resale values need to also understand there is a supply/demand component which can overwhelm reliability. Highest five-year resale is the Jeep Wrangler (70% of new). Not the most reliable vehicle, but they are popular and demand for used ones outstrips supply.
R2D2
Posts: 353
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:37 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by R2D2 »

I just want to chime in and say that I have no problem with "which car is best" threads. Not all of us are religious about this issue. I always thought Toyotas were superior in terms of reliability, but it seems that in recent years (according to CR), Mazda pulled way ahead. This converted me from a Toyota guy to a Mazda guy, and I'm very happy with my Mazda CX-5.
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 12782
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona
Contact:

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Sandtrap »

JackoC wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:07 am
lazydavid wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:53 am
Svensk Anga wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:08 am
killjoy2012 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:18 am
- The auto supply chain is so globalized and intermixed today between American and Japanese vehicles, that it's somewhat laughable when someone claims one is so much better than the other. They all use the same suppliers, sometimes even the same parts!
This rings true to me. A couple years ago, we were shopping for a minivan. Like a good Boglehead, I considered the Honda the front runner. But there were complaints about its automatic transmission behaving badly. Researching further, I found that Chrysler used the very same transmission in their minivans, though maybe programmed differently. This transmission was built by a German company.
Yes, Honda had major problems with their programming of the ZF 9-speed they used in several products (Odyssey, Pilot, MDX). It hunted incessantly between gears, to the point I find it frustrating being a passenger in these vehicles, let alone driving them. Other manufacturers (including Chrysler) who used this exact same tranny had no such issues. Honda eventually figured it out around the 2019 MY if memory serves, but by that point they were starting to transition to an in-house 10-speed AT anyway.
This exchange though points to how issues (transmission 'hunting' is an issue though not necessarily a reliability issue) often come at the level of integration of the component into the overall design. Therefore the fact that lots of auto makers buy parts from same providers, such as transmissions from ZF, isn't necessarily a strong argument to expect reliability stats among makers to fully converge. Which was the original point on this series of exchanges, how it's supposedly 'laughable' to think Japanese brands would still have a noticeable reliability advantage over American ones because of 'globalization'. Thing is, seems like they still generally do, according to CR data. So I think the reliability issue overall, as opposed to anecdotes about one off cases, comes back to whether there's a good reason to thoroughly discount CR's data: I don't see that reason. I grant that CR's data is not the result of controlled scientific experiments. It could be affected by systematic differences in the likelihood of owners of various makes to report problems in their surveys, or that owners of some makes systematically drive the cars harder or are more lax on scheduled maintenance.

But as a car buyer having to make a decision under uncertainty, the absolutely scientific reliability tests do not exist, I don't find it plausible I should ignore CR and assume my odds are about equal with all makes dues to 'globalization' generally, or based on anecdotes. Not that I personally insist on Asian* brands. Of 21st century models, CR said new 2000 Mercedes E wasn't very reliable, I ignored it and ended up sorry, dumped it for new 2005 Lexus which is still around (though has run into significant repair costs this past year, inevitable eventually), 2002 Ford was meh, 2010 Hyundai also, both had some problems before they were old both gone now; 2015 BMW 328i problem free to date (the mating of ZF 8 speed to the engine on that car incidentally is a strong point IMO, very well done); 2018 M2 no problems but not a lot of miles. I'm willing to have cars with less than stellar CR records, or likely expensive repairs if they happen, if I like the car enough. I'm just not buying that CR data is worthless, and it still has some distinct skews by brand on reliability. And anyway there is by-model info also which I think is useful, smaller samples but one needn't judge just by brand.

*Hyundai seem to have basically joined the Japanese on CR reliability charts in recent times, it seems less true of the somewhat related entity KIA.
Excellent overall points and presentation.
Thanks for posting this.

DW and I just ordered a new Hyundai Palasades (mid size suv) AWD loaded Caligraphy model.
So it was reassuring a bit to see your comment on Hyundai.
We were formerly committed to a Kia Telluride but current dealer price gouging and exorbitant sticker packing (adding 5k + to list) was unacceptable.

j :D
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
JackoC
Posts: 2081
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by JackoC »

snackdog wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:24 am Here is another source http://dashboard-light.com/vehicles/Res ... RAlpha.png which shows the dominance of Lexus/Toyota. It is based on several million used car inspections and thus addresses long term reliability by brand and individual model. It even notes specific issues, eg. Cadillac CTS was appalling up until about 2011, with issues in the engine and transmission (not just radio preset programming confusion).

People tracking resale values need to also understand there is a supply/demand component which can overwhelm reliability. Highest five-year resale is the Jeep Wrangler (70% of new). Not the most reliable vehicle, but they are popular and demand for used ones outstrips supply.
On resale I agree, it's an important metric if you buy a car new and plan to sell it used before it's very old. However as a predictor of reliability it has at least two flaws:
1. to the extent resale value is a function of reliability, it's a function of the buying public's *perception* of reliability. That perception can vary from reality, even though again I do not accept the thesis 'there's no difference now in reliability by brand because of globalization'. There's too much evidence that's still not true. But it is possible that the used car buying public overestimates this difference. This was seen in a used car I once bought for a kid, a Chevy Prizm, basically a rebadged Corolla assembled in the same factory (site of Tesla's main factory now) as most Corolla's sold in the US that model year, but cheaper because of GM's v Toyota's general reputation.
2. As you say, it's not just a function of even perceived reliability. Besides Jeep, lists of lowest 5 yr % depreciation vehicles tend to be heavy with pick ups. It's probably not because of any systematic tendency for pick ups to be more reliable than cars, but other dynamics of the used vehicle market.

Cost of repair has been mentioned, but IMO that's not usually a major differentiating factor in apples/apples comparisons of mass market brand cars, like say Toyota or Mazda (CR's recent reliability leader by brand) v Fiat Chrysler or Ford.
talzara
Posts: 1359
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by talzara »

Valuethinker wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:35 am I can tell you in the world the most common 25 year old car is either a Toyota pickup (if they made such a thing in 1995? I remember seeing them in Syria, then) OR a Land Rover Defender.
The Toyota Hilux has been sold since 1968. It's the car of choice for insurgents throughout the world. Even our own soldiers prefer it to the Humvee.

The JD Power Initial Quality Survey says that the Ford Ranger is the best mid-size pickup. It takes a brave man to drive a Ford Ranger into combat against the Toyota Hilux. The soldier whose vehicle breaks down first is going to be a sitting duck.
"The Toyota Hilux is everywhere," says Andrew Exum, a former Army Ranger and now a fellow of the Center for a New American Security. "It's the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47. It's ubiquitous to insurgent warfare. And actually, recently, also counterinsurgent warfare. It kicks the hell out of the Humvee." ... U.S. Special Forces even drive Toyota Tacomas (the chunkier, U.S. version of the Hilux) on some of their deployments.

...

An experiment conducted by British TV show Top Gear in 2006 offers one explanation. The show's producers bought an 18-year-old Hilux diesel with 190,000 miles on the odometer for $1,500. They then crashed it into a tree, submerged it in the ocean for five hours, dropped it from about 10 feet, tried to crush it under an RV, drove it through a portable building, hit it with a wrecking ball, and set it on fire. Finally they placed it on top of a 240-foot tower block that was then destroyed in a controlled demolition. When they dug it out of the rubble, all it took to get it running again was hammers, wrenches, and WD-40. They didn't even need spare parts.

https://www.newsweek.com/why-rebel-grou ... ilux-74195
talzara
Posts: 1359
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by talzara »

JoMoney wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:39 pm Happy Hyundai driver here, I didn't see Mazda mentioned, but last I heard they were the surprising #1 in reliability according to Consumer Reports 2020, who moved Toyota down to #2
Tesla has always been 'problematic' as far as I've heard
R2D2 wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:07 pm I always thought Toyotas were superior in terms of reliability, but it seems that in recent years (according to CR), Mazda pulled way ahead. This converted me from a Toyota guy to a Mazda guy, and I'm very happy with my Mazda CX-5.
Mazda scores higher because many models don't have touchscreens. If you exclude infotainment problems, Mazda and Toyota are about equal in reliability.
One factor boosting Mazda's scores: It hasn't invested heavily in modern infotainment systems, which tend to generate complaints about flaws.

"They’re just about the only manufacturer that’s launching new models without a touch screen," Fisher said.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/ca ... 337648002/
Post Reply