Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

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2tall4economy
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Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by 2tall4economy »

I won't change this board's group think with a single post, but I've got to start somewhere :)

I keep reading all of these uninformed posts about how good Japanese quality is and not to buy American unless it's a Tesla. The people posting that are replaying the movie they watched 20 to 30 years ago.

Don't believe me?

JD Power is the authority on vehicle quality for decades and is considered the source for the industry. Their 2020 results can be seen below:

https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... -study-iqs

Of note:
Average problems per 100 vehicles: 166

Toyota 177 (bottom half)
Honda 177 (bottom half)
Acura 185 (bottom quartile)
Tesla 250 (absolute worst of all brands)

In total, 4 of the 6 brands sold by the big 3 Japanese automakers are below average.

So who actual makes the best cars (non-niche brand?)

General Motors (Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac)
Hyundai (Hyundai, Kia, Genesis)
and FCA except Chrysler (Dodge, Ram, Jeep)
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cacophony
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by cacophony »

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.
Last edited by cacophony on Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
wunderkind
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by wunderkind »

JD Power doesn't track long term car reliability which is what most people care about. Consumer Reports does. According to CR, Japanese manufacturers still dominate long term reliability.
hunoraut
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by hunoraut »

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

Post by David Althaus »

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

Post by Kagord »

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.
59Gibson
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by 59Gibson »

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

Post by hunoraut »

59Gibson wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:05 am 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.
The residual value doesn't seem too dissimilar across different brands and vehicles. It's also not an exact indicator of resale because the manufactures still have lots of levers within the lease model to present the deal in different ways and execute at the values they want, e.g. using "CPO" label to adjust the pre-owned price.
andypanda
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by andypanda »

I clicked the link. It's even worse than I expected.

"Infotainment is most problematic category: 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;"

No wonder the roads are so dangerous, people think they are on their sofa at home. :)

Okay, so bells and whistles aren't up to snuff. That doesn't surprise me or bother me. I buy a vehicle to get around safely and reliably. My 4Runner has a nav system, but I use my iPhone when I need directions. I did upgrade the speakers and have door insulation added shortly after I bought the truck, but that was a known shortcoming due to lightweight speakers, not a broken or loose part.
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climber2020
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by climber2020 »

Don’t care what the car is like the year I buy it.

I want to know how it runs 15 years later and how much time & money was required to keep it in that condition.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by jabberwockOG »

Initial quality survey (90 days) is important but generally not an indicator of long term reliability and low maintenance and repair costs. Take a look at the types of 5-7 year old used sedans and SUVs, with apprx 100k+ miles on them, that still command relatively premium prices - Honda, Acura, Toyota, Lexus
Leesbro63
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Leesbro63 »

andypanda wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:04 am I clicked the link. It's even worse than I expected.

"Infotainment is most problematic category: 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;"

No wonder the roads are so dangerous, people think they are on their sofa at home. :)
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.
Leesbro63
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Leesbro63 »

wunderkind wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:17 am JD Power doesn't track long term car reliability which is what most people care about. Consumer Reports does. According to CR, Japanese manufacturers still dominate long term reliability.
+1. This.
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

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

Post by JoeRetire »

Leesbro63 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:12 am 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.
Any data to support that second claim? I know first responders support the first.
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by dsmclone »

There are so many factors that come into play with reliability. One of the biggest is redesign. For example, of course the Dodge Charger(Toyota 4 runner, etc) should be decently reliable, they've barely changed anything in the car in 10 years. Also, one model doesn't make a brand. Resale is usually a good indicator. Also, go sit in a 10 year old Honda Accord and go sit in a 10 year old Chevy Malibu, that will give you a good feel for ho well built a car is going to be.
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by carolinaman »

2tall4economy wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:58 am
I keep reading all of these uninformed posts about how good Japanese quality is and not to buy American unless it's a Tesla. The people posting that are replaying the movie they watched 20 to 30 years ago.

I have been buying Toyota cars for my family for more than 40 years with very minimal problems. We have usually logged 150k+ miles on most of our vehicles with excellent reliability and service. Also, I believe Consumer Report has highly credible ratings of all the auto companies reliability and Toyota is always rated the highest. Thirdly, late model Toyotas usually sell at a premium compared to similar autos, especially from some of the companies you mention.

OP cites JD Powers ratings as his proof. The ratings are controversial and lack the credibility of Consumer Report and others. His claims are without merit.
tm3
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by tm3 »

From the JDP www site:

Initial Quality has proven to be an excellent predictor of long-term reliability

To make this conclusion, they would have to have some data on long-term reliability (as well as their IQ survey results).

Where is it?
runninginvestor
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by runninginvestor »

Everyone keeps mentioning CR, so I found their 2020 reliability report for source. Likely need to use your library membership to read the whole report.

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-rel ... able-cars/

They have a different outcome of results as others have noted.

I'll play slight devil's advocate with them also. Their reliability score is based on a surcey they send to CR members, so not necessarily a representative sample of all car buyers.

And this report is new car, 1 year reliability.
hunoraut
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by hunoraut »

One of the things I appreciate as I get older is getting a long-horizon view of things, and shedding blind brand loyalty.

Brands change, industry forces change, company financials change, product leaders change. A Toyota of last decade is not the same as a Toyota of this decade. A Land Cruiser with a chassis and motor proven over 10 years is a different ownership proposition than a first-year Corolla. A GR Yaris has a completely different character and raison d'etre than a standard Yaris. Even Tesla you could get a batch of car that was built under tents in a production rush or one in more normal production flow.

Inevitably all discussions boil down to "I love/hate Sony/Samsung/Toyota/Pirelli/Magnavox" which is insanely reductive
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by dknightd »

What is more important to you? Getting from a to b? Or having the satnav work on the way?
Pretty much any vehicle has flaws. And often they do not turn up right away. And they change every year. I'm starting to think that vehicle quality is kind of like investing. You will not know till it is too late to change your mind.
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killjoy2012
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by killjoy2012 »

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.
Last edited by killjoy2012 on Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
dknightd
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by dknightd »

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

Post by whodidntante »

hunoraut wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:08 am One of the things I appreciate as I get older is getting a long-horizon view of things, and shedding blind brand loyalty.

Brands change, industry forces change, company financials change, product leaders change. A Toyota of last decade is not the same as a Toyota of this decade. A Land Cruiser with a chassis and motor proven over 10 years is a different ownership proposition than a first-year Corolla. A GR Yaris has a completely different character and raison d'etre than a standard Yaris. Even Tesla you could get a batch of car that was built under tents in a production rush or one in more normal production flow.

Inevitably all discussions boil down to "I love/hate Sony/Samsung/Toyota/Pirelli/Magnavox" which is insanely reductive
On the other hand, it's fun to watch an intractable argument and maybe add some droppings. Fanbois can prove to be quite flexible, but only in the sense that they contort themselves to locate and justify the data that confirms their bias. :twisted:
59Gibson
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by 59Gibson »

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.
Wow. Shutdown a discussion on cars now..ok
Not sure why the immediate response from some is to shut down discourse.
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.
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by H-Town »

Leesbro63 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:12 am
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.
In most cases, distracted and/or impaired drivers would need those techs. If you pay attention to the road and your surrounding, those gimmicks aren’t necessary. Distracted and/or impaired drivers shouldn’t get behind the wheel to begin with.
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by dbr »

Whatever data or rating is presented a first question to ask is if differences are actually significant. I don't think most of the ratings of long term vehicle reliability are significantly different, especially as predictors of current model future reliability.

If one does peruse the ratings available the only make that ever seems to consistently stand above others might be Lexus, or might not be. It is probably true that Jeep has a record of being pretty much at the bottom end -- or not.

I don't think I would try to use reliability ratings as a criterion to select a new car, and if I did I think I would let the time worn anecdote of "buy a Japanese car" still apply absent anything better.

The best car I have had over a few decades of American, Japanese, and European cars was a 1999 Buick LeSabre, which I drove for sixteen years. But we weren't supposed to be doing anecdotes.
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Normchad »

Leesbro63 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:12 am
wunderkind wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:17 am JD Power doesn't track long term car reliability which is what most people care about. Consumer Reports does. According to CR, Japanese manufacturers still dominate long term reliability.
+1. This.
It’s true that the most often cited thing from JD Power is their initial quality survey. It’s fine for what it is.

They also do a longer term dependability study, which doesn’t get much mention by anybody. It’s. It isn’t truly long term, but it looks at problems experienced by people that have owned the cars for 3 years. Here is a link: https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... lity-study I really like this study over all the others.....

And yeah, we’ve all been around long enough to nitpick everything to death. This is no different. It is true that GM makes some outstanding vehicles. It’s also true that the Japanese screw up sometimes, etc. of all the real car horror stories I’ve heard from friends, they have almost all been domestic. The only exception is a Toyota truck that needed a complete frame replacement due to corrosion..... so anecdotes, but that’s the best you will do unless you’re willing to believe survey data from places like Consumer Reports and JD Powers. (Personally, I do believe the survey data, but still wouldn’t be caught dead in a Buick).
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by smitcat »

H-Town wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:48 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:12 am
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.
In most cases, distracted and/or impaired drivers would need those techs. If you pay attention to the road and your surrounding, those gimmicks aren’t necessary. Distracted and/or impaired drivers shouldn’t get behind the wheel to begin with.
Except of course if you come upon a glare problem, sneeze, have an unexpected medical reaction/condition, unexpectedly get a visit by an impaired diver, have deer or other animals near you, etc.
Agreed that impaired and distracted divers should never be in the seat but they are out there and often hard to identify.
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Carguy85 »

Geez... cancel culture I suppose 😒. Why get mad over differing opinions especially regarding cars? There is a butt for ever seat. What I value in vehicles (we drive “dinosaurs” ..a late model tundra and sequoia) IS very different than what say a Tesla or European car driver values and that’s OK! What I’m willing to accept is very different than that of a Ford truck driver and that’s ok😁. I found the recent thread on 3rd row seating entertaining in what people are willing to accept as enough room but no need to call out someone if they are ok with being packed in like sardines. As long as I have a choice...(ok maybe a little too political now).😀
Last edited by Carguy85 on Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:24 am, edited 3 times in total.
Normchad
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Normchad »

Carguy85 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:18 am Geez... cancel culture I suppose 😒. Why get mad over differing opinions? There is a butt for ever seat. What I value in vehicles (we drive “dinosaurs” ..a late model tundra and sequoia) IS very different than what a Tesla or European car driver values and that’s OK! I found the recent thread on 3rd row seating entertaining in what people are willing to accept as enough room but no need to call out someone if they are ok with being packed in like sardines. As long as I have a choice...(ok maybe a little to political now).😀
Fantastic point. There is no one perfect car for everyone....... manufactures make lots of cars, trucks, and vans because different people want different things.
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Kagord »

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

Post by jharkin »

JD Power is “initial build quality” . Quality is not the same thing as reliability, something a lot of folks who don’t work in engineering type fields often confuse. German cars feel high quality because of tight panel gaps and doors that close with the solid feel of a bank vault. Nobody argues they are not.

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.

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). The German luxury Marques on the other hand pride themselves on innovating high end engineeering features in driving performance (BMW), Luxury (Mercedes). The Americans tend to focus on value for your dollar.

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.
Last edited by jharkin on Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
Normchad
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Normchad »

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.
I think it’s hard to buy a bad car anymore. They’re all oretty good.

I have my own personal biases though, which are not necessarily based on facts. I do avoid CVTs. I prefer V6 engines to turbo 4s, etc. but those are just my preferences.....

I begrudgingly bought the first turbo charged engine Honda sold in America, and honestly, it was a flawless performer for all the years I owned it. That vehicle also had a transmission that people regarded as troublesome, but never had an issue with that either.....
Carguy85
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Carguy85 »

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.
Spare yourself the worry since you are concerned (I’m that way too) and DO get a Toyota with a Synergy drive.. eCVT and dual injection setup (port and direct) if we are talking sedans. The eCVT in the synergy drive is NOTHING like a typical cvt and utilizes an electronically controlled planetary gear set NOT a chain or steel belts. Absolutely ingenious how the ICE and drive motor interact. Planetaries are used in traditional automatics but are controlled with frictions/hydraulics instead of magnetic forces. And yes the synergy drives have proven themselves in several 100k mi taxi cabs.
Last edited by Carguy85 on Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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galawdawg
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by galawdawg »

2tall4economy wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:58 am I won't change this board's group think with a single post, but I've got to start somewhere :)

I keep reading all of these uninformed posts about how good Japanese quality is and not to buy American unless it's a Tesla. The people posting that are replaying the movie they watched 20 to 30 years ago.

Don't believe me?

JD Power is the authority on vehicle quality for decades and is considered the source for the industry. Their 2020 results can be seen below:

https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... -study-iqs

Of note:
Average problems per 100 vehicles: 166

Toyota 177 (bottom half)
Honda 177 (bottom half)
Acura 185 (bottom quartile)
Tesla 250 (absolute worst of all brands)

In total, 4 of the 6 brands sold by the big 3 Japanese automakers are below average.

So who actual makes the best cars (non-niche brand?)

General Motors (Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac)
Hyundai (Hyundai, Kia, Genesis)
and FCA except Chrysler (Dodge, Ram, Jeep)
Sorry, OP, but it appears that you may be the one who is misinformed! :happy

JD Power has most certainly not been the "authority on vehicle quality for decades." The JD Power survey "examines problems experienced by owners of new 2020 model-year vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership." They surveyed just under 90k owners over a three (3) month period. 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.

JD Power markets those surveys to auto manufacturers (or whatever "industry" they are surveying) which is how they make their money. Their clients are not consumers but the industry. And JD Power heavily markets their survey results as "the authority" to increase public awareness of the JD Power brand which motivates their clients (the auto company or other industry being surveyed) to purchase their services....after all, nobody wants to be at the bottom of the JD Power rankings, right?

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

Post by H-Town »

smitcat wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:59 am
H-Town wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:48 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:12 am
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.
In most cases, distracted and/or impaired drivers would need those techs. If you pay attention to the road and your surrounding, those gimmicks aren’t necessary. Distracted and/or impaired drivers shouldn’t get behind the wheel to begin with.
Except of course if you come upon a glare problem, sneeze, have an unexpected medical reaction/condition, unexpectedly get a visit by an impaired diver, have deer or other animals near you, etc.
Agreed that impaired and distracted divers should never be in the seat but they are out there and often hard to identify.
Having my fair share of driving in West Texas, a heavy-duty front bumper would be much safer than "safety techs".

However I agree with you that safety techs have their place in modern vehicles. Glare problem is an issue if you drive west during sunset. I just want to be cautious that we should not rely on safety tech and let our guards down. Just be responsible and courteous on the road regardless of whether or not your vehicle has a full suite of safety tech.
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by smitcat »

H-Town wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:48 am
smitcat wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:59 am
H-Town wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:48 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:12 am
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.
In most cases, distracted and/or impaired drivers would need those techs. If you pay attention to the road and your surrounding, those gimmicks aren’t necessary. Distracted and/or impaired drivers shouldn’t get behind the wheel to begin with.
Except of course if you come upon a glare problem, sneeze, have an unexpected medical reaction/condition, unexpectedly get a visit by an impaired diver, have deer or other animals near you, etc.
Agreed that impaired and distracted divers should never be in the seat but they are out there and often hard to identify.
Having my fair share of driving in West Texas, a heavy-duty front bumper would be much safer than "safety techs".

However I agree with you that safety techs have their place in modern vehicles. Glare problem is an issue if you drive west during sunset. I just want to be cautious that we should not rely on safety tech and let our guards down. Just be responsible and courteous on the road regardless of whether or not your vehicle has a full suite of safety tech.
Just giving you real life examples where these tech items 'would have' helped or completely avoided accidents in our family over the past 6 years.
2 related to drunk drivers one of which could have been avoided with faster recognition/reaction times from a machine.
And one with a deer on our road which is not in a remote location at all really - but it can happen>
Wish we/I had them at the time.

"Having my fair share of driving in West Texas, a heavy-duty front bumper would be much safer than "safety techs"."
It is unlikely that your front bumper is appreciably heavier then mine but in both of the cases we have been thru with cars/trucks it would not have mattered anyway - one was a broadside and the other from behind.
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Svensk Anga
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Svensk Anga »

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

Post by JackoC »

59Gibson wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:45 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. 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.
Wow. Shutdown a discussion on cars now..ok
Not sure why the immediate response from some is to shut down discourse.
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.
On first, yeah, the totalitarian mindset rubbing off on forum participants. :happy

Of the points made, all are reasonable in a vacuum. They aren't as good given the basic lack of an argument against CR's voluminous data as the best and least likely to be biased. Which is the basic flaw IMO in all discussions about this concluding it's a matter of opinion like religion or politics. Show me why I shouldn't generally believe the CR data. I realize it's not perfect*, but many discussions proceed on the assumption anyone has shown a good reason to reject it in general which they haven't IME. That tends to cover points like this year's Camry being a different generation than previous Camry when that's true. CR is saying upfront, expected based on previous track record. The point about more tech tending to mean more minor problems has some validity, but as subscriber you can look to CR results by system not just the car, or maker, overall. Also who says unreliable tech isn't a 'real' problem? The point about globalization has no real merit in terms of CR rating that I can see. CR collects the data for the cars as they exist. The fact that given components might be made by the same manufacturer will presumably show up in flaws directly related to those components where ever installed. But a lot of reliability issues are on the 'integration' level which is the likely explanation eg. the Detroit brands have never caught up with the Asians. Similarly it's probably why Tesla is bad on reliability despite the theoretical simplicity of EV's. Tesla hasn't built up the institutional 'secret sauce' to match the standards of reliability of the finished product of even the Detroit brands generally (except Lincoln, the only brand behind Tesla in latest CR ranking by make) let alone the Asian brands, even with the advantage of a conceptually simpler vehicle than the ICE's which represent the vast majority of the established makers' product lines.

*it's owner reported introducing some self selection issues. You can often see it varies somewhat among versions of a given model (say RWD w AWD, 4 cyl v 6 cyl) for reasons not directly to do with the technical difference in the models. Etc. But I'm talking *basically* valid, haven't ever seen the reason to conclude this is so untrue as to go looking at a for profit award giver (JD Power) or raw 'customer reviews' on the internet that are often fake. I check out owner forums before I actually buy a car, but keeping in mind major self selection bias, for boring cars especially there's not much reason to even discuss the car on the internet except problems no matter how statistically rare.
Last edited by JackoC on Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
shunkman
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by shunkman »

I have accepted that most cars and other technology-dependent appliances are going to have some defects. For me, what separates the good companies from the bad ones is how willingly and effectively the company then resolves these defects.
squirm
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by squirm »

Not sure how the OP post is actionable but just go with the resale value and common knowledge, Toyota and Honda, you can't go wrong as far as quality goes.
dbr
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by dbr »

shunkman wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:27 am I have accepted that most cars and other technology-dependent appliances are going to have some defects. For me, what separates the good companies from the bad ones is how willingly and effectively the company then resolves these defects.
Indeed. But with autos that might be more a function of the dealer than of the brand. I don't know if there is a tabulation of dealer service quality by brand.
We're wolves
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by We're wolves »

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

Post by dbr »

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

Post by vasaver »

Leesbro63 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:12 am
andypanda wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:04 am I clicked the link. It's even worse than I expected.

"Infotainment is most problematic category: 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;"

No wonder the roads are so dangerous, people think they are on their sofa at home. :)
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.
I am sorry - but I have never had my "Infotainment" system break on me. I have had plenty of other problems with cars, but this is a BS catagory - things like "voice recognition", "Apple/Android Carplay Connectivity", "Built in Navigation" and "Bluetooth connectivity" are probably a user error or just aren't ready for primetime. Some screens go out and buttons may quit working, but those are probably the only real infotainment problems.

What matters to me is that a car starts and gets you where you are going (safely). I suspect that is why Hondas and Toyotas have such high resale.
Carguy85
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by Carguy85 »

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.

So maybe paying good money for “old” 2008 technology in a new/newer sequoia and tundra wasn’t totally silly 🤔.
But yes I totally see the argument here. What’s the point in comparing a model of a few generations previous that is totally different other than if there is a reputation of getting it mostly right right off the bat. Some manufacturers are better at this than others I suppose.
talzara
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by talzara »

jharkin wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:34 am JD Power is “initial build quality” . Quality is not the same thing as reliability, something a lot of folks who don’t work in engineering type fields often confuse. German cars feel high quality because of tight panel gaps and doors that close with the solid feel of a bank vault. Nobody argues they are not.
The JD Power Initial Quality Survey measures build quality 90 days after purchase and the driver's satisfaction with the design. This makes it useless as a measure of build quality, much less long-term reliability.
Raffi Festekjian, J. D. Power’s director of automotive product research, explains that the IQS was designed to capture “things gone wrong” with a vehicle. Each one is called a “problem,” and it can be “either a fault in the assembly of the vehicle or a design issue.” A fault might be a poorly assembled door panel or a loose electrical connection, while a design issue is something that a customer doesn’t like—a multifunction cruise-control stalk, for example—even though the item is performing exactly as intended.

...

We’ve observed with dismay as BMW, in its newer models, has been switching from its traditional stalk-based cruise control to buttons on the steering wheel. We’ve been told that this change is to address IQS complaints, even though we—and most BMW executives—agree that the stalk control is easier and less distracting to operate.

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a ... y-feature/
andypanda
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Re: Vehicle quality (the real data, not anecdotes)

Post by andypanda »

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

Post by phxjcc »

Normchad wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:57 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:12 am
wunderkind wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:17 am JD Power doesn't track long term car reliability which is what most people care about. Consumer Reports does. According to CR, Japanese manufacturers still dominate long term reliability.
+1. This.
It’s true that the most often cited thing from JD Power is their initial quality survey. It’s fine for what it is.

They also do a longer term dependability study, which doesn’t get much mention by anybody. It’s. It isn’t truly long term, but it looks at problems experienced by people that have owned the cars for 3 years. Here is a link: https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... lity-study I really like this study over all the others.....

And yeah, we’ve all been around long enough to nitpick everything to death. This is no different. It is true that GM makes some outstanding vehicles. It’s also true that the Japanese screw up sometimes, etc. of all the real car horror stories I’ve heard from friends, they have almost all been domestic. The only exception is a Toyota truck that needed a complete frame replacement due to corrosion..... so anecdotes, but that’s the best you will do unless you’re willing to believe survey data from places like Consumer Reports and JD Powers. (Personally, I do believe the survey data, but still wouldn’t be caught dead in a Buick).
For the record, there was a factory program to replace corroded frames on Toyota pickups...it is not annecdotal.
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