You have misinterpreted the data, I think. Those problem rates are for a
five year old vehicle in a single year. Not over a five year time span. That
means for a Caddy or Merc the average owner had a 100+% chance of having a
reliability failure in the single year the survey covered. The likelihood is
that the same will be true in the 6th, 7th, etc. year and I'd guess it was
true in preceding years. The average Lexus owner, on the other hand, had a
one in five chance of having a problem that year with his five year old car.
I don't know about you, but I call a 100%+ chance of having to take my Caddy
or Merc in for (likely expensive, out of warranty at 5 years) service in a
given year pretty unreliable.
I don't know about your definition of problematic, but the last U.S.-built
(OK, Mexico) vehicle I owned was a 2000 Yukon XL. Sold it last year after
five years of ownership with 30,000 miles on it. In that time the electric
fuel pump failed (out of warranty @ $800 repair), the rear window defogger
clip fell off the glass ($420 out of warranty at a glass shop, window had to
be replaced, would have been $800 at the GM dealer), the ABS sensor failed
due to poor corrosion shielding ($100 - reimbursed under a fed-mandated
recall), rear power window failed (out of warranty @ $200 to repair),
outside rear-view mirror defroster failed (repaired under warranty), same
mirror later cracked (out of warranty, I replaced it myself for $50). A few
very minor things went wrong, too.
I call that trouble-prone and if you look in the CR ratings for that vehicle
you will find that CR does rate it as trouble-prone. We also have a 1992
Lexus LS400 that we have had for 13 years. It has had one failure under
warranty (seat suspension wire broke) and two out of warranty (HVAC display
went out after 10 years and cost me $300 to replace and a mirror cracked
this past winter and cost me $83 to replace). Oh yeah, two cornering lamps
burned out in all that time. (I don't know where Lexus gets their lamps, but
they last like crazy.) I call that relatively trouble-free and so does CR.
Apparently you are the one confused, if that is what you believe. ALL
manufactures make some that fail, even that report shows their subscribers
report one per vehicle in five years.
On of my relatives now owns my last Lexus V8, a 1997. It has around 90K on
the clock. He just replaced the power steering pump. The pump alone cost
$1,5000. Another of my former cars, a 1999 Mustang GT convertible, is owned
by a neighbor. It has over 100K on the clock and it is all original,
including the power steering pump. Surly you do not believe I should come
into a NG and say all Lexus' have junk pumps and Mustangs are trouble free?
You haven't lived.
Since '54 I've had several problem cars, both domestic and import.
I will agree quality is generally getting better.
I've had several problem dealers as well.
Also service shops are tending to listen to the customers diagnostic
much better, even document it on their computer or as my Chrysler
dealer recently did they call out the mechanic to hear first hand on a
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