The fact is most ALL of the vehicle manufacturers fall within the
statistical average of 2%, which is the average number of faults for ALL
manufactured products. Naturally one will be on top and one will be on the
bottom in ANY list but a variation of .05% to 1% is in indeed meaningless.
What the customers should be more concerned about is the total cost to drive
the vehicle home, dealer service, shop rates for that service, insurance,
and parts costs, not whose brand in on the grill.
That is why the best vehicle, a Lincoln, had 37 problems per 100 vehicles.
I guess 98% of the vehicles have no problems, but 2% of the vehicles
have at 17 problems, on average.
> Naturally one will be on top and one will be on the
What's meaningless is your 2% statistic. The average was 125 problem per
100 vehicles. How that works to 2% is beyound me.
Including the cost of taking those cars, with average 1.25 problems per
car, back to the dealer.
Mike, I agree, that's why you should try a cost to own comparison on
edmonds.com. They compare on a 4 year basis, Maintenance, think repairs
before and after 90 days, more like about the time the warranty ends, Resale
Value (you know about that one Mike ), and yes original sale price and
regular maintenance. Try for example comparing Camry, Accord, Malibu, and
any other comparible domestics, and see what you come up with.
Most people don't own their only cars 90 days. I had a 92 Saturn SL2 that
rated high in JD Powers and it was a terrible car. Three brake jobs before
the warranty ran out (obviously my fault per the dealer). Used non-GM brakes
after the warranty and never replaced them again up to 73k miles. Alternator
died at 37k, dealer said can't help, rarely happens, parts guy said they
fail all the time, hmmmm. Rattles, loose trim parts, noisy engine, bad body
panels. Real quality car for the first 90 days, after that, well, downhill
from there. In the end, trade in value was horrible too. The folks at saturn
basically said too bad, so I say too bad when I don't consider them in the
Can't say that for my 3 Toyotas and my wife's 2 Hondas.
You are entitle to your own opinion but I know that since I switched from
Toyota / Lexus vehicles to domestics I have saved thousand of dollars every
time I buy another new car and I have been saving hundreds of dollars
annually on the maintenance costs at the dealerships.
What is meaningless is your 2% number. 2% of what? 2% of all
transmissions fail every day? 2% of cars will need a repair if driven
If you keep cars for two years (like you do) and have connections in
the industry and/or enough money that you don't care about resale
value, then it may not matter. For people who want to drive a car for
5 - 10 years and don't want to be making monthly trips to the garage,
it makes a difference.
Economical car ownership is most dependent on avoiding depreciation
costs and finance charges. High-quality, durable and reliable cars
are best for this.
Can't prove it by me. Of all the cars I have owned, only two were
problematic over time, a '51 Chevy and a '97 Lexus. Although I do not keep
my cars ten years most of them have gone to relatives and friends, some of
whom keep then even longer than ten years. If one does the proper
preventive maintenance any brand today will run to 200K or more.
I also own a '41, '64, '71, and a '83 domestics. All but the '41, where
purchased new and currently have from 100K to 300K on the clock and they all
look and run just fine.
Since I was in the fleet service business I have learned to do what
corporate fleet mangers do. I look at the total cost over time to acquire,
insure, maintain, repair and replace my vehicles. That is the reason why I
no longer buy imports
For you so say that, the '97 Lexus must have been a lemon. In my case, it
would take a really good deal to get me back into a Big Three car. My
three Toyotas (and my daughter's Matrix) have made me realize that going to
a repair shop with a problem is not necessarily a two-or-three times a year
thing, it can become an "every two years, whether it needs anything or not"
kind of thing.
Now and then, I read the used car ads for amusement, and continually see 3
or 4 year old Cads which the owner states "85K miles, new transmission" and
such ads for other American iron.
I still like my American car, built in Georgetown, KY with the badge
"Avalon" on it. ...And my Japanese Camry, now pushing 138K miles where only
the starter, the water pump, timing belt and brake pads have been replaced.
And the transmission is still smooth as silk.
Really? My '64 domestic has 165K on the Clock and my, '71 has nearly 300K
on the clock. My '83 domestic only has around 100K on the clock, but all
three still have their original starters and water pumps. Like I said,
todays cars are even better, 200k should be a cake walk if one does the
(M)y Japanese Camry, now pushing 138K miles where only the starter, the
Domestics are great.
That's why their market share keeps declining.
I've owned cars since the '60s and think you're lying.
Never replaced a starter? After 40 years of car ownership? That makes
you the only one.
My '83 domestic required a water pump replacement under warranty while
still running the factory coolant. Warranty covered the faulty fuel
None of my Honda or Toyota cars required as much repair or were as
costly to maintain as my domestics. Why do you think GM was forced to
go with a 100K mile powertrain warranty?
I think it is enlightening to realize that the Big Three designed
their cars to need repair frequently from the very beginning, while
the Japanese had the exact opposite approach and designed their cars
for durabililty from the very beginning. Hence the vast difference in
quality between the two. In recent years, this gap has indeed
dwindled for two reasons: the Americans have been forced by economics
of sale to improve quality, and the Japanese have taken on some of the
American way of thinking and have begun designing some of their
components to fail after a predetermined length of time or duration of
use. This allows future revenue in repairs and service. One
example: Honda designed their Odyssey with a condensor without any
protection from chips or stones from the road and has gotten back a
huge windfall with the repairs, but the rest of the vehicle is
absolutely top-notch. Another example: GM changed their horrible
minivan and small truck vehicle platform to a new one as seen in the
Envoy and Canyon etc... which is of top-notch quality and durability
but it took them so many years because they were reaping huge
windfalls from the downstream repairs of the old units.
So, in a nutshell, Mike is partly right and partly wrong. I buy
Hondas because I like the chassis designs and of course the engine
reliability is legendary. But so are the Toyotas, but I don't buy
them because I think they are plain ugly, the whole line of them from
the Corolla to the Tundra.
I'm really not trying to start a fight here, or even try to be smart.
I've owned 14 GM products over the past 30 years and have been
satisfied with all of them;of course, some more than others. Some
vehicles I have kept for many many years, others, I sold or traded
after a couple of years. One thing has been constant in ALL of the GM
cars I have owned is this: I have NEVER owned a GM car that I have had
to get rid of because it was mechanically unsound or unreliable. And
if I had to replace a starter, water pump,AND timing belt after only
138000 miles, I would probably not continuing to own GM products!
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