This is a note worthy survey because the cars are 3 years old, not 3 months.
Check out Mercedes, that POS. All you "German engineering" fanatics should
be scratching your head now because there really isn't any valid reason for
you to justify your expensive purchase...except the fact most of you are
suffering from the "small penis syndrome". "German cars last forever"..LMAO
Tue Jul 8, 1:05 PM ET Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!
By Justin Hyde
DETROIT (Reuters) - While Japan's largest automakers dominated an annual
vehicle quality survey released on Tuesday, General Motors Corp., scored
highly and DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes brand stalled.
The benchmark J.D. Power and Associates survey of long-term vehicle quality
polled 55,000 owners of 3-year-old vehicles and found that some automakers
are not living up to their promises -- or reputation -- for better quality.
"About half of new car buyers say longer-term dependability is a key factor
in choosing which vehicle they want," said Joe Ivers, J.D. Power's executive
director of quality and customer satisfaction research. "This is becoming
the next major issue in the auto industry, and a much more consistent focus
from automaker to automaker than it has been in the past."
As it has for the past several years, Toyota Motor Corp. (news - web
sites)'s Lexus luxury unit topped the brand rankings with 163 problems per
100 vehicles, followed by Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s Infiniti brand, GM's Buick
unit, Porsche AG and Honda Motor Co. (news - web sites) Ltd.'s Acura brand.
Among manufacturers overall, Porsche led the list, followed closely by
Toyota. Honda, Nissan and BMW AG rounded out the top five.
GM was the only one of Detroit's Big Three automakers to rank above the
industry average of 273 problems per 100 vehicles, with its Buick, Cadillac,
GMC and Chevrolet brands all performing above average.
Ivers noted that GM had never performed above the industry average in prior
surveys and that the survey backed up claims from GM executives that they
were matching the quality of Japanese automakers.
"This year, we see them (GM) sort of turn a corner," he said. "They've begun
to show evidence of closing that gap" with foreign automakers.
PLYMOUTH VS. MERCEDES
Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln brand scored just above Honda and its Mercury brand
did better than the industry average. But the Ford brand was below average,
with 273 problems per 100 vehicles, dragging down the company as a whole.
While Ford's F-Series pickup topped its class, the survey was the first to
include the Ford Focus, which was plagued with quality problems when it was
launched in 1999.
"Since the 1997 model year, Ford vehicles have been improving on a
consistent basis. This year is a bit of an exception," Ivers said. "The
Focus is one of those vehicles that hasn't aged gracefully."
Perhaps the study's most shocking results involve DaimlerChrysler. Since the
1998 merger, Daimler executives have contended that Mercedes-Benz's
knowledge of how to build quality vehicles would be used to improve the
But Chrysler, Dodge and the now-defunct Plymouth brand all outranked
Mercedes, which had 318 problems per 100 vehicles. Ivers said Mercedes'
troubles were concentrated in its M-Class sport utility vehicle and its
E-Class sedans, which accounted for roughly half its sales.
"The M-Class has had a lot of problems since its launch," Ivers said. "The
rate of deterioration on the E-Class is greater than on any other vehicle in
Long-term quality often translates into money won or lost for automakers.
Ivers said Honda's reputation for durability translates to a $1,500 premium
in the new-car market, with a even larger premium in used vehicles.
In addition, auto suppliers have said Japanese automakers' warranty costs
average $300 to $400 per vehicle, with Toyota averaging less than $100 per
vehicle, compared with $600 to $700 per vehicle for the Big Three.
This year's survey is not directly comparable to previous studies because
J.D. Power lowered the age of the vehicles it was monitoring to catch