12th Feb 2011, 11:11

What people fail to do when quoting rankings sources, is look at the entire ratings system. J.D. Powers has many categories, and you can find good and bad info about every car maker. If you look at the whole picture, which would be the accurate thing to do, imports still dominate. I finally just researched it on my own after all of the J.D. Powers quotes on here, and that is what I found to actually be truth. Lexus is the single best scoring brand overall, and since they are owned by Toyota and share many of the same driveline components I can only assume that Toyota's low rankings are from perceived low quality and not actual low quality. High recall numbers will affect your company as far as how the public perceives you.

What people fail to understand for some reason is that Toyota recalled so many cars because they had to find the defective parts they had put on them. There were certain defective parts from a certain company that got used on a number of cars. They didn't know exactly which cars this one line of bad parts went on, so they had no choice but to recall them all. I have never met anyone yet that took their car in on the recall and actually had anything replaced. Everyone I know said they took them in, and the dealer told them they were okay and didn't need any work done. So that means those cars didn't need to be recalled! They were just in case... The actual number of defective parts was a small fraction of the number of recalled cars. Once again, an overblown story! This is why Toyota ranks so low. Now they have released information stating there is no electrical defects on Toyotas, so they should get back to normal soon enough.

This will go the way of every other recall disaster in history. People forget about it and move on until another car company has issues.

12th Feb 2011, 14:07

Actually, Toyota got a lot of things right. They became the top automaker in the world, and ranked ahead of the big three in practically every autoranking source for over twenty years. The Corolla is the the #1 car of all time. And before the whole safety recall issue start up, they are not the only automaker to have problems with recalls or safety.

GM got a lot of things right, too. They got bankruptcy right, taxpayer bailout right, and ignorance of any cars except a few hulking trucks and SUVs.

It's common knowledge that Chrysler builds the worst cars in the world. They have been for a very long time. They survive through bailouts from Daimler and Fiat. Daimler smartly got out, and Fiat will too. Ford may have started to turn things around, but it took them a damn long time.

13th Feb 2011, 18:05

It's funny how those who choose to support foreign corporations will continue to try to find excuses for not buying from American companies. I've seen people referring to to the supposedly dangerous Ford PINTO to bash Ford. Never mind that that model has not been built for THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS!! We also see Explorer roll-overs cited in spite of the fact that that was a TIRE ISSUE and Ford did NOT make the TIRES. Then when Toyota has the largest major safety recall in history and has to pull nearly half its models out of sales until the recall is complete import buyers brush it off as if it was nothing. TEN MILLION CARS... NOTHING??? I don't think so.

14th Feb 2011, 11:11

And yet I have a 96' Tacoma that I drive almost every single day with well over 245,000 miles. I just drive it and change the oil and other stuff- routine stuff like spark plugs and air filters. The truck just runs and runs and runs. In fact, this is almost universally common with almost every person I know who owns a Toyota - both old and new. So if you want to put faith in a magazine publication for choosing cars - got for it. I don't need to read about "proof", because proof for us has come through actual ownership, rock-solid reliability, and no-nonsense build quality. nough' said...

14th Feb 2011, 18:26

I hate to break it you, but not everyone who buys a Toyota, Honda, or Hyundai is purposely trying to support a 'foreign corporation.' They're buying the best product for what they need and can afford. Corporations care only about profit. That goes the same for Ford, GM, and Chrysler/Fiat. If they care so much, why do they outsource so much of their product to Mexico and Brazil?

I also agree with the poster who swears by his Toyota. I swear by mine, too. My 05 Echo has been flawlessly reliable and fuel efficient. It was also unaffected by any recalls. I don't know how many recalls the Focus set, but it was a record, until Toyota beat it. Ford set the bar really high with their glitch ridden Focus. Also, I've said this on another review, but Toyota's recall issue has been proven to be exaggerated. Many of the accidents were driver error, not auto defect.

I'm a small car buyer, and my 'excuse' for not buying Ford, GM, or Chrysler was that they offered inferior, or no small cars at all. They ignored the small car market in favour of huge SUVs, and trucks.

14th Feb 2011, 20:29

I have said the exact same thing. Ratings are pretty much a waste of time, and more about marketing certain brands that need a boost these days. GM goes from bottom of the barrel to top on every list in one year and no one questions this as a bit fishy? The really ironic part about it is that they basically make all the same vehicles they did a few years ago, with the exception of a few new models that came out in the past year. Their large SUV line has been around since the 90's.

I agree with you, as I have had much better luck with imports like Toyota, Honda and Subaru. The proof is in years of driving them around trouble free, as opposed to many repairs with pretty much every domestic I have ever owned. Ratings companies do nothing for me as far as making a well informed decision on which car to purchase.

16th Feb 2011, 02:32

Jumping into these waters:

Recalls: foreign manufacturers tend to have higher thresholds of problem reporting before they will issue a recall. Also, they wait until it is proved to be a problem with a lot of vehicles. The domestic manufacturers (USA) will recall a vehicle given just a few reports of injuries, etc., because they fall under the direct jurisdiction of more consumer action groups. So you'll see, on average, more reports of domestic recalls. Watch out for the big ones, no matter where in the world your car comes from. And make sure the dealership actually did the recall work.

Surveys: I don't know how good the responses are to Consumer Reports' surveys, but there was a Canadian Consumer magazine for a while, that published numbers of responses in their reliability surveys. Some of the numbers were rather small. The oft-quoted J.D. Power survey is highly tilted toward public perceptions. Take the results with a grain of salt. Strangely enough, more problems crop up in a review of an oft-recalled car, even if the car in question is well within normal parameters.

Dealerships: shop around. When your dealership keeps going for the expensive repair option or doesn't give you repair options or is just hard to deal with, go somewhere where they treat you right. Good dealerships have this one figured out. My local GM dealership has one of the busiest repair shops in the area because of this. And they service more than just cars sold at their dealership.

That's my $76.02 (Inflation's a killer these days).