Where is the proof that any of that is at all true? We've owned Toyotas and Hondas for 30 years and it doesn't matter what age they happen to be as they've all been nearly flawless. We're talking model years from the 70's through 2008. They STILL make excellent cars and STILL make a better product than anything the big 3 could ever hope to produce. End of story.
I have a 2005 Corolla, and it leaves a LOT to be desired. Only 89,000 miles and the automatic transmission is already having problems. My 1998 Mitsubishi Montero Sport with over 142,000 miles is way more reliable than this Toyota, as is my 2003 Honda Element with 129,000 miles. And I have followed the recommended maintenance.
I dunno, maybe I just got a bad one, but no more Toyotas for me, it's Honda or Ford from now on.
I pretty much agree with the above comment. The new Corollas are very poorly built. My friend's 2009 Corolla was impossible to align because the rear sub-frame assembly had sagged just from the weight of the car. I had the same problem with another Japanese car. None of my domestics has ever had alignment problems, even after hitting curbs at 50 mph. No more Japanese cars here!!
I bought Toyotas and Hondas since the 70s too. Low production then and were fine. My last 2, 2002 and 2004, were our last. Major trans issues.
Here we go again with the "sagging frame" comments. As correctly pointed out before, it would be absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for a unibody car frame to sag because the entire car itself is the frame, and if your entire car was sagging, you would not be able to open or close the doors, and frankly none of the rest of the car would function. I do not buy that argument one iota. Unless you've been in a serious accident, you're not going to have a sagging unibody frame.
Lastly - it's sort of a highly generalized statement to proclaim that ALL Japanese cars are faulty, while by some miracle ALL domestic cars are perfect. It's simply not true. For starters, there are literally tons and tons of "captive imports", meaning that domestic automakers slap their labels on what's basically a Japanese car. Secondly, the most American made truck today is a Toyota Tundra, with over 80% of the truck actually made IN the USA with US-made parts. The same goes for the Camry and Accord. Yet these are some of the highest-rated cars on the planet.
Both domestic and Japanese carmakers make crap. Both make good cars as well. Just because something is an American or Japanese brand, doesn't mean it's either all bad or all good. It's a machine.
Unibody cars don't have "frames" as such, but they do have supposedly strengthened areas (sometimes referred to as "subframe assemblies") that suspension components attach to. It is these areas on poorly built Japanese cars that easily bend and sag, preventing proper wheel alignment at both front and rear ends. My Japanese car could not be aligned because the front had sagged beyond the range of the alignment adjustment. My friend's 3-year-old Toyota had sagged so much that the rear wheels could not be aligned. I am told this is very common on Japanese cars. I have switched to domestics, and none of them has ever required an alignment, even after hitting curbs or huge potholes. They are far more solidly built than imports.
You are right. All the newer cars are mostly disposable junk, no matter what brand they are. Japanese and domestic are pretty much the same, interchanging and outsourcing parts between companies to save costs. The newer cars are built to be disposable and for planned obsolescence; there is just no money in building a car that lasts, as all the companies have found out unfortunately.
I bet people were saying the exact same thing back in the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's. Truth be known, the newer a car is, the generally better it's going to be. Mainly because for starters, the safety requirements for cars these days is a dozen times more stringent than even 10-15 years ago. A modern car is required to withstand crashes that would have destroyed a car from the 50's or 60's. Get into a head-on collision with a car from the 50's or 60's, and the steering wheel and perhaps even the engine would wind up in the front seat, pushed through the firewall. Today's cars are far more rigid and structurally sound. I should know because I actually own a 55' Ford, and there is NO WAY I would ever want to get into an accident in that thing. The body is basically just hung on the frame, providing zero safety.
I have yet to see any car with a "Sagging" frame other than those that have been in a severe accident. Once again - claiming that a car that just so happens to be "domestic" is better doesn't make any sense. So many "domestic" cars are based on imported drive trains and chassises that the argument is mute.
It all depends on where a car was assembled, thus when and where it became a car and not an assortment of parts. Most "domestic" cars like Challengers were put together in Canada therefore are Canadian.
Opening and then shutting a car door to see how it aligns and shuts is better than a visual.
I had a friend, who was a student, and bought an old Chevy Malibu from the late 70's or early eighties. He was driving it home from the guy he bought it from when the front passenger wheel came off. He was lucky he wasn't hurt. Those old style Chevys aren't as great or bulletproof as some people make them. I realize it was on old car, but there's always a higher risk with an old beater. I'd take the Corolla in a heartbeat over an old Dodge, Chevy, or Ford.
Ah, well I'm asking what HAS gone wrong with the car. You haven't listed on specific issue, sounds fishy to me.
I work with a guy that drives a 2006 Corolla with 150,000 miles on it with NO major problems whatsoever. The only things he's replaced were brakes and oil.
So I ask again, what has gone wrong with this car???
Someone leaving the lug nuts loose can hardly be called poor quality on the part of the car.
I just re-tightened the lug nuts on my rims per mfrs torque spec on my C5, after driving 30 miles after new tire replacements.