18th May 2009, 11:09

I own a 2000 Toyota Tundra Limited 4WD TRD. I am the original owner and it just turned 9 years old with 158,000 miles. This year (2009), I had to replace the first part, an O2 sensor. The only thing I have every done is regular oil changes, brakes, timing belt @ 100K, 1 battery, 2 sets of tires, PERIOD. Paint is perfect with zero rust. I have never heard of the issues brought up on this blog. In my book, it is the best truck money can buy.

22nd May 2009, 21:40

Japanese vehicles use grossly under-engineered parts, especially in the brake and suspension systems. I'm a mechanic and have had personal experience with what savvy mechanics refer to as the "Japanese Flimsies". The entire front subframe assembly on my Mazda (which was built in Japan before Ford took over and greatly improved the quality) sagged after only 84,000 miles to the point that aligning it was impossible without having the frame straightened. The steel members were roughly HALF the size of comparable domestic vehicles.

Our Honda Civic was a lesson in under-engineering. Virtually every component was under-sized, ESPECIALLY the brakes (which wore out twice as often as our domestic's brakes did). It was a poorly built and over priced lesson in what not to drive for us. We're back to domestic vehicles and never again plan to pay MORE for LESS by buying Japanese vehicles. One of our Fords was driven over 325,000 miles with less than $500 in total repairs. Neither of our Japanese cars even lasted 100,000 miles.

27th May 2009, 21:55

90,000 miles and 109,000 were the real numbers not rhetoric. They AREN'T unbelievably high like SOME of the claims on here, but they ARE high enough to represent a sample that should have shown some of the issues mentioned here. YES not all vehicles are precisely the same, but our experiences were thrown into the mix in an effort to further the size of the knowledge base.

However, the primary reason for the post 21:40 is because he only ever believes posts that either say that domestic vehicles are perfect (or close), or that Japanese vehicles are trouble prone (or absolute junk).

His posts are all over this site. He says:

He's retired.

He owns a Mustang, Fusion, (I think) a Trailblazer, etc.

He has owned +/-30 vehicles in 30 years.

I've done the math on his claims. He and his wife must drive close to 100,000 miles a year.

His (2) Japanese vehicles didn't last to 100,000 miles.

Some of his American vehicles lasted to over 350,000 miles.

He says he is a mechanic in nearly every post to add extra authority.

He also says he is a therapist.

I think he's also the one who claimed to be a scientist (is therapy a strict science?).

All of his American vehicles were without a single flaw to 100,000 miles.

He says that the Japanese companies' success is based strictly on "ad hype and myth" (with his therapist cred thrown in for extra weight).

So while we're trying to use this site for its intended purpose (to allow owners to relate their experiences with vehicles that they own... thus improving our general understanding and knowledge base of where problem areas exist in our vehicles), he is trying to use it as a rhetorical platform for his anti-Japanese commentaries.

So to you... we hear you. We know what you believe. Can we just continue to trade info without the pejorative comments being thrown in to spark debate?

29th May 2009, 13:34

You have SOME of it right.

I'm not technically retired. I work part time in the design field because I enjoy it. I possess a certification in therapy, but no longer work in that field. I AM a mechanic and have been for over 40 years (look up "mechanic" in a dictionary, it means one who works on mechanical things. NOT necessarily as a profession). I never SAID I was a scientist, though my knowledge of physics is far better than those who claim that an egg designed by Honda (the Civic) can crush a bowling ball designed by Ford (The Explorer).

I've stated REPEATEDLY that we own THREE TO FIVE vehicles at any given time. DO THE MATH. if we owned 30 vehicles over a period of 30 years (it's actually more like 40 vehicles over 38 years) any of those vehicles could have been kept for very long periods. Some we loved and kept a VERY long time (such as our 325,000 mile Ford, 277,000 mile Buick and 240,000 mile Dodge). I never kept ANY vehicle past 325,000 miles, though the Dodge was sold to a gentleman who drove it well beyond 300,000. It may have 350,000 by now, but I no longer own it) Our three imports WERE total garbage, and none made it to 100,000 miles. To me, that is pretty good evidence of poor quality, regardless of ad hype to the contrary.

Some vehicles we got tired of VERY quickly and traded at very low mileage. My wife loves new cars and routinely traded every 18 months or sooner until she got her 2003 Envoy (not Trailblazer) and fell in love with it. She even traded one car at only 800 miles because her friends made fun of it.

For the record, we currently own 4 vehicles. They are:

2007 Mustang Pony 4.0 V-6 (absolutely flawless)

2006 Ford Fusion (" ")

2003 GMC Envoy (perfect at 72,000 miles)

2001 Pontiac Grand Am (perfect at 80,000 miles)

We currently average about 5,000-7,000 miles a year or less, which means our current vehicles will last us for the rest of our lives or until we get tired of them. In the past we drove much more. I once worked 80 miles from home and put nearly 50,000 miles a year on that vehicle. It was a Ford. It never had a single problem...EVER.

Yes, I make lots of comments. I am a loyal American citizen and have no intention of sitting back and reading constant, unrelenting attacks on any and every product produced by American workers without speaking up. Americans, for some unfathomable reason (and it IS NOT better quality) seem bent on destroying their own country by destroying the backbone of our economy, which is our auto industry and related industries. Only 9 out of every 100 jobs in the manufacturing sector is related to Japanese cars. When we attack and malign U.S. companies we are destroying the security and incomes of 91 out of the 100 people involved in the auto industry in this country. Does this make ANY sense?? How can we justify allowing ad hype to undermine our country??

I stand by what I have said: NO domestic vehicle we have ever owned has EVER required anything but routine maintenance before 100,000.

No import my family (including my extended family) has ever owned has ever made 100,000 miles without major repairs except for my brother's Toyota (which was traded at 100,000 miles out of sheer boredom). Would I buy a NEW Japanese car? ABSOLUTELY NOT. 1) There is not a SHRED of proof that they are more reliable 2) I DON'T send my money to foreign countries while my own people suffer, and 3) They are far more expensive while offering less quality.

Would I buy a USED Japanese car? NO, not because that would hurt our economy (it wouldn't, an American dealer would get the money) but because they are grossly overpriced. My 2006 Fusion was bought with 18,000 miles on it. It is rated TWO FULL LEVELS above Camry and ONE FULL LEVEL above Accord in reliability. I bought it for $5,000-$7,000 LESS than either import. It has every option except the moon roof.

I have corresponded with Steve (steven@carsurvey.org) and he is fully aware of both my background and my vehicles. I've sent him pictures of some of my cars. He has chastened me for being a bit too aggressive in some of my comments and I have agreed to tone them down. What I WILL NOT do is sit back and read anti-American industry comments without responding.