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American cars beating foreign in quality!


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I hope you all can access the link above. I think it says a lot for the long term reliability improvements that American car manufacturers have made in recent years. I also think that the "car editor" :angry: of Consumer Reports should be tried for treason, but that's just me. I thought it particularly interesting that Cadillac ranked above some of the "better" Jap cars, but behind Buick.

Never underestimate the amount of a persons greed.

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You know what aggravates me about this, MoneyCNN uses as a reason, >recalls< as a reason consumers ignore american cars, see this:

So far, problems seem to just roll off Toyota's back

Published December 7, 2005

Perhaps the most recognized and well-thought-of name in the U.S.--other than Oprah--is Toyota.

While General Motors and Ford founder, Toyota has more cash in reserve than most Third World countries--if not some Second and First World countries.

But are those warts that we see?

The automaker credited with being the largest seller of gas/electric cars to reduce dependence on foreign oil has had to recall about 75,000 of its 2004 and '05 Prius hybrids over reports that 68 had a tendency to stall. Toyota has sold about 152,000 Prius hybrids since 2004.

Now comes word that Toyota has recalled in the U.S. 2,411,117 cars of various model years through mid-November, more than two times as many as the 977,572 it recalled in all of 2004.

That's also 354,100 more than the 2,057,017 vehicles it sold in the U.S. through November.

Yet no one is demanding the heads of Toyota executives. And Kirk Kerkorian hasn't bought a bundle of Toyota stock and threatened to demand a seat on its board.

In fact, the reaction to recalls doubling in one year and outstripping sales has been greeted by consumers with a big ho-hum.

A couple weeks ago, we chatted with Dieter Zetsche, the president and CEO of Chrysler Group who is taking the helm at parent DaimlerChrysler.

When asked his reaction to the awe consumers have for Japanese brands at the expense of the domestic, he said:

"If it's reported a domestic had to recall 1 million cars, the public response is: `So what's new.' But if the Japanese recall a million cars, the public response is: `But they still make good cars.'"

Though some would consider Zetsche's remarks sour grapes, Toyota spokesman John Hanson seems to bear his thoughts out.

"Toyota has one of the worst records as far as it comes to getting our customers to respond to a recall notice," he said. "When we send out a notice, it usually takes two and often three mailings to get them to take care of whatever the problem is.

"Our customers have become acclimated to the fact that we make good cars and if we find something wrong we fix it. They don't look at a recall as a negative," he said, adding so as not to sound boabe quietl: "I think consumers have changed their outlook about recalls. Industrywide I don't think recalls carry the stigma they used to."

Toyota cites the TREAD Act for swelling recall numbers.

"Before, minor issues were handled without a formal report; now they have to be included," said Toyota spokeswoman Allison Takahashi.

The federal TREAD Act was enacted in 2000 in response to the recall of more than 10 million Firestone tires implicated in vehicle rollovers. It redefined what constitutes a recall, making minor issues part of the data automakers must report.

Takahashi also noted that "it's logical that as sales rise, so will recalls." That seems to hold true. The industry has sold fewer cars this year than last, and recalls have totaled 16.6 million units through mid-November, down from 30.8 million for all of 2004.

And recalls for DaimlerChrysler and General Motors through mid-November declined, to 750,000 units at D/C from 5.8 million for all of last year, and 4 million at GM, less than half the 10.7 million for all of last year.

Little wonder Zetsche was irked about the Japanese; Chrysler recalls were less than a third of Toyota's.

Ford Motor Co. is on target to be the recall leader this year, with more than 6 million units through mid-November, up from 5 million for all of last year.

Have to suspect Bill Ford is irked, too.


Read Jim Mateja Sunday in Transportation and Wednesday and Friday in Business. Hear him on WBBM-AM 780 at 6:22 p.m. Wednesdays and 11:22 a.m. Sundays.

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