From the Editor: Quality Slipping at Toyota?

October 29, 2007
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Has Toyota lost its place as the benchmark for vehicle reliability? Consumer Reports just released its annual car reliability survey-which predicts reliability of 2008 models based on past performance-and three of Toyota’s models, including a version of the top-selling Camry, now rate below average in predicted reliability.

On the other hand, things are looking better for the Ford Motor Co. The automaker has shown considerable improvements in reliability. According to the magazine, of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models included in the survey, 93% scored average or better in predicted reliability.

Despite some positive news for Ford, only four domestic models made the most reliable list-the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Pontiac Vibe and two-wheel-drive Ford F-150 with the V6 engine. In fact, U.S. brands make up almost half-20 out of 44-of the vehicles on the least reliable list, including 13 vehicles from General Motors, six from Chrysler and one from Ford. European models account for another 17 vehicles on the least reliable list.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Asian models account for 34 of the 39 models on the most reliable new car list. Thirty-one are Japanese models and three are South Korean. Toyota ranks third in overall reliability behind Honda and Honda’s luxury line, Acura.

The annual survey is based on responses from almost 1.3 million vehicles owned or leased by subscribers to Consumer Reports or its Web site and covers model years 1998-2007.

Is quality slipping at Toyota? It’s hard to say based on just this one survey. Doing a quick search of some message boards, one finds there are people who love their Toyotas and would never consider driving anything else, and there are those who believe Toyota is all smoke and mirrors and sells so well because of the media’s love affair with them. While Toyota has experienced some quality issues as a result of their continued growing market share, they must be doing something right or they wouldn’t be the number one automaker in the world.

How much stock do you put into these surveys? Are they worth the paper they’re printed on? Do they give you another angle to consider when purchasing a vehicle? Or are they simply the media’s way of promoting their flavor of the day? Share your thoughts with me at campbellg@bnpmedia.com or online at www.qualitymag.com.

In this issue, on pg. 44-47, you will find nomination forms for the 2008 Quality Professional and Plant of the Year. Forms also can be downloaded at www.qualitymag.com. The deadline for nominations is December 3. The 2008 Professional and Plant of the Year will be awarded at the Quality Measurement Conference, in Clearwater, FL, April 28 to May 1. For more information on the conference, visit www.qualitymag.com/qmc.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Quality Magazine. 

Recent Articles by Gillian Campbell

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Podcasts

 In honor of World Quality Month, we spoke to James Rooney, ASQ Past Chairman of the Board of Directors 2013, for his take on quality around the world.
For more information, read the ASQ Speaking of Quality column.
More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

Quality Magazine

cover_image

2014 April

Check out the April 2014 edition of Quality Magazine for features!
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Manufacturing Process

Has/does news about a manufacturers’ recall (like the GM recall in the news now) cause you or your company to reexamine its manufacturing process?
View Results Poll Archive

Clear Seas Research

qcast_ClearSeas_logo.gifWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

eNewsletters

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png  youtube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.png