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February 06, 2007

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Flexo

Is the "number of recalls" statistic a good one for determining the overall quality of an automaker's inventory of vehicles? How about the lifespan of vehicles or their parts, or perhaps customer satisfaction after three years?

I'm not doubting that domestic-owned automakers put out quality vehicles, but if they do they need to get the word out and convince the public.

Cameron

No you're right, quality isn't - and shouldn't be - measured by "number of recalls." J.D. Power released their "initial quality study" for 2006 which is based on quality of design and quality of production. (# of problems per 100 vehicles.) The industry average is 124 per 100. Ford is just below average at 127 and Toyota is near the top at 106. BMW comes in at 142 and Mercedes at 139.

This study only contacts users 90 days after a new vehicle purchase, so it does not address long term quality. It does, however, make the point that overall quality continues to improve - and the gap between domestics and Japanese made vehicles, continues to shrink. And that's good for everyone.

You're exactly right, getting the word out and "convincing" the public is their real challenge.

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More on that: http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.asp?ID=2006082

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