Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Report raps newer used autos

Finds first drop in quality since '98

  • Print

In what could turn out to be a stunning reversal for the auto industry, late-model used cars have gotten less dependable for the first time since 1998, J.D. Power's Vehicle Dependability Study has found.

The widely watched report card on how well cars hold up over time says owners of three-year-old vehicles (2011 models) reported six per cent more troubles than owners of three-year-old vehicles (2010 models) did last year.

Power says it's the first time quality has declined since the 1998 survey.

Automakers, especially the Big Three, are striving to convince buyers quality is continuing to rise and that their vehicles will run a long time without problems.

A Honda TV ad, for example, shows a proud dad pointing out to his blasé daughter that the car just hit 100,000 miles. Chevrolet's tag line asserts its trucks are the "longest-lasting, most-dependable."

Such claims will become hard to swallow if the latest Power VDS isn't simply a hiccup, but instead shows the start of annually declining dependability.

That's possible. Problems that showed up in the 2014 VDS suggest "a continuing challenge" for car companies in maintaining quality as vehicles age, said David Sargent, Power's global automotive vice-president.

"Some of the changes that automakers implemented for the 2011 model year have led to a noticeable increase in problems reported," he said.

The biggest contributor to the decline: engine and transmission issues. Those accounted for nearly six of the seven additional problems per 100 vehicles reported in this year's study.

The 2011 models had 133 problems per 100 cars, while a year earlier, 2010 models had 126 problems per 100.

Among engines/transmissions, "The decline in quality is particularity acute for vehicles with four-cylinder engines," Power reports.

In the move to smaller engines as a way to boost fuel economy to meet federal regulations tightening to an average 4.31 litres per 100 km (54.5 mpg) in 2026, automakers have saddled drivers with "engine hesitation, rough transmission shifts and lack of power."

Building new cars and trucks that remain largely free of troubles is worth repeat sales to automakers. Power data show 56 per cent of owners who reported no problems stayed with the same brand next time they bought a new car or truck. And shoppers are much more likely to avoid models from brands with low dependability rankings, Power data show.

The survey is based on responses from more than 41,000 original owners of three-year-old vehicles.

It is different from Power's Initial Quality Study, or IQS. That measures the number of things gone wrong with new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership.

The VDS scores gives brands overall scores -- Lexus was by far the best -- and also breaks out the results into segments based on size and type of vehicle.

General Motors was segment champ, tops in eight. Toyota won seven.

Brand scores: The number indicates problems per 100 cars for 2011 models; lower is better.

  • Lexus (68)
  • Mercedes-Benz (104)
  • Cadillac (107)
  • Acura (109)
  • Buick (112)
  • Honda (114)
  • Lincoln (114)
  • Toyota (114)
  • Porsche (125)
  • Infiniti (128)
  • BMW (130)
  • Subaru (131)
  • Chevrolet (132)
  • Jaguar (132)
  • Mazda (132)
  • GMC (133)
  • INDUSTRY AVERAGE (133)
  • Ford (140)
  • Nissan (142)
  • Audi (151)
  • Kia (151)
  • Volvo (152)
  • Scion (153)
  • Chrysler (155)
  • Volkswagen (158)
  • Ram (165)
  • Mitsubishi (166)
  • Hyundai (169)
  • Jeep (178)
  • Land Rover (179)
  • Dodge (181)
  • Mini (185)

 

-- USA Today

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 13, 2014 A16

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Fringe, space motifs trendy for teens heading back to school

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS June 23, 2011 Local - A Monarch butterfly is perched on a flower  in the newly opened Butterfly Garden in Assiniboine Park Thursday morning.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of the new Blue Bombers uniforms?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google