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    Default Car reliability / quality surveys

    Award Anxiety: How Can the Best Car Brands Also be the Worst?


    Award Anxiety: How Can the Best Car Brands Also be the Worst?
    Paul A. Eisenstein | @DetroitBureau
    52 Mins Ago
    CNBC.com

    In the newly released Total Quality Index, trans-Atlantic automaker Fiat Chrysler was named the industry's top-ranked manufacturer, with six models, including the little Fiat 500 and the Dodge Charger muscle car, named best-in-segment.

    That might come as a shock to anyone who caught a different survey released exactly a month ago by the well-regarded research group J.D. Power and Associates. The annual Initial Quality Study found Fiat at the absolute bottom of 33 manufacturers, with the Chrysler brand coming in just two slots higher.
    Power put Porsche at the head of its class, followed closely behind by Kia and Hyundai.
    More from The Detroit Bureau:
    Chinahits a big speed bump
    New study rates Koreancars most 'satisfying'
    Despite sales slump,Nissan CEO insists EVs going mainstream

    Yet another recent study echoed that, ranking the two Korean carmakers at the top, but that was about the only thing that a consumer might have found in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards put out by research firm AutoPacific that fell in line with J.D. Power's findings.

    If all these various studies are meant to help consumers pick and choose from the industry's best, what's a motorist to do? Anyone who follows politics knows voter surveys often conflict, reflecting sample bias and built-in margins of error. But when it comes to automotive studies, the results are often diametrically opposed.

    Part of the challenge is to understand what each study is meant to accomplish. Many of them focus specifically on what are, in industry-speak, "Things Gone Wrong." That, in itself, generates plenty of controversy because these can be as diverse as a faulty transmission or a balky voice navigation system. Indeed, the J.D. Power IQS counts them equally when determining how many "problems" buyers run into during the first three months of ownership.

    But are Things Gone Wrong really a good measure of vehicle quality? Maybe not, contends Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision, the firm behind the new Total Quality Index. "Counting problems," he contends, gives a misleading image of what's actually happening in the real world because, "In 2015, 100 percent of all brands had less than half-a-problem on average per vehicle."

    Put another way, half of the 46,000 owners who responded to the Strategic Vision questionnaire reported having not a single issue with their vehicle.

    For the TQI, then, the research firm took into account 155 different aspects of an owner's experience, according to the research firm, including impressions about design, performance and features to measure what the company suggests is "love for the product."
    That's more in line with what AutoPacific did with its recent Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, explains founder George Peterson. It's goal is to measure "Things Gone Right."
    These are two very different measurements and actually reflect very different buyer attitudes. For some consumers, the joy of ownership is all about having the most bullet-proof vehicle they can buy, even if it is little more than an appliance on wheels, a description long used for Toyota models like the Camry and Corolla.

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    For others, they're willing to put up with the occasional headache to own a more passionate vehicle, one with a striking design, tremendous performance or breakthrough technology.
    In fact, J.D. Power added another survey, a few years back, dubbed APEAL—short for Automotive Performance Execution and Layout—which is more focused on those things that excite consumers. Significantly, Porsche continued to dominate, just as it did in Power's things-gone-wrong study, the IQS. And other European makers, such as Audi and BMW, came in close behind. But the Koreans didn't do nearly as well.
    Adding to the confusion, while some studies focus on the things owners observe in the months after they buy their new vehicles, other studies look at long-term reliability. And there, it seems, the Japanese continue to dominate, according to the likes of J.D. Power's Vehicle Dependability Study.

    Digging through the various studies, several trends stand out:

    Quality overall has been increasing rapidly over the past decade, and the gap between best and worst has narrowed significantly;
    Korean carmakers, as well as General Motors, have made some of the most dramatic improvements in out-of-the-box quality;
    Traditional mechanical problems, such as a faulty transmission, are increasingly rare, especially during the first year, but high-tech systems have become the new owner's biggest headache;
    Japanese makers no longer have a lock on initial quality but tend to do better after several years of ownership;
    If you're not focused entirely on counting problems, you may find that some less-than-stellar brands, such as Fiat and Chrysler, deliver the sort of surprise-and-delight features you won't get from more solid, but stolid, makes.
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    Default Vehicle Dependability

    Was in the Herald Sun Friday, April22 2016, an US survey. No Froggies there. Interestingly, we have these surveys in Australia as well but only Dealers get it and they keep it secret.
    It's the usual suspects starting with the best: Lexus, Porsche,(almost even 95:97) Toyota, Honda, Audi, MB, Infinity, BMW, Volvo (all above average). Next lot is below average: Kia, Mini, Hyunai, Mitsabits, Mazda, Crysler, Subiroo, VW, Fiat, Jeep, Landrover, Ford, Dodge.

    Wonder where the Frenchies fit in?
    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
    Stephen Hawking

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    You'll never find out unless you buy a New Renault. Then, all will be revealed! Barely any warranty claims. Normal service and big mileages together with driver satisfaction with comfort, safety and handling. Forget the Axis products ( the Third Reich/Nippon contingent) who are so very vocal here and get a proper and popular French car. :-)
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    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    We did. No problem so far - 16 months, fingers crossed.
    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoBo View Post

    Wonder where the Frenchies fit in?
    Those clever old Frenchies can lay claim to some natty motor vehicles over the years, but, I Regret to inform, reliability is not one of their achievements, according to any survey which includes them. As ever, all the top spots are owned by Japanese and High End German cars. Sadly, French models are mostly found right down in the 'nether regions' of the top 100 list! Mind You, one cannot help noticing that the German TUV survey has quite a list of German cars at the top! Jolly Good sense of humour, those Germans, eh what?!

    Top 100 UK Cars | Reliability Index | How reliable is your car?

    Consumer Reports best and worst car brands in 2015 include Lexus, Mazda and Toyota | Newsday

    Most reliable cars to buy | Carbuyer

    Report 2015, age of cars 2-3 years - reliability rating -- An used car - TÜV reports

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    Without delving too deeply, those articles appear to be from a part of the world which is unrelated to reality in OZ. I treat German press reports regarding German Vehicles with the same wholesome scepticism I normally reserve for Jeremy Clarksons opinons of fine British Motoring Equipment. (There aren't any.)
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Oh Yes, old chap! They are from Europe! For the simple reason that French don't sell enough cars anywhere else to make their way onto reliability surveys! . Where they do make their way onto such research, they don't rate particularly well, which was the nature of the Jobo chap's question.

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    1/. Overpriced Germanic motoring has to be justified by it's users.

    2/. Reliability surveys are about as reliable as political ones, and are used in a similar fashion to try and influence people.

    3/. A total French output of just under 2 million for 2015 is still more than either the UK or Italy put out, Old Chap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    1/. Overpriced Germanic motoring has to be justified by it's users.

    2/. Reliability surveys are about as reliable as political ones, and are used in a similar fashion to try and influence people.

    3/. A total French output of just under 2 million for 2015 is still more than either the UK or Italy put out, Old Chap.
    Maybe true Kim, but have a look at market share in Europe for 2015

    Car reliability / quality surveys-europe-ranking-2015.jpg


    European car sales analysis Full Year 2015 ? brands - Left-Lane.com

    Renault sales + PSA sales < VAG Sales + BMW Group SALES + Daimler Benz AG
    And VAG have a healthy lead over any other single manufacturer.

    I'd also question what defines a "French" or "German" car. Is it just the badge and defined by where the manufacturer first commenced business? Or does the country of manufacture have a bearing ?

    Or are there no French or German cars at all and just cars made in cost effective locations and fitted with a badge to optimize the Sales numbers and to capitalize of the brand loyalty?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post

    2/. Reliability surveys are about as reliable as political ones, and are used in a similar fashion to try and influence people.

    3/. A total French output of just under 2 million for 2015 is still more than either the UK or Italy put out, Old Chap.
    Reliability surveys are quite variable when you look at models, and that has much to do with defining what is actually being measured. Putting aside silly guff about being intended to influence people - why would that favour any particular country or brand? - one thing is very reliable: German and Japanese are always take all the top spots. Whatever the failings or nuances of these surveys, they mean a lot more than some well meaning old cove saying 'I bought one and I've had no trouble with it'.

    French car output is still a little higher than the UK, but UK output is at a 10 year high, and French car output is barely more than half what it was 10 years ago. Furthermore, those German chappies output is 3 times that of the French, so as you are suggesting these comparisons mean something, I have to conclude that German cars are 3 times as good as French in some way! Thanks for the heads-up, China!


    By the looks of it, we should all rush out and buy something Chinese!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...cle_production
    Last edited by R16mania; 26th April 2016 at 04:48 PM.

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    Here is some news to gladden your heart,
    Kim

    Australian submarines to be built in Adelaide after French company DCNS wins $50b contract - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    However, I expect Renault will be excluded from supply of parts, due to their alliance with the Japanese.

    And PSA probably as well because of that shameful unreliable AL4 implementation.

    Don't mention Enzed in same sentence as Subs either.

    However it's still good news for lover of anything French like yourself.

    And let's hope some that legendary French reliability flows in the chi of the subs.

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    I'm still waiting to see a survey that actually makes much mathematical sense (you know the bit about lies, damn lies, and statistics). What is clear is that there isn't much spread in the data, the odd outlier at the bottom excepted, so that drawing conclusions from "reliability" rank can be a bit silly, considering the nature of the data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    I'm still waiting to see a survey that actually makes much mathematical sense (you know the bit about lies, damn lies, and statistics). What is clear is that there isn't much spread in the data, the odd outlier at the bottom excepted, so that drawing conclusions from "reliability" rank can be a bit silly, considering the nature of the data.
    Surveys only make mathematical sense when the data is collected in a logical manner, by a statistician.

    Asking Mr/ Mrs General Public to fill out a web or paper survey is hit and miss at best. And doing "data prep" procedures on manufacturers supplied data is worse.

    In my business days we had a number of market research companies on our books. And invariably there was seriously qualified mathematician on the staff of every single one.

    We really need to see the raw data to draw our own conclusions.
    Last edited by robmac; 26th April 2016 at 06:31 PM. Reason: fixed spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    I'm still waiting to see a survey that actually makes much mathematical sense (you know the bit about lies, damn lies, and statistics). What is clear is that there isn't much spread in the data, the odd outlier at the bottom excepted, so that drawing conclusions from "reliability" rank can be a bit silly, considering the nature of the data.
    agree absolutely

    Most of these "reliability surveys" are not true surveys at all, but merely measure who can be arsed to send in comments on their pride and joy. They are based on owners (whatever) going on to a website (or even mailing in by snail mail) their views on what troubles them about their cars. Hence they appeal to a demographic that is a lot narrower than the whole market, excluding those who have better things to do with their time, or who are not aware of or able to respond (perhaps older drivers???)

    There is no way we can know whether a fault as seen by one owner will be the same as that seen by another, viz a poor fit for a cheap car may well be overlooked or accepted whereas it will take on gigantic proportions to the prestige car owner who may complain bitterly that the 0.1 mm gap is too much!

    The respondents to these surveys do not represent a statistically valid sample. They are as statistically valid as a Current Affair/Today Tonight poll where some of the viewers of that program chose to respond. It does not represent a statistically valid sample of even the viewing audience, let alone the entire population.

    However data collected from the manufacturers via dealerships on faults fixed or even better reported would be interesting and would give an indication that was more reliable, given the caution that not all will report the same things as faults nor fix them as readily. As I understand it that is the type of survey that is referred to in the Murdoch press Drive lightest (Saturday Advertiser here in SA) that the manufacturers put together here in Australia but will not release publicly. Pity we can't see that one.

    Two emotions can be at work when someone purchases a car that may even skew their reporting of faults to others apart from the dealership,
    1. The affluent consumer who has paid a lot of money for a prestige brand and has done so several times. They will expect a very high standard, the more so the more they have paid and the perceived quality the brand, and hence may well be more critical of "faults" than on a less prestigious vehicle (say Audi v Skoda), and
    2. the newly affluent who is seeking to justify the purchase against the advice of their peers who will seek to downplay any minor faults to justify the choice, but even help then once they reach tipping point (Jeep Grand Cherokee* say vs Landcover Discovery)

    All of which should lead one to treat consumer surveys with a touch of caution

    *see this vid of a very dissatisfied Jeep GC owner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVM3QX2GPjQ
    and story here No Cookies | The Courier Mail
    His website here Destroy My Jeep? |

    Edit Robmac beat me to it and agree with his post as well
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Maybe true Kim, but have a look at market share in Europe for 2015

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	europe ranking 2015.JPG 
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    European car sales analysis Full Year 2015 ? brands - Left-Lane.com

    Renault sales + PSA sales < VAG Sales + BMW Group SALES + Daimler Benz AG
    And VAG have a healthy lead over any other single manufacturer.

    I'd also question what defines a "French" or "German" car. Is it just the badge and defined by where the manufacturer first commenced business? Or does the country of manufacture have a bearing ?

    Or are there no French or German cars at all and just cars made in cost effective locations and fitted with a badge to optimize the Sales numbers and to capitalize of the brand loyalty?
    I note that the statistics you provided which although showing an 11.2% improvement over 2014 market share for Renault don't appear to include commercial vehicles. Production Statistics | OICA Nonetheless there must be a a giant pool of unsold Renaults somewhere if your figures are correct!
    Last edited by Kim Luck; 26th April 2016 at 07:18 PM. Reason: provided
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I note that the statistics you provided which although showing an 11.2% improvement over 2014 market share for Renault don't appear to include commercial vehicles. Production Statistics | OICA Nonetheless there must be a a giant pool of unsold Renaults somewhere if your figures are correct!
    "The companies, the Renault Nissan Alliance, which have been strategic partners since 1999, have nearly 450,000 employees and control eight major brands: Infiniti, RenaultSamsung Motors, Dacia, Datsun, Venucia and Lada, as well as Renault and Nissan themselves."

    Perhaps you should include their figures when comparing apples and oranges..........
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I note that the statistics you provided which although showing an 11.2% improvement over 2014 market share for Renault don't appear to include commercial vehicles. Production Statistics | OICA Nonetheless there must be a a giant pool of unsold Renaults somewhere if your figures are correct!
    If Renault commercial are excluded from the data, it would fair to assume that other manufacturers commercial ranges are also excluded. And I'd suggest VAG and Benz likely have a pretty healthy sales in the commercial market.

    But alas I'm not inclined to do any further "research" on the topic. Because regardless of what transpires the Lozenge shaped cut outs in your glasses render you blind to any data which may be unfavorable to your logic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    "The companies, the Renault Nissan Alliance, which have been strategic partners since 1999, have nearly 450,000 employees and control eight major brands: Infiniti, RenaultSamsung Motors, Dacia, Datsun, Venucia and Lada, as well as Renault and Nissan themselves."

    Perhaps you should include their figures when comparing apples and oranges..........
    Kim, there are a large number of German alliances too.But I purposely didn't include them.

    And, to be sensible, I really think we should stick to vehicles marketed under the notional French or German manufacturer names.

    It's just not commonsense nor logical , "to rope in " a large number of Japanese or Korean branded cars into Renaults Sales and manufacturing numbers. Nor to do the same with German alliances.

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    A) Would I buy a car purely based on "reliability?" Nope.

    B) I'd prefer an unreliable $100 part to a $4,000 one.

    C) I've owned reliable + unreliable Citroens.

    I've enjoyed driving them all.

    When I take my Citroen to various fixer-uppers, I often ask about which cars
    they see the most of. Admittedly, sales volumes are relevant here, but the last guy (auto electrician)
    sees "very few" Citroens and "lots of Golfs."

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    Quote Originally Posted by garyk View Post
    A) Would I buy a car purely based on "reliability?" Nope.

    B) I'd prefer an unreliable $100 part to a $4,000 one.

    C) I've owned reliable + unreliable Citroens.

    I've enjoyed driving them all.

    When I take my Citroen to various fixer-uppers, I often ask about which cars
    they see the most of. Admittedly, sales volumes are relevant here, but the last guy (auto electrician)
    sees "very few" Citroens and "lots of Golfs."
    Look at the Sales numbers of the vehicles.

    New Car Sales Figures January 2016 - Photos (1 of 4)

    Citroen sold a lot less than 500 vehicles. (rank 26) VW Sold around 4000 (rank8)

    So clearly there will be a lot more VW in for repair, even with equal reliability to Citroen.

    Edit: I mistakenly linked to only a months Sales, but all same the point is still make.
    Last edited by robmac; 26th April 2016 at 08:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    If Renault commercial are excluded from the data, it would fair to assume that other manufacturers commercial ranges are also excluded. And I'd suggest VAG and Benz likely have a pretty healthy sales in the commercial market.

    But alas I'm not inclined to do any further "research" on the topic. Because regardless of what transpires the Lozenge shaped cut outs in your glasses render you blind to any data which may be unfavorable to your logic.
    The figures I provided were Total French, not Renault, by the way.....
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    The point is, Rob, that with the exception of Nissan and Infiniti and do they still make Datsuns? all the other makes mentioned are owned by the The Regie. So they are "Renaults."
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by garyk View Post

    When I take my Citroen to various fixer-uppers, I often ask about which cars
    they see the most of. Admittedly, sales volumes are relevant here, but the last guy (auto electrician)
    sees "very few" Citroens and "lots of Golfs."
    Yes! With a sales ratio between them of about 50:1, that is to say, VW against Citroen, I reckon he would see many more Golfs!

    The actual numbers 4900 vs 106 are in a table form here...
    New car sales figures February 2016

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    Kinda misses the point.

    I specifically mentioned "sales volumes are relevant here"
    but, say, lotsa Toyota (whatever models) are sold, equalling the volume of Golfs...
    he says he gets many "no go" Golfs in. They have problems, Houston, of a similar electrical *no go* nature.

    I asked him what is the most common Citroen fault he sees, he reckoned "nothing specifically" (ie different problems).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter O View Post
    agree absolutely

    Most of these "reliability surveys" are not true surveys at all, but merely measure who can be arsed to send in comments on their pride and joy. They are based on owners (whatever) going on to a website (or even mailing in by snail mail) their views on what troubles them about their cars. Hence they appeal to a demographic that is a lot narrower than the whole market, excluding those who have better things to do with their time, or who are not aware of or able to respond (perhaps older drivers???)

    There is no way we can know whether a fault as seen by one owner will be the same as that seen by another, viz a poor fit for a cheap car may well be overlooked or accepted whereas it will take on gigantic proportions to the prestige car owner who may complain bitterly that the 0.1 mm gap is too much!

    The respondents to these surveys do not represent a statistically valid sample. They are as statistically valid as a Current Affair/Today Tonight poll where some of the viewers of that program chose to respond. It does not represent a statistically valid sample of even the viewing audience, let alone the entire population.
    These are not valid points, old boy, and make many likely untrue assumptions!

    Newspaper polls are claiming to represent the views of populations, so the self-selection in the data gathering is relevant, and makes them of dubious value. Surveys about car reliability are not trying to ascertain the views of a whole population! They are simply trying to compare the experiences of owners of one brand or model of car versus others. That is quite a different thing and only requires that you get answers from car owners! In a manner which approaches all car owners similarly!

    I am also going to guess, that you are just guessing in every thing you said about the data collection of these surveys. Do you know how any one of them is compiled? I do not either! but feel pretty sure there is a range of methods used to contact car owners. It is certainly true that there is always some self selection which can bias surveys, depending on how they are conducted. The obvious rejoinder, however, is that, whatever those aspects are, they would not appear to favour one brand over another. It would seem intuitive that willingness to to to websites, or post in questionaires, or answer questions on the phone, would be quite similar across owners of all brands, and cannot, ergo, be used to imply that reliability surveys favour some brands over others.

    Vague and variable as they may be, one thing is very clear. Surveys across different years, different countries and different survey methods always show the same thing: German and Japanese cars crowd the top end of the surveys. That consistency across the panoply of surveys presents powerful validation of similar results they all present.

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