Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘lexus quality’

Infotainment Systems are the Plague of the Auto Industry, Says Consumer Reports

Japanese makers retain lead in quality, reliability.

by on Oct.27, 2014

CR gives thumbs up to the Toyota Camry, the magazine predicting good reliability for the 2015 update.

The quality of the cars sold on the U.S. market has hit a plateau, and motorists can put the blame on new technologies – especially the infotainment systems that have become increasingly common on today’s models, according to a new study by Consumer Reports.

The influential non-profit publication likened the issue to a “reliability plague,” chief auto tester Jake Fisher noting that, if anything, the latest annual Consumer Reports Automotive Reliability study might be downplaying the problem because it reports only actual defects.

Your Flagship News Source!

The situation would be even worse if the study included complaints about just how difficult many infotainment systems are to operate.

“The big problem is infotainment. Take that out and (the quality of) cars would be improving,” said Fisher, during an appearance before the Detroit Automotive Press Association.


Initial Quality of New 2011 Models “Declined Considerably,” Cautions New Study

Annual J.D. Power report finds quality of older models “better than ever.”

by on Jun.23, 2011

The 2011 Dodge Durango was one of the rare all-new models to improve its quality score.

New car shoppers will find some good news and bad in the latest Initial Quality Study: the quality of all-new 2011 models “declined considerably”, but the quality of carryover products was better than ever, according to from Power and Associates.

Japanese automakers, led by Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand, dominated this year’s Initial Quality Study, or IQS, which measures problems with new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership.  Honda jumped to second in the annual survey, but the biggest improvement was posted by perennial quality laggard Land Rover.

Significantly, after nearly matching the quality of the top Japanese brands just a year ago, Detroit’s Big Three makers slipped markedly in the 2011 IQS, but Detroit slipped in the latest study – in part due to problems with new technologies, such as the Ford Sync system.

A variety of issues led to the unexpectedly poor performance of all-new 2011 models – the first time since 2006 that newly-launched products haven’t improved in quality compared to the vehicles they replaced.  The most notable were engine/transmission problems, according to Power Vice President David Sargent.  But there were also significant issues with the latest audio/entertainment and navigation systems.

Subscribe for Free!

“Clearly, consumers are interested in having new technology in their vehicles, but automakers must ensure that the technology is ready for prime time,” said Sargent, Power’s head of global vehicle research. “Successful companies will be those that can take this incredibly complex technology and make it reliable, seamless and easy for owners to operate while they are driving. There is an understandable desire to bring these technologies to market quickly, but automakers must be careful to walk before they run.”


Lexus Admits It Knew About Engine Problems

Cover-up or innocent error?

by on Jul.06, 2010

When did Toyota know it had an engine stalling problem - and why did it wait to order a recall?

What did they know and when did they know it?  It’s the sort of question that can bring down a president – or raise some serious concerns about an already troubled automaker.  Like Toyota, where a spokesman acknowledges the company knew about the problem with stalling engines in its Lexus luxury line for at least two years.

The automaker even took steps to replace an apparently defective spring linked to the problem, but ultimately waited until the beginning of July 2010 to order a recall.  In all, 270,000 vehicles sold worldwide are involved in the action, including 138,000 sold under the Lexus brand, here in the U.S.

(Click Here for the details on the Lexus recall.)

Stay On Top!

The delay in ordering a recall threatens to raise new questions about Toyota’s approach to quality and safety, even as the embattled automaker has been taking steps to calm American consumers in the wake of an ongoing safety scandal that reached its high point, last February, when Toyota Motor Co. CEO Akio Toyoda testified at a Congressional investigation.  Just last month, Toyota was forced to halt sales of the Lexus HS250h hybrid due to a potential fuel leak problem.  And the maker also saw its standing in a widely-quoted quality survey drop precipitously.


Lexus Tops Power Customer Service Index, But Toyota Slips Below Average

Hummer leads list of mainstream brands.

by on Feb.24, 2010

Lexus tops the new J.D. Power Customer Service charts, but mainstream Toyota lags well below average, a potentially serious problem.

Lexus, the luxury arm of Toyota Motor Co. yet again topped the customer service charts, though its mainstream sibling, the Toyota brand, slipped well below average, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates.

Luxury brands generally delivered the best performance according to the 30th J.D. Power Customer Service Index, which measures how owners feel about the way their dealers handles repairs and maintenance to their vehicles during the first three years of ownership.  But some mainstream brands rose to the top, notably including Hummer, the brand General Motors hopes to sell in the coming weeks.

Get Traction With a Free Subscription!

Keeping customers happy in the service bay can be an important way for a manufacturer – and its dealers – to retain loyalty, said Power officials.


Imports Retain Lead – but Detroit’s Big Three Closing Quality Gap Fast

Lexus and parent Toyota again top new J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey.

by on Jun.22, 2009

Detroit's Big Three makers made huge strides in quality, according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, but the single highest-quality product was the Lexus LX sport-utility vehicle.

Detroit's Big Three makers made huge strides in quality, according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, but the single highest-quality product was the Lexus LX sport-utility vehicle.

Despite distracting financial problems, Detroit’s Big Three automakers showed a substantial improvement in off-the-assembly-line quality, according to the latest Initial Quality Survey by automotive gurus J.D. Power and Associates.

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors’ various brands scored a collective 10% improvement on the closely-watched 2009 IQS, though the industry, as a whole, experienced significant improvements.  That means that while the so-called quality gap is closing, imports once again retain the lead.

Among the 37 brands included in the yearly quality report, long-dominant Lexus again took the number one spot with an average of just 84 problems reported per 100 vehicles, (or 84 PP100).  Porsche, which had led the list for the last two years, slipped into the number two spot, while Cadillac jumped from 10th to 3rd.  Significantly, the Korean maker, Hyundai, surged to the 4th position, a major gain for a manufacturer long relegated to the bottom end of the quality charts.

The industry average, for 2009, came to 108 problems – down from 118, last year – which works out to just slightly more than one per vehicle, though Mini, the lowest-ranked maker, suffered from 165 PP100.

“It’s fair to say that new vehicle quality is better than it’s ever been,” said David Sargent, JDPA’s vice president of automotive research, “in terms of the absence of problems.”

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comNotably, four Detroit brands – Cadillac, Ford, Chevrolet and Mercury – ranked above the industry average.  And Power officials reported that on the whole, the Big Three “outpaced (the) industry-wide improvement” in quality.

“Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, the Detroit automakers are keeping their focus on designing and building high-quality vehicles, which is a precondition for long-term success,” noted Sargent.