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Discussion Starter #1
I heard parts of a report today on NPR where is said Japanese cars averaged 13 problems (time period of models years aren't known to me), German 23, and US 24.

They also said that some Infiniti was the best as owners report only 4.

I'm in need of a sedan and maybe a nissan, can't afford infiniti, would be on the list.

I would like to read the details of this report to help me make my descision. Can anyone tell me where this report came from?

Thanks.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BobN:
Hey thanks,

BTW, CR picked the Odyssey as the best minivan.
</font>
We already knew this.


Check out the new Altima. Excellent car! I'd love to have that 3.5L sporty model. Vroom Vroom!

If you're on a budget, definitely look at the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spev V. You can walk out the door for about $18 - 19K and have a solid, FUN car. It handles like a dream, it's peppy, you can get a Rockford Fosgate audio upgrade, and it has the same seats as the Nissan Skyline GTS.

------------------
Jim
'01 GG EX w/stuff
'93 Nissan Sentra SE-R with more stuff
 

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It's great to have fun with statistics!

The source is Consumer Reports. The overall average for all cars was 21. Japanese makes only were 15, European 23, American 24.

BUT- It is 21 problems per 100 vehicles during the first 12 months. That's 0.2 problems per vehicle in the first year.

At that rate, it would still take a typical American car many years to have even one more problem than a typical Japanese car. Even if the problem rates increases 50% per year, an American car would have 3 problems as considered "major" by a Consumer Reports subscriber after 5 years. The Japanese car owner would have 2. One more problem in 5 years. Big deal.

To really make the American cars seem like lemons, you have to assume something like the problem rate doubles for American cars each year, but only goes up 25% for Japanese cars. Then, after 5 years, the American car would have had about 6 more problems than the typical Japanese car.

Since the first year rates are so low, these statistics are almost meaningless for comparisons. What would be really useful is to know the rates for latter years...

This all assumes you think the reliability data is good. Polling a particular demographic (magazine subscribers) has serious flaws. There's a good chance you limit your overall demographic, and even worse, any editorial bias is likely to influence the survey responses.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 03-14-2002).]
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmmm.....

My understanding from the articles that these were "serious problems" (their exact definition for that I do not know) within the first year. For US cars, that was an average of 24 per 100. So from that perspective, I would have a 24% chance of a serious problem in the first 12 months. Another way to look at it is, 1 of every 4 vehicles on the lot will have a serious problem. That's a whole lota' problems.

Dividing the number further by 100 to get a ~0.2% chance doesn't help reassure me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Jim F:

Check out the new Altima. Excellent car! I'd love to have that 3.5L sporty model. Vroom Vroom!

If you're on a budget, definitely look at the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spev V. You can walk out the door for about $18 - 19K and have a solid, FUN car. It handles like a dream, it's peppy, you can get a Rockford Fosgate audio upgrade, and it has the same seats as the Nissan Skyline GTS.

[/B]</font>
I have a '91 Sentra GXE. I've had many problems with it, however, I wonder if some of them weren't brought on by the sleezy dealer service departments looking for more billable hours. They would fix one thing, then another thing would fail in a few weeks. When I bought the car, I got the extended warrenty. Great choice. The seal between the eng and tran leaked and would have cost me $700 bucks alone to fix. That was a full engine and transmission removal.

That warrenty went to 100K miles. Once the warrenty expired, I found a non-affiliated mechanic and haven't had any problems since except brakes and clogged injectors due to bad gas. I'm at about 143K miles now. I drive this 1.6L harder than I ever have.

I don't think I would buy a Sentra again, but I have heard many good things about Sentras from other owners I know. Maybe mine was a lemon. Ohio has lemon laws now.

I think the Altima might be on my radar. After all, the Infiniti I35 and (maybe I got this next one right) the I45 were rated with the least problems of all vehicles according to the radio report.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BobN:
Hmmm.....

My understanding from the articles that these were "serious problems" (their exact definition for that I do not know) within the first year. For US cars, that was an average of 24 per 100. So from that perspective, I would have a 24% chance of a serious problem in the first 12 months. Another way to look at it is, 1 of every 4 vehicles on the lot will have a serious problem. That's a whole lota' problems.

Dividing the number further by 100 to get a ~0.2% chance doesn't help reassure me.
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Subscribers of Consumer Reports determine themselves if the problem is serious enough to report on the annual questionnaire. The report relies a lot on the assumption that all subscribers have the same interpretation of "serious". Brakes that wore out at 25k miles might be serious problems to some, routine wear to others. A broken trim piece might be serious to nitpickers, while others might have to be stranded to consider it serious...

According to the magazine (p.76 of the April, 2002 edition), the numbers are the total problems for per 100 MY 2001 vehicles for their first year. So, yes, a typical Japanese make has a 15% chace of a serious problem in the first year, a typical American make a 24% chance. Even so, if the rates increase as I said above, it would still take 5 years for the typical American car to average 1 more problem than the typical Japanese car. For many products the reliability rate actually improves for a few years after the first year before it gets worse; I don't know if that applies to autos.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by caviller:
...So, yes, a typical Japanese make has a 15% chace of a serious problem in the first year, a typical American make a 24% chance...</font>
Some vehicles will have more than one problem. Thus, an owner will have an even smaller chance of encountering a problem, while some few unlucky owners will encounter two or more problems.

Does that change the odds for a single owner?

Regards,

Maugham
 

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It really shows how much American vehicles have improved, because they say that in 1980 they had 104 or 105 problems out of 100 vehicles! Check out this link on USAToday talking about CR bias. I really like CR and I think they do their level best to come up with an unbiased system. Some don't agree.
John
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Maugham:
Some vehicles will have more than one problem. Thus, an owner will have an even smaller chance of encountering a problem, while some few unlucky owners will encounter two or more problems.

Does that change the odds for a single owner?

Regards,

Maugham
</font>
I'll do ya one better. Maybe all 15 problems per 100 vehicles on japanese vehicles are on the same lemon, and the other 99 vehicles are trouble free:)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
WOW!!! 105 per 100, thats nasty. They have improved.

I wonder what the numbers would be for the Germans if they broke away their numbers from the rest of Europe.

Who thinks the Germans would be much better than 23, although not as good as the Japanese?
 

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Don't kid yourself, the Germans build nice cars but they are far from trouble free. After two BMW 5-series, a good friend is switching to Lexus.

Both BMW and MB have a lot more problems than they should for what they cost. VW is even worse.
 

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I keep hearing people said they own American, Japanese, Korean, or European, etc car. To me, there is no one single country that built any particular car like the old day no more. The body parts, engine parts, and everything else are all mixes. For example, Honda Odyssey are built in USA/Canada, Chrysler made are built in Canada/Mexico and the parts in those vehicles probably built somewhere else. How can you truely say, you own or drive an American, European, Korean, Japanese, etc. car? It is probably more likely or better of identify as "international" car.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Odysseylover:
I keep hearing people said they own American, Japanese, Korean, or European, etc car. To me, there is no one single country that built any particular car like the old day no more. The body parts, engine parts, and everything else are all mixes. For example, Honda Odyssey are built in USA/Canada, Chrysler made are built in Canada/Mexico and the parts in those vehicles probably built somewhere else. How can you truely say, you own or drive an American, European, Korean, Japanese, etc. car? It is probably more likely or better of identify as "international" car.</font>
I disagree.

Honda exports their engineering and manufacturing techniques from Japan to other countries, bringing with them their own approach to making cars. Even though the assembly workers may be non-Japanese, everything about the car is controlled to standards and procedures set by Honda/Japan.

Most actions in assembling cars are automated or subcontracted to spec from the home office. This further reduces the importance of assembling country.

True, there are regional variations in models, but those are controlled by marketing. For example, a Swiss version of the Ody might be more narrow than a US version.

So yes, there are indeed Japanese, German, Italian, and US cars, regardless of the physical location of the final assembly plant. Country of origin still exists and it makes a difference.

Regards,

Maugham
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Maugham:
I disagree.
<SNIP>
So yes, there are indeed Japanese, German, Italian, and US cars, regardless of the physical location of the final assembly plant. Country of origin still exists and it makes a difference.

Regards,

Maugham
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Yup.

There are also significant differences in design philosophy, differences in concern over the perception of reliability, differences in labor (unions) building the vehicles, and differences with some companies that can release new models in protected home markets and improve them before selling them globally...
 
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