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Some Early Visitor Comments
Site manager comments by James Bleeker

Visitor Comment: 2002-05-26

Hi! Just wanted to compliment you on a great site. It is very informative, especially since prospective consumers can contact those owners of high mileage vehicles through email. I have already bookmarked this page, and perhaps in time I'll post my car for its high mileage ... and by the way, it is a Toyota Corolla!

Visitor Comment: 2003-02-19

I own my third Lexus - a 2002 GS 300 with 6,400 miles beginning with the third day after taking delivery (new) a couple of semi-major repairs, plus one minor annoyance after another, however Lexus was there to make things right.

For the past six months, or so, a medium high pitched combination "moan/rattle" coming from the right front quadrant, not too loud, but noticeable in the cabin. The dealer has made great effort to find and correct the problem, including new shocks/struts and a couple of other adjustments (suspension area) all to no avail.

I have come to the conclusion that this is a body or lower dash problem and only there when driving slow over very easy bumps in the road - some days worse then others. I don't know weather to insist that LEXUS pull 20% of that dash to the firewall to investigate, or replace the car. I am very disappointed in the car at this time. For the price I paid plus the reputation of the maker, account for a lot of heartache, I feel it should be right. Not to sell them short, Lexus is trying.

If by chance, someone out there has had a similar experience , a response would be appr[e]ciated.

Site manager commentary, dated 2005-07-24:

This should serve as a reminder that not every vehicle that comes off the Toyota assembly line is flawless.

Visitor Comment: 2003-04-08

I really like this website and I feel it provides a lot of useful information. However, I do have a suggestion as to how you might be able to improve it.  I have been trying to find information on the average longevity of different makes and models of cars because I am in the process of shopping for a used car and I am trying to find a good one that will give me a very low total ownership cost per mile.  Recently I came across a statistic which said that "Of more than 5.5. million Camrys sold since 1983, more than 85 percent of them are still in operation," I found this statistic on a website with the URL: http://money.cnn.com/2002/12/10/pf/autos/auto_theft/

After reading that statistic, I figured that one could compare the longevity of different car makes and models and perhaps even estimate the expected lifespan of a particular car model by comparing the number of registrations of a particular model with the number of sales in the year that the car was new. For example, if one knew the number of Ford Escorts or Toyota Corollas that were sold in the US in 1988 and also knew the number of 1990 Ford Escorts or Toyota Corollas that were still in operation or still registered then one would be able to make a guess as to which of the two models was more durable.  The model with the highest ratio of current registrations to 1990 sales would likely be the most durable.  One could also calculate the difference in the longevity of the two car models. For example, if the 1987 Toyota Corolla had the same ratio as the 1990 Ford Escort, then one could say that the Toyota Corolla would have a lifespan of about 3 years longer than that of a Ford Escort.

I would be very interested if you would be able to find this information!

Site manager commentary, dated 2005-07-24:

The general idea is sound, and shortly after creating this site in April 2001, I checked with the motor vehicle registration departments of several states. None offered the data that would permit a useful measure on durability and some declined to offer any data, saying that such would constitute an "invasion of privacy." Auto manufacturers may have muzzled state officials; if you don't like it, speak to your state legislator.

Visitor Comment: 2003-04-23

I wish I checked here before I bought my 97 Jeep G.C. -
 I[']ve never been towed before until this year - four times...a .15 rating vs. Toyota .91? Duh...

Site manager commentary:

The 0.15 and 0.91 refer to auto Reliability Percentranks, an earlier Auto on Info measure of automobile reliability which ranged in value from 0.00 to 1.00. This measure of reliability has been abandoned for this latest version of Auto on Info, as their computation is too time consuming.

Visitor Comment: 2003-04-26

Comments: [S]ince 1969 I've owned 11 cars, 8 purchased new, 3 of them "big 3" and 5 of them Toyotas. I'll never buy another 'big 3" ... the Chevy and the Saturn, both of them purchased new, were outright junk. The best cars I've ever owned, [and] likely ever will, were a 1976 Toyota Corolla sedan and my 1989 Toyota pickup. I've still got the pickup, which my son says I'll be buried in, and wish I could get the Corolla back, although I also currently have a 1991 Camry. I loved that Corolla.

Site manager commentary:

At age 39 years, the Toyota Corolla had cumulative sales exceeding 30 million in over 140 countries, per the Daily Yomiuri at http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/business/20050820TDY04002.htm.

Visitor Comment: 2003-08-13

I have owned Toyota's since 1988. My first truck lasted me 12 hard years and I got over 175K out of it. My next was a 1994 4Runner w/a 4cyl 5spd. Best vehicle I've ever owned (built in Japan)! So, when my truck came due for replacement, of course, I got another Toyota, a 1999 Tacoma (SR5 4WD Extended Cab 6cyl 5spd). Then, to satisfy a bigger SUV need, I got a $43,000 2001 Sequoia SR5, loaded. Both the Tacoma and Sequoia have been nothing but trouble. [...]

Site manager commentary, dated 2005-07-24:

Toyotas made in North America should best be left for people with Big Three experiences. Those with made-in-Japan Toyota experiences should best stick with made-in-Japan Toyotas.

Visitor Comment: 2003-09-26

Thanks for this! Beautifully organized and created.

Visitor Comment: 2003-11-11

Nice site! Just got a decal 150,000 mile from www.highmile.com for my 188,867[-mile] 1990 Camry.

Visitor Comment: 2003-12-06

You site is amazing.  I don't know why you take the time to put all these facts and figures together and to draw (properly) the conclusions you do, but it has been a great service in my quest to find out if I should get a Honda (yes) or a Volvo (no). You almost have me buying a Toyota, but I find all their car designs on the ugly side.

Visitor Comment: 2004-02-06

Interesting reading you have.  Sadly, The Detroit 3 have backed themselves into a corner and there is no honourable way out.  The Detroit 3 manufacture [....]  Ford is finished, they will either be joined to some other company or ??? General Motors, due to its size, which is continually shrinking has more clout. Chrysler is already joined up.  Sadly, we Americans make junk, purchase junk and think it is normal and acceptable.  Once upon a time such a third world situation did not exist in this country.  As much as I would rather drive a Mercury - my personal vehicle of choice, I will never.  We have a Honda - not because we really want it, but because it treats us right.  It is safe, built to last and to be dependable.  I don't wonder if it will catch fire in my garage, or stop in the middle of traffic, or have major problems until well up in mileage. My last Detroit 3 vehicle was a 1997 Windstar van.  [...]  The risk is far too great in purchasing a Detroit 3 vehicle.  One individual may own a Chevy or Ford and have wonderful service, the next may have abysmal service. Such does not exist with Toyota or Honda.  I wish I could drive a Ford, I truly do, but Ford will not let me.

Site manager commentary, dated 2005-08-07 and updated 2010-04-21:

To review a brief chronology of Ford fires, incinerations, lawsuits, and actions taken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through May 2008, click here.

In fairness, it should be noted that Ford Motor Company has almost certainly improved the quality of three of its products. However, it will likely be at least another four years before we know whether there is any product of Ford that has reliability and durability that comes close to the reliability and durability of a typical made-in-Japan Toyota or Honda product. For detail, click here; for summary, click here.

Disclosure      Site manager is currently a shareholder of Ford Motor Company (2010-04-27). I am not, and have not been, a shareholder of any other motor vehicle manufacturer.

Visitor Comment: Late 2004 or early 2005

Hi!

Just stumbled upon your Reli[ab]ility website. I am SO impressed with your "thoroughness". I have followed CUs results for years, but now have much more data. Since doing that, I have become a Toyota man. ("How'd that happen?") Even at near salvage, Toyotas have proven to still have many miles left in them. I am currently on my 18th old Toyota. CUs charts have always been extrem[e]ly reliable, themselves. Thanks for putting so much effort into the website. It is now one of my favorites! Thanks!

Visitor Comment: Late 2004 or early 2005

I've been amazed at how your site has opened my eyes - I own two 2002 S. Korean cars at this time and have a 2005 Toyota Prius on order for delivery late next summer.  I plan to drive this car 10-12 years and plan to replace the batteries (if they need it) at the recommended 5-6 years (about $2000 in current prices). I drive above the average 21,200 miles per year so will see significant savings on my fuel costs.  I've recently rented a Pr[iu]s from Enterprise rental-car and found the car a[n] absolute revelation and felt as if I'd had an epiphany.  [...] Frankly, I shall never buy another US engineered or built vehicle, and may even shy away from Toyotas built or engineered in the US.  The facts speak for themselves.  I've read some letters to automotive trade magazines saying that these "Consumer Guide" type writings have "ruined the expectations of the car purchasers" (this coming from a VW/Audi salesman).  Wow, then how come a friend of mine was so disappointed with his new Audi, that he traded it off at a HUGE loss and had to step down to a Mazda 3 just to get a set of wheels?  Hmmmmm...... Conversely to the car salesman's whining, I think my friend should have read Consu[m]er Report[s] and your site before plunking down tens of thousands of dollars on an Audi. How could I trust Ford or particularly GM or Chrysler (which are currently working together to develop hybrid drive - how many decades, never mind years, after Toyota started spending money to begin their development?) to actually "get it right" with regards to hybrid technology, when in some 100 years, they can't even get the basic manufacture of automobiles down to a science?  No way.  Toyota yes, or maybe Honda, perhaps even Subaru - except that GM bought 20% of Subie from Nissan during the Asian financial crisis, and everything GM touch, they SCREW UP.  Kind of like the Midas touch in reverse. GM should plan on gradually closing out it's car business, just as Studebaker did.  It took from 1954 to 1966 to close out Studie, which failed mostly due to poor management and shiftless workmen (sound familiar?), so I'm guessing GM might last another decade.  For the sake of our economy, I'm glad to see Toyota putting money into the US in terms of building factories, I just hope our workers are up to the requirements - and I'm not convinced that they are.  Keep up the good work.

Visitor Comment: 2005-07-22

Hi Mr Bleeker

I'm a reader of your web site and enjoy your conclusions and calculations.  After studying all possible information for 18 months and waiting for 9 1/2 months, my 2005 Toyota Prius arrived.  Having taken 28 years to "get it through my head" that the big 2 1/2 either will not or cannot provide decent products (despite an IQ of 127), I finally "wised up" in 2002 and bought a Hyundai Sonata, which (up until now) has been the best car I've ever had.  (Part of my reluctance to "buy foreign" was because my father was in the auto industry, and I am a dedicated car nut as well as born, raised and living in Michigan - though have literally lived all over the country and in the UK as well).  Hopefully, the new Prius will be far better than even the Sonata (and from your figures and stats, it should prove to be so).  I am already getting approximately 200% the gas mileage that the V6 Sonata does.  (My wife took over the Sonata).  Just so you know, I'm obtaining approximately an average of 54 miles per (US) gallon by measurement, and somewhat less by the Prius's computer (which inaccuracy I do believe stems from the fact that it can only compute as high as 99.9 mpg even when regenerating or running on electric-only, when in fact, the true MPG is obviously higher during those times).  Hopefully, I'll be able to run this car for 1/4 million miles and 12 years, so by the time I'm 60, I can buy something - hopefully Toyota will still be making the best - to "last the duration" until and after I retire at age 66 or 67.  I've had the car since the 8th and it is absolutely terrific.  If you are of a mind to retire the Corolla, you won't be sorry if you buy a Prius. It is, by the way, both engineered and built in Japan.  I'm afraid I have to agree with you on the possibility that US designed/ engineered and built Toyotas are not of the same quality overall as those developed and built in Japan.  My last (ever) "American" car (a 1999 Dodge Neon) was in fact built in Mexico, had head gasket problems (2 times), and [...]

Visitor Comment: 2006-05-04

My  experience with Toyota has been a love affair from the first Corolla in 1975 that went 350,000 miles, then a trouble free 78 Celica, 86 Van, 82 Truck, 91 Previa, 97 Camry, 90 Lexus ES250, 92 Lexus SC300 (WOW), and another 91 Previa bought with 120,000 that currently has 253,000[,] including original drivetrain and exhaust. Due to the growth of our family we were forced to grudgingly purchase a Ford Van. Soon we had more repairs and bills than all our previous Toyotas combined. Since the 70's I've been watching what Toyota owners experience vers[u]s what the "Big Three" owners do and it's night and day. Look at the resale values alone. Look at all the Class Action Lawsuits and who they're against. [...] Toyota has owned Consumer Reports for decades and rightfully so. I love Chevrolet's "AMERICAN REVOLUTION" lie. Aveo made by Daewoo in Korea, Avalanche in Mexico along with.... If that's an American Revolution th[e]n my American made Camry is the Star Spangled Banner! Mark my word, Toyota is going to stomp the "Big Three" and they deserve to[o].

Sincerely,

A hard working American who won't blow any more of his hard earned cash on junk vehicles, named C[****] C[***].

AutoOnInfo.net: The auto-quality website with the Open Directory Cool Site Award.

 

Additional Resources

Detailed information on auto reliability and car, truck, brand, and manufacturer quality, as well as changes in U.S. car and light vehicle market shares, are given in the car guides below. These are available as Kindle ebooks and may be purchased for a small fee on Amazon.com. Links to the Amazon pages offering the books are provided.

Icon for AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Quality Series, Volume 3: Car Guide and Shopping Companion: The 2012 Reliability GPAs and Grades of the 6-to-10-Year-Old Cars and Trucks from Model Years 2002 to 2005

AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Quality Series, Volume 3: Car Guide and Shopping Companion: The 2012 Reliability GPAs and Grades of the 6-to-10-Year-Old Cars and Trucks from Model Years 2002 to 2005

Volume 3 of AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Quality Series offers quality ratings on car and truck models, brands, and manufacturers using Auto Reliability Grade Point Averages (GPAs) and Grades. With these measures of performance, this e-guide brings to the aid of auto consumers a convenient, anywhere, anytime source of automobile information on enduring reliability. As a further aid, this book provides graphs depicting both automobile brand and manufacturer spectral signatures and density functions.

Ratings and rankings of vehicle models, brands, and manufacturers are for North American model years 2002 to 2005 when the cars and trucks were between the ages of 6 and 10 years old. Used car buyers may use the Reliability GPAs and Grades as a valuable shopping tool for earlier and later model years as well. New car buyers looking for models and lines that have withstood the test of time may use the GPAs and grades as a guide for what runs well over a multi-year time span. Motor vehicles graded and ranked include small cars, family cars, upscale cars, luxury cars, sport cars, small SUVs, midsize SUVs, large SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks. For each of these body styles, the best and the worst are listed in separate chapters.

Icon for AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Quality Series Volume 2: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Effect on Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009

AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series, Volume 2: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Effect on Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009

This volume of AutoOnInfo.net’s car guide series offers consumers and researchers an historical summary of the reliability and durability of car and truck brands and examines how these brands have fared in their U.S. market shares. It uses 6-year-old model entries in Consumer Reports’ Used Car to Avoid – also termed Vehicles to Avoid and Worst Cars, Year by Year – and CR’s reliability charts to ascribe quality grades to automobile brands for model-year groups 1985 to 1989, 1990 to 1994, 1995 to 1999, 2000 to 2004, 2005 to 2006, and 1985 to 2006. In addition to ascribing quality grades to each brand, it provides a chart that plots the number of the brand’s 6-year-old model entries in CR’s vehicles to avoid. To examine the effect that a brand’s reliability and durability has had on sales, two or more charts depicting the brand’s U.S. market shares for calendar years 1985 to 2009 are given. These grades and charts and the author’s comments impart an historical perspective that sheds light on the present condition of surviving vehicle lines and their future prospects, individual and institutional shortcomings, and what effect these may have on the U.S.

Icon for AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Guide and Shopping Companion: The 2009 Reliability GPAs and Grades of the 6-to-10-Year-Old Cars and Trucks from Model Years 1999 to 2002

AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Guide and Shopping Companion: The 2009 Reliability GPAs and Grades of the 6-to-10-Year-Old Cars and Trucks from Model Years 1999 to 2002

AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Guide offers quality ratings on car models, brands, and manufacturers using Auto Reliability Grade Point Averages (GPAs) and Grades. With this guide, GPAs and grades, familiar by common-place use in educational settings, are brought to the aid of car consumers seeking a convenient, any-where, any-time source of automobile information on enduring reliability. Car models rated are from North American model years 1999 to 2002 when the cars were between the ages of 6 and 10 years old. Used car buyers may use the Reliability GPAs and grades as a valuable shopping tool for earlier and later model years as well. New car buyers looking for models and lines that have withstood the test of time may use the GPAs and grades as a guide for what runs well over a multi-year time span. Motor vehicles graded and ranked include convertibles, coupes, sedans, wagons, hatchbacks, minivans, SUVs, and pickup trucks.

Also visit www.CarsOnInfo.net and www.CarQualityInfo.net for more car and truck quality tables, charts, graphs, and information.