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Archive for the ‘Quality and Reliability’ Category

Volvo’s Care Subscription Program Key to Growth Plans

VCNA chief acknowledges reliability concerns but says problems, warranty costs, are tumbling.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.08, 2018

Volvo Cars North America CEO Anders Gustafsson with images of some of the first workers at the automaker's new Charleston plant.

U.S. new vehicle sales are on course to post their second consecutive decline as 2018 draws to a close, but you’d have a hard time telling that if you were just looking at Volvo’s numbers.

The Swedish automaker has posted a 27% jump in demand through the end of October and, with more products ready to land in U.S. showrooms, Volvo Cars USA CEO Anders Gustafsson said Thursday he is optimistic the company can keep its momentum growing.

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Several factors could give meaning to his forecast, including not just the launch of the new Volvo S60, but the start of production at the Chinese-owned automaker’s first U.S. assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina. Then there’s Care by Volvo, the subscription program the carmaker launched late last year.

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Subaru, Toyota Recalling 165,000 Cars Due to Engine Stalling

A valve spring is root of the problem.

by Michael Strong on Nov.02, 2018

The 2012 Subaru Impreza is part of a recall of 165,000 cars in the U.S. due to a problem that could cause the engine to stall.

Subaru and Toyota partnered up to build engines and now they are partnering on a recall of about 165,000 U.S. vehicles to resolve an issue causing those engines to potentially stall.

The action covers about 140,000 Subaru vehicles in the U.S. and about 25,000 of Toyota’s now-defunct Scion brand vehicles.

Global News!

“There is a very small possibility of a valve spring fracture in a very small number of affected vehicles, which could lead to engine noise, malfunction or, in a worst-case scenario, an engine stall,” Subaru said in a statement. (more…)

Consumer Reports: Domestic Vehicle Reliability Slipping

Domestic brands struggled in this year's survey.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.25, 2018

Toyota and its luxury sibling topped this year's Consumer Reports reliability survey of 29 brands.

Toyota and Lexus came out on top in Consumer Reports annual reliability survey thanks in large part to a cautious approach to adapting to new technology.

However, the Toyota Tundra, the automaker’s entry into the full-size truck segment, slipped off Consumer Reports list of recommended vehicles, Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing, disclosed during a meeting of Detroit’s Automotive Press Association.

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Fisher said overall it was a difficult year for domestic brands as Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Chrysler were among the brands that dropped in the Consumer Report’s new car reliability survey. Honda, which performed well in earlier years, also has slipped, he said.  (more…)

Tesla Slumps in Consumer Reports Reliability Ratings

But owners don’t seem to care.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.24, 2018

The Tesla Model X saw a small gain in its ranking in Consumer Reports' Annual Reliability Survey.

The Tesla Model X posted what might be considered a very modest improvement in Consumer Reports’ latest annual Automotive Reliability survey: the influential magazine rating it the second-worst vehicle on the road after being ranked the absolute worst in 2017.

Tesla fared poorly, on the whole, in the closely followed study which looks at how readers rank the reliability of their vehicles. The California carmaker came in 27th among the 29 auto brands CR rated, ahead of only Cadillac and Volvo.

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Perhaps the biggest disappointment for the carmaker came with the decision by Consumer Reports to withdraw its coveted “Recommended Buy” rating for the Model S sedan due to an increase in reliability issues. On the plus side, the magazine gave the new Model 3 an “average” score – though Jake Fisher, CR’s director of automotive testing, cautioned that Tesla will have to prove it can retain the compact battery-sedan’s quality as it adds more versions. (more…)

BMW Recalling 1.6 Million Vehicles Worldwide Due to Fire Risk

Company including 54,700 vehicles in U.S. and Canada.

by Michael Strong on Oct.23, 2018

Some of BMW's 5-Series are the target of the maker's latest safety recall, involving 1.6 million vehicles around the world.

BMW is recalling 1.6 million vehicles around the world, including 54,700 in the U.S. and Canada, due to a potential fire hazard.

The action is really an expansion of an earlier recall of 480,000 vehicles in Europe and Asia. In the affected vehicles a fluid leak could cause a fire. More than 40 fires were reported in South Korea.

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In fact, the South Korean government recommended owners of the affected vehicles stop driving them until they could be repaired. Police raided the automaker’s office in Seoul while investigating the issue, after videos of cars engulfed by fire went viral. (more…)

GM Offers First-Ever Extended Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty

Company claims it could raise resale values.

by Michael Strong on Oct.15, 2018

GM's new extended warranty is accepted at all GM dealers across the U.S.

The difference between buying one new vehicle or another can often come down to the tiniest of things, but General Motors is now offering a big thing that it hopes will make a big difference: an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty.

The company is offering what it is calling the first ever true extended bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers Chevrolet and GMC products for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first, while Cadillac and Buick owners can get a six-year or 75,000-mile warranty.

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“One of the best things about buying a new vehicle is the peace of mind that comes with the warranty,” said Ken Mac, director of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac Protection.  (more…)

Germans Top Total Quality Awards – Again

Mercedes-Benz SL named #1 model in 2018 owner survey.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.11, 2018

The Mercedes-Benz SL took the top honors in this year's Total Quality Awards, which were dominated by German automakers.

The Mercedes-Benz SL was the top-ranked vehicle in the annual Total Quality Awards, narrowly beating out last year’s winner, the Porsche Macan.

The awards are designed to measure not only conventional quality data, but also how owners click with their vehicles on an emotional level, according to Strategic Vision, the California-based research firm that pulls the study together. And the SL easily overwhelmed the competition with a mixture of real and perceived quality.

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“Mercedes-Benz is in a Renaissance period for the brand,” said Strategic Vision President Alexander Edwards. “With current innovative features and performance styling, Mercedes has clearly focused on answering the challenge of being a brand for our current generation of luxury buyers. Based on the voice of the consumers, Mercedes has unquestionably answered.” (more…)

Toyota Rated as Best Automotive Brand

Sixteen auto brands make Top 100 — GM and FCA brands not on the list.

by Michael Strong on Oct.11, 2018

Toyota was the top automotive brand in this year's Best Global Brands Top 100 list, taking seventh overall.

A quick poll of people asking what automaker is the best might net several folks saying “Tesla!” and while it does have a massive market cap, they’d be wrong. The best brand? Toyota.

According to Interbrand’s 2018 Best Global Brands report, Apple was the top company on the list with a valuation of $214 billion. Toyota was seventh on the list at $53 billion, which was up 6% over last year’s result.

Insight!

Overall, 15 automotive brands made the Top 100 list and while there aren’t really any surprises about what ones are on the list, those that are not on the list may be reason to take pause. None of the General Motors brands made this year’s list. The aforementioned Tesla did not make the list either. Nor did any of Fiat Chrysler’s brands. (more…)

Nissan Recalls 240K Vehicles for Potential Fire Problem

Action covers cars and utility vehicles.

by Michael Strong on Sep.21, 2018

Nissan's 2017 and 2018 Pathfinders are part of a recall of 240,000 vehicles due to possible fire hazard.

Nissan announced it is recalling nearly 240,000 cars and SUVs worldwide – 215K in the U.S. – because of a fire risk. The Japanese automaker is also recommending vehicle owners park the vehicles outdoors in some cases.

According to the automaker, due to faulty seals on the anti-lock brake pump, brake fluid can leak onto a circuit board, causing an electrical short and increasing the fire risk. Should an owner see the anti-lock brake warning light for more than 10 seconds after starting the engine, Nissan recommends not driving the vehicle and to park it outdoors away from homes and other structures or vehicles.

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The recall covers certain 2015 to 2017 Nissan Murano, 2016 and 2017 Nissan Maxima, 2017 through 2018 Nissan Pathfinder and 2017 Infiniti QX60 vehicles. (more…)

General Motors Recalling 1.2 Million Trucks, Sport-Utes

Problem causing temporary power steering failure.

by Michael Strong on Sep.13, 2018

GM is recalling 2015 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks for a problem with the truck's power steering..

General Motors is recalling more than 1.2 million full-size trucks and sport-utility vehicles to correct a steering problem causing crashes.

The company reveals that the power steering may fail and then recover due to a voltage drop in the vehicle’s electrical system. The dip makes the vehicles more susceptible to a loss of control and a crash.

Beyond the Headlines!

GM says it has reports of 30 incidents related to the problem, including two injuries. No deaths have been reported. (more…)