Toyota Claims Four Quality Awards

By: Mike Bartley

After posting an increase in May sales, Toyota one again has an achievement to feel good about. The surging Japanese car manufacturer won four segment awards at the 2007 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. The said research is undertaken to find out the reaction of car owners after the first 90 days of ownership. This then translates to the quality of the vehicle and its ability to satisfy its consumers.

"We'll always place a great importance on the quality and dependability of our products," says Jim Lentz, the executive vice president of Toyota Motor Sales. "Ninety-day feedback is only the beginning of the complete ownership experience, and it is just one of the short- and long-term measures of total quality, dependability and customer satisfaction we monitor. Other measures like the Vehicle Dependability Study, Consumer Reports annual survey, warranty claims, resale value and buyer loyalty help give us a complete picture on overall quality."

The company has four winners in their respective segments. The midsize SUV Toyota 4Runner took on award for the Japanese company. The full-size SUV Toyota Sequoia is also a winner in its category. Another Toyota Division vehicle which was given an award is the compact pickup truck Toyota Tacoma. The fourth award for the Japanese company was bagged by the Lexus RX350/RX400h.

The Lexus brand takes the second spot overall in the Nameplate IQS Ranking. Porsche still lead all brands when it comes to quality according to J.D Power and associates. Out of 100 Porsches, J.D. Power and Associates recorded only 91 problems encountered after the first three months of ownership. The vehicles included in the study are those which have not undergone any modifications yet and even those fitted with performance parts were not included.

After Porsche and Lexus, Lincoln sits at the third spot which is a great improvement after its twelfth place finish last year. For the Lincoln brand, J.D Power and Associates recorded 100 problems encountered in every 100 Lincoln vehicles. Honda is the highest ranked non-luxury brand with its fourth place finish. For the Japanese brand, there were 108 problems encountered for every 100 vehicles on an average.

Mercedes-Benz is the number five brand on the list with 111 problems reported for every 100 vehicles. Jaguar, another luxury brand is number six on the list with 112 problems encountered for 100 vehicles. Toyota is tied with Jaguar with 112 PP100 vehicles. Close behind Toyota and Jaguar is mercury with 113 PP100 vehicles. Nissan's luxury division Infiniti finished ninth with 117 problems recorded every 100 vehicles.

Ford takes the tenth spot with 120 problems recorded for every 100 Ford branded vehicles. Aside from these ten brands, other notable brands which posted above industry average ratings are Scion, Hyundai, and Kia. The industry average according to J.D Power and Associates is 125 problems for every 100 vehicles.

Brands which surprisingly fell below the industry average include Volvo, BMW, Cadillac, and Audi. More interesting is the fact that while Honda has the fourth best quality, its luxury division Acura finished below the industry average with 130 problems met for every 100 vehicles.

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