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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2001

Toyota's Lexus leads survey on car quality

USA Today

DETROIT — Japanese and European car companies dominate the auto industry for quality, according to J.D. Power and Associates' latest survey of car buyers.

Toyota, with both Toyota and Lexus brands, is the unquestionable leader in product quality, according to Power's initial quality survey, which polls new car buyers for problems reported during the first three months of ownership.

Lexus topped all brands, recording 85 problems per 100 vehicles. The industry average was 147.

Toyota cars and trucks led seven of 16 vehicle categories tracked.

The industry has improved quality by 16 percent since 1998, said Joe Ivers, Power's executive director of quality and customer satisfaction.

Most brands improved for 2001: Last year's average was 158 problems per 100 vehicles.

"Forty percent of consumers say their No. 1 consideration when making a purchase is manufacturer reputation for quality," said Ivers.

Jaguar, the European automaker owned by Ford, moved to second in the rankings from 10th last year. Saab, owned by GM, moved to fifth from 12th.

Among the most improved brands from last year are Volkswagen, which reduced its problems per 100 vehicles by 38; Saturn, down by 30; Cadillac, down 23; Chevrolet, down 25; and GMC, down 25.