Asian cars are more reliable, less costly to maintain and repair, and longer lived than European and American ones typically achieving a 200,000 to 250,000 kilometer service life.There is solid evidence, however, the golden age of Japanese car reliability ended around MY 2000. The best are still made in Japan and have a JA to JT VIN prefix.
Honda/Acura is living off its positive 1980s and 1990s reputation as a powertrain innovator and quality leader. Recent models are odd looking, technologically uncompetitive and eat automatic transmissions, air conditioner compressors and audio equipment like hot dogs at a baseball game. Other defects include bad brake rotors, wheel bearings, oxygen sensors, power window servos and interior squeaks and rattles. Ungenerous warranty policies are killing its image for quality and integrity.
Toyota/Lexus really screwed the pooch. Millions of vehicles recalled for throttle malfunctions, faulty brakes, flawed steering, bad engines, broken transmissions and frame corrosion squandered its gold standard image for quality and integrity. Bad things happen to companies that chisel on quality. Almost every recent Lexus model has been recalled at least once. It recently lost the luxury car top-seller crown to BMW! Consumer Reports disrated it. It dropped from sixth to 21st place in the 2010 J.D. Power initial quality rankings. A subsequent Power survey put it at 32nd, second to last position just ahead of Jeep. U.S. market share is down to 16-percent from 17.5 notwithstanding saturation advertising and unprecedented price reductions. Resale values are falling. Toyota’s perceived quality advantage over rival carmakers is gone forever. Oh, what a feeling!
General Motors trumpeted a new commitment to quality and customer care saying it would increase its key parts Mechanical Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) from 130,000 to 160,000 kilometers coincident with a longer 160,000 kilometer 2007 warranty. The undertaking was short lived. GM quietly downgraded its 2010 warranty.