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Bottom 10 Vehicles with the Largest Declines Dependability
Quality is an ever-moving target; it’s something automakers have to constantly monitor. And like the Mongol hordes conquering vast swaths of Asia in the 13th century, problems can easily overwhelm an unsuspecting company’s defenses. Like arrows toppling a mighty war elephant, just a few small issues can devastate even the most reliable vehicle on the road. To keep these nomadic defects at bay, engineers and product planners must remain vigilant.
Along with Consumer Reports, J.D. Power is one of the major firms that tracks automotive quality. Its annual Vehicle Dependability Study is highly anticipated by OEMs and media alike. Think of it as a report card for automakers.
For nearly a quarter-century the study has kept a careful eye on quality by tracking problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). It measures things that have gone wrong with 3-year-old cars and trucks as reported by their original owners.
Like America’s Most Wanted, J.D. power has just released a list of 10 vehicles that have suffered the largest declines in quality. These vehicles have had the greatest year-over-year increase in PP100. Some of the cars and trucks on the list may really surprise you.
Your shoes say a lot about you – including the type of car you drive, at least, that’s what Italian writer and shoe design analyst Andrea Silvuni thinks – she believes you can learn a lot about a person’s character from their shoes and their choice of wheels.
Making its way on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick for 2012 is the all-new Buick Verano. This raises General Motors IIHS Top Safety Pick award count to 14 in 2012 – not too shabby.
Equipped with 10 standard air bags, the Verano came out with a good score in the IIHS tests for front and side crash tests, roof strength test, and rear impact test. The Verano also features standard electronic stability control, which the IIHS requires for Top Safety Pick designation.
“GM set a goal that every new product would be designed to meet or exceed the third-party metrics that IIHS and others use to communicate crash worthiness to consumers,” said Gay Kent, GM executive director of Vehicle Safety. “We are now seeing the results from that commitment.”
Of the GM vehicles that made it to IIHS’s 2012 Top Safety Pick award list, 13 models had previously qualified for the 2011 award. These vehicles were carried over to 2012 because its structure is substantially the same as the IIHS tested for 2011. Carrying over for 2012 awards are the Buick LaCrosse, Regal and Enclave; the Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic, Volt, Equinox, Malibu and Traverse; the Cadillac CTS (sedan) and SRX, and GMC Terrain and Acadia.
Chevrolet is updated their 2012 Equinox with new features and equipment including their MyLink in-vehicle wireless connectivity, customized infotainment options and new safety-enhancing features. The Equinox has become a hot ticket item for Chevrolet, with a 52-percent increase in its retail sales for the first 10 months of this year.
Chevrolet’s MyLink will be a great addition to the Equinox, seamlessly integrating online services such as Pandora internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio by using hands-free voice and touchscreen controls via Bluetooth-enabled phones. In addition, it’ll add audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones. This is all controlled through a 7-inch full-color touchscreen display.
The 2012 Equinox also features a GM-exclusive crash-avoidance system, using a single camera to help drivers avoid front-end collisions at an affordable price – only $295 on LTZ trim levels.
No pricing was announced for the 2012 Equinox.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox
Now that we know the mid 1990s Honda Civic and Accord hold the top two spots amongst car thieves, what cars do thieves avoid most?
Well, aside from the BMW 5-Series, the common denominator on this list is that these cars are all pretty dull. Interestingly, midsize SUVs and German sedans are among what the Highway Loss Data Institute deems to be undesirable to car thieves. These vehicles are likely on the list because they have proper anti-theft mechanisms that go beyond a mere alarm system. On the other hand, the Chevrolet Aveo is a rolling anti-theft system in itself.
Here’s the Top 10 car that thieves dislike:
- Audi A6 all-wheel-drive, large luxury car
- Mercury Mariner (2009-10) small SUV
- Chevrolet Equinox (2010) midsize SUV
- Volkswagen CC (2009-10), midsize car
- Chevrolet Equinox four-wheel-drive (2010) midsize SUV
- Lexus RX 350 (2010) midsize luxury SUV
- Saturn Vue midsize SUV
- Chevrolet Aveo (2009-10) mini station wagon
- BMW 5 series all-wheel-drive large luxury car
- Mini Cooper Clubman 2-door car
[Source: USA Today]
Parents magazine has made the list (and assumedly checked it twice) to bring you their top 15 picks of family-friendly vehicles for 2010. Teaming up with Edmunds.com, Parents has only included models that come equipped with antilock brakes and front, side, and side-curtain air bags. These vehicles also come with family necessities such as sliding rear seats, smart storage for toys, and other amenities that make the drive that much smoother. You may be surprised to learn that not many minivans or SUVs made the list. The picks aren’t in any particular order and are broken down into categories such as sedans, hybrids and large vehicles.
They are listed after the jump, along with a few of their top selling points:
The Chevrolet Orlando crossover will not be sold in the United States after all. In an interview with Bloomberg, Margaret Brooks, GM’s product marketing director for small cars and crossovers said that “The best thing to do for Chevrolet is to focus on the brands we’ve already brought to market: the Traverse, Equinox, Malibu and, soon to come, the Cruze.”
In addition to Asia and Europe, the Orlando, a seven seater minivan based on the same platform as the Cruze and Volt, will be sold in Canada, where the Mazda5 (a direct competitor to the Orlando) is a popular vehicle. Canadians typically buy smaller vehicles due to higher vehicle costs, and an average gas price of $4 per gallon.
[Source: Automotive News]
In a sign that the Cash-for-Clunkers program is working and that car sales are finally starting to turn a corner, General Motors has announced that it is increasing production and adding overtime shifts at several plants.
Shifts will be added at GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada and at the Lordstown, Ohio plant. The Lordstown facility is responsible for assembly of the Chevy Cobalt, while the Ingersoll facility is home to the GMC Terrain and the all new 2010 Chevrolet Equinox (pictured above).
The added shifts means General Motors will bring 1,350 employees back on the job.
Earlier this month Gm added overtime shifts at its Arlington, Texas plant where the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon are made.
The total production increase is said to be roughly 60,000 units, a move deemed necessary by General Motors to ensure its dealers have an appropriate number of vehicles on their lots after a surge in sales following the recent Cash-for-Clunkers legislation saw dealer inventories hit their lowest point since 1991.
[Source: Automotive News]
We still have more than half of 2009 to go and already the list of 2010 North American Car & Truck of the Year nominees have been picked. That’s because the list is essentially a list of every new model for 2010.
Nominated for car of the year are: the Audi S4, BMW Z4, BMW 335d, BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Fusion, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Mustang, For Mustang GT500, Ford Taurus, Ford Taurus SHO, Honda Insight, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Lexus HS250h, Lotus Evora, Mazda3, MazdaSpeed3, Mercedes E-Class, Nissan Cube, Nissan 370Z, Porsche Panamera, Subaru Legacy, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Golf TDI.
The 2010 North American Truck of the Year list is only slightly shorter and includes: the Acura ZDX, BMw X5 xDrive 35d, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Transit Connect, GMC Terrain, Honda Crosstour, Land Rover LR4, Lincoln MKT, Subaru Outback, Toyota 4Runner and Volvo XC60.
Many off these vehicles have yet to be officially released and some (like the Honda Crosstour) haven’t even been officially named yet.
Jurors will now begin the lengthy process of making a short list, with the final winners chosen at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Last year’s winners were the Hyundai Genesis and the Ford F-150.