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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Apr 29 2014, 2:32 PM

GM Ford Bonuses Tied to Quality

General Motors and Ford are putting renewed focus on quality. Each company had its share of issues in recent years but they’re taking a similar – and probably controversial – approach to improving.

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 |  Apr 25 2014, 8:02 AM

Tesla Model S Reliability

Tesla’s Model S sedan scored an unprecedented “99 out of 100″ from Consumer Reports last year, but the glowing endorsement from this influential publication could turn out to be short lived. Sources indicate the reliability of this car may have taken a slide.

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 |  Apr 10 2014, 12:15 PM

It's an Automotive Vanity Extravaganza

KBB Brand Award Winners

The folks at Kelley Blue Book have released their annual Brand Image Awards. The study, now in its seventh year, honors automakers for excelling in certain areas. Categories include things like best performance brand, most refined brand and most trusted brand. Overall there are 13 winners and the results may surprise or even appall you. You’ll need to read on to find out.

But first, according to KBB this isn’t some shady survey conducted by annoying telephone marketers; awards are actually the result of “extensive research gathered throughout the year.” Shoppers using the company’s website contribute to the results; in fact more than 12,000 of them participated, and here’s what the people have to say.

 |  Feb 25 2014, 6:04 PM

2014 Consumer Reports Brand Report Card

Consumer Reports’ 2014 Car Brand Report Card has been published and not surprisingly luxury automakers dominate the top of this list.

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 |  Oct 21 2013, 1:32 PM


Have you been anxiously waiting for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee? In spite of long delays the company is finally getting its act together and the new compact SUV should start to arrive at dealerships over the next 10 days.

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 |  Jun 19 2013, 1:35 PM


J.D. Power released the results of its latest Initial Quality Study at this month’s Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit. The survey had some very surprising results.

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 |  Jun 03 2013, 3:02 PM


Six of the Top 10 Least Reliable Cars and Trucks on the road are Ford products. At least, that’s according to data provided by Consumer Reports, a non-profit organization that tests everything from toasters to homeowner’s insurance. This lopsided result has raised a lot of questions, like: Are Blue-Oval vehicles really that troublesome or is Consumer Reports’ survey methodology flawed?

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 |  May 16 2013, 12:01 PM

Survey Says...


Since its founding in 1936, Consumer Reports has become the go-to source for shoppers. From new refrigerators to bottles of wine, Blue-ray players to homeowner’s insurance, if it’s on the market it’s likely the non-profit organization has scientifically tested it. Of course the consumer watchdog is probably most famous for its vehicle reliability ratings.

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 |  Mar 15 2013, 10:01 AM

Ask AutoGuide No. 3 Main Art

Like veteran 911 operators AutoGuide’s expertly trained staff is here to help at anytime, day or night… as long as they can respond via e-mail and at their convenience. Ask AutoGuide is our newest weekly feature and it’s off like a prom dress.

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 |  Mar 11 2013, 9:05 AM

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.

 |  Jan 22 2013, 4:32 PM

User satisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems is on the decline while the number of drivers turning to their smartphone for directions is rising.

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 |  Nov 05 2012, 4:32 PM

 You might want to think twice about buying a new muscle car from Dodge, Chevrolet or Ford this year.

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 |  Oct 29 2012, 5:04 PM

The numbers have been tallied and the data compiled in Consumer Reports’ latest Auto Reliability Survey. Toyota has a lot to be happy about but Ford has taken a tumble.

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 |  Sep 19 2012, 7:06 PM

General Motors wants your money, but it wants you to feel good about handing it over which is why the car giant combined its product quality and customer experience organizations under one leader: Alicia Boler-Davis.

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 |  Aug 22 2012, 3:02 PM

Nissan is taking new steps to improve customer satisfaction by creating a new position within the company dedicated to improving the brand’s quality. 

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 |  Mar 15 2012, 9:31 AM


Ford will tell you how the F-150 beat the Chevrolet Silverado in the 2012 Best Value in America awards, but it won’t tell you that the company also lost to Chevrolet. 

A press release titled “F-150 wins Best Value Award” might seem pretty simple, but the eighth annual “Best Value in America” award isn’t quite as clear. Vinventric, the company bestowing the award, has the full story on its site. It seems that Ford did in fact win, but not to the extent the Ford press release might suggest.

In fact, Chevrolet won the award for “Best Value Truck Brand.” Meanwhile on the Ford press site, the release reads “F-150 beat out Chevrolet Silverado for the second year in a row.”

While Ford did actually win the half-ton segment, Chevrolet won overall and didn’t so much as bother to announce the victory on its site.

“Our awards take into account all costs involved with owning a vehicle, which enables consumers to understand automotive value and measure the impact that owning a specific vehicle will have on their financial situation,” stated David Wurster, President of Vincentric.

Among those costs, Vincentric considers depreciation, fees and taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost and repairs.

 |  Sep 28 2011, 10:45 PM

Next generation Kia Optima (front).jpg

Kia will hold off on expanding its production facilities and sales targets in favor of improving the quality of its vehicles, CEO Lee Sam-ung told Automotive News at a launch event for its new Rio hatchback.

“Quantitative growth is important, but qualitative growth is also important. We plan to focus on improving product quality and our brand,” said Sam-ung. Industry analysts worry that limited production capacity will be the biggest factor stunting Kia’s future growth. Sam-ung set a goal of 2.5 million vehicles sold in 2011, and wants to boost Rio sales from 110,000 in 2011 to 260,000 in 2012.

Sam-ung also said that Kia will get an all-electric compact car in 2015, one year after Hyundai launches their own model.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Aug 29 2011, 3:45 PM

2012 Volkswagen Beetle 01.jpg

Despite poor showings in various quality surveys, not to mention anecdotal evidence abound, Volkswagen is tackling its vehicle quality problems head on, and is openly discussing the steps it will take to remedy them.

The J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, regarded as the gold standard among industry types, pegged VW at 29th out of 32 brands, a poor showing for a company eager to sell 800,000 vehicles per year in the United States by 2018.

Volkswagen said that its warranty costs were down by 10 percent last year, and are on track for the same figure this year – a figure that’s adjusted for a new free maintenance program and a shorter warranty term. VW will be looking to improve its score on the J.D. Power survey, which includes not just defects but consumer complaints about functioning parts of the vehicle – a criteria that some automakers have begun criticizing.

[Source: USA Today]

 |  Jun 17 2010, 5:01 PM

In a reversal of previous trends, domestic brands reported fewer aggregate quality problems than import brands for the first time in the history of J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Survey.

Domestic vehicles reported 108 problems per 100 vehicles, compared to 109 problems per 100 vehicles for imports – not a very wide margin, but an important step for domestic vehicles. Leading the domestics rise to the top was Ford, with 12 models leading their respective categories, while General Motors had 10 models leading their segments. Overall, Porsche was the big winner, with a mere 83 problems per 100 vehicles followed by Acura and Mercedes-Benz.

The big losers for 2010 were Toyota, which finished 21st with 117 problems per 100 vehicles and Land Rover, which finished dead last with 170 problems per 100 vehicles. Dodge cars reported 130 problems per 100 vehicles, a fairly poor showing, but its Ram trucks reported a respectable 110 problems per 100 vehicles, just below the industry average.

[Source: Auto Observer]