Many people contact me each month to help them locate a new or pre-owned vehicle at the right price. All too often, people will tell me that they have to own a Toyota or Honda instead of some of the other brands in the marketplace because of the perception that they are better vehicles. Sometimes they are better vehicles and I do like the Honda and Toyota brands.
I’m also a fan of many other vehicles in the marketplace that are often overlooked by consumers, which quite frankly are a much better value. I know because I spend tens of thousands of dollars fixing cars each year and I’ve seen problems with every major manufacturer, but usually care and maintenance is the problem and not the vehicle itself.
The media has definitely shown favoritism to these two brands over the years, but since America has now invested billions into American car companies we’re starting to see more press about the challenges facing all the major manufacturers in building modern vehicles.
After Toyota had a major recall this month, Honda is now recalling over a half a million of their small cars based on a faulty window switch that was shown to be a safety hazard. It’s not that these vehicles are bad, as the article points out, but it is a fact that there are thousands of small parts that go into building today’s automobile, from oxygen sensors to air bag sensors. I think that people forget this fact all too often.
As we move into more sophisticated vehicles there are more opportunities for parts to malfunction and for a vehicle to have problems, such as a gas peddle or a window switch. There is no perfect automobile, but if you can reduce the amount of chances for a problem to take place by checking for recalls on your vehicle and having parts replaced it will last you much longer with less likely opportunities for failure, regardless of the specific brand.
Here’s an article detailing this latest recall for Honda.
Honda recalls 646,000 amid Toyota woes
Recalls the latest black mark on industry already battered by recession
WASHINGTON/TOKYO – Honda Motor Co. said it would recall a total of 646,000 units of its Fit/Jazz and City models, including 140,000 in the United States, because of a faulty window switch, after a child died when fire broke out in a car last year.
The announcement came as investors, suppliers and consumers weighed the impact of an unprecedented halt in U.S. production by Toyota, the world’s No. 1 automaker.
Honda’s move, as well as Toyota’s recall due to problems with unintended and dangerous acceleration, come at a bad time for the industry as it struggles to lure buyers back to showrooms after a sales slump that helped drag U.S. rivals General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy.
Toyota this week suspended North American sales and production of eight models including its best-selling Camry after regulatory pressure, and widened the recall to China and Europe. A Toyota spokeswoman said the company was still checking on whether any vehicles are affected in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
Japan’s largest company, studied for its devotion to quality, could recall about 8 million vehicles in total — more than the number of cars and trucks it sold worldwide in 2009.
In Tokyo, some worried about the knock-on effects to Japan’s image and economy.
“If Toyota has hard times, there’s a high probability that also Japan will,” said Takeo Namekata, a 62-year-old office worker. “Particularly, trade will suffer.”
Honda’s recall added to concerns that the safety-conscious image of Japanese manufacturers would be threatened.
“The Japanese have built their image on reliability, the fact that they make bullet-proof vehicles,” said IHS Global Insight analyst Carlos Da Silva.
“It’s not that their vehicles are worse than the others, (the recalls are) just showing maybe that their vehicles are like the others. The race to cost cuts and the competition between all the brands is so fierce that even the mighty Japanese are doing things that are not as reliable as they were.”
Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy
John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @coolcarguy