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Finally some good news for U.S. automakers

Steve Tripoli Nov 10, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: There are plenty of jokes about the reliability of American cars. Like GM stands for Generally Mediocre. Ford, Fix Or Repair Daily. But the latest reliability survey from Consumer Reports suggests those jokes may be getting a little old. Even though most of the cars on the list are Japanese, several American cars scored quite high. Steve Tripoli has more.

STEVE TRIPOLI: The thing to remember here is that the American models scored well for reliability in their first year. That’s something the car makers took every opportunity to cheer, but it’s no guarantee these cars will build the long-term reliability records Hondas and Toyotas are noted for.

Keith Crain of the Automotive News says the new figures put U.S. carmakers in the ballpark with their competitors.

KEITH CRAIN: “The irony is that a lot of the cars and trucks that the American manufacturers — Ford, GM and Chrysler — were competing against were also made in the United States as well: the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. So, it looks like American manufacturing is alive and well.”

The new Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan duo were among the top-ranked family cars in initial quality. General Motors had high performers in the SUV category with the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon. GM’s Pontiac Vibe wagon was another top scorer.

But that last one’s kind of a back-handed compliment. The Vibe is a slightly different version of Toyota’s Matrix wagon.

I’m Steve Tripoli for Marketplace.

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