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Old 07-09-2003, 08:37   #1 (permalink)
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United States:U.S. tops Europe in vehicle reliability

Ford, GM now 2nd to Japanese in J.D. Power rankings

By Ed Garsten / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- For the first time, American automakers have overtaken some of their biggest European rivals in the race to build cars and trucks that are more reliable over the long run, according to a closely watched study.

While Japanese makers still lead in the race to build long-lasting cars and trucks, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have surpassed DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen in the survey of long-term vehicle dependability.

GM placed sixth overall in the 2003 J.D. Power and Associates study, which tracked problems after three years of ownership that were reported by 55,000 buyers of 2000 model vehicles.

German sports car specialist Porsche AG topped the survey, but Toyota Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. remain the highest rated full-line manufacturers. BMW also edged out GM.

Ford, which placed eighth, and DaimlerChrysler AG, which placed ninth, scored below the industry average number of 2.73 problems per model.

Among vehicle brands, Toyota's Lexus nameplate had the fewest problems.

Top complaints across all models were excessive brake wear, wind noise, shocks and struts, fluid leaks, cracked or peeling paint and the replacement of parts not called for under the normal maintenance schedule.
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