Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum  

Go Back   Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum > National Motorists Association (NMA) Discussion Group & Forum > NMA Articles
Radar Detectors Forum Logon:

NMA Articles National Motorists Association (NMA) Articles

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2010-04-08
NMA Reporter NMA Reporter is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: 2008 Feb
Posts: 125
NMA Reporter is on a distinguished road
Exclamation Which Matters More: Brand Reputation or Warranty Coverage?

NMA Article: Which Matters More: Brand Reputation or Warranty Coverage?

By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist

Two of the factors most people consider when shopping for a new car are its overall reputation for quality and reliability (as well as that of the company which built it) and the warranty it comes with.

What’s interesting, when you think about it, is that some of the brands with the best reputation have not-so-great warranties — while some brands that aren’t reflexively considered “good bets” offer much better warranty coverage.

For example, the Japanese leaders — Toyota and Honda — offer fairly skimpy three year/36,000 mile basic/comprehensive warranty coverage with their new cars. And their “powertrain” warranties (the limited warranties that cover the engine and transmission, etc.) run to just five years or 60,000 miles. Contrast that with lesser-known brands such as Mitsubishi — which offers a much stronger five year/60,000 mile basic warranty and a lengthy, ten-year, 100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain.

You’ll discover similar disparities elsewhere — and not just from brand to brand but sometimes even within a brand, from model to model. (For example, General Motors offers better warranties on its Cadillac division models than its Chevrolet divisions models, even though all are built by the same company — GM — and in some cases, share parts — including identical engines — and are assembled in the same plants.)

But which is more important — the reputation for high-quality and reliability or the superior warranty coverage?

Well, for openers, a reputation is less tangible than a warranty — which is a legally binding contract with clearly specified obligations that are enforceable by a court (if need be). If your car’s transmission fails while the vehicle is still “covered” then the expense of replacing it won’t be your responsibility.

You have that in writing — literally.

Also, it should be kept in mind that the automakers don’t pick the time/mileage intervals of their warranty coverages out of a hat. They do extensive durability studies “in-house” to give them a very good feel for the average lifespan of most major systems and components, such as engines and transmissions. They then base their warranty coverages on those average lifespan calculations, on the assumption that most of the cars won’t have problem “x” while covered under warranty.

It’s not a perfect system, but it’s reasonably accurate — sort of like the actuarial tables used by insurance underwriters. If it weren’t — if the cars started to fail or have problems en masse while still covered under warranty — the result would be a financial catastrophe for the automaker.

On the other hand, an unreliable car that’s either constantly in the shop or which you can’t depend on isn’t worth much to you, even if the actual expense of getting it repaired is paid for under the terms of the warranty. Sometimes, unanticipated problems just happen. Sometimes, a manufacturer with a not-so-great-reputation will try to buck up consumer confidence in its vehicles by offering super-comprehensive warranties that in some cases will cover most of the vehicle’s major components longer than the original buyer will own the car.

The bottom line is that it’s something of a gamble, either way.

A car with a great reputation but a mediocre warranty could still turn out to be trouble. The current Toyota debacle is Exhibit A. Six months ago, Toyota was the proverbial gold standard, as far as its reputation for building high-quality, reliable cars was concerned. People snapped up Toyotas — often at full MSRP “sticker” — without batting eye because of the confidence they felt in the Toyota name.

The reality, however, is proving to be a little different.

Meanwhile, makes that have proven less trouble-prone in the real world — even if they don’t yet have the established reputation — have had to resort to offering as much as twice the warranty coverage to get buyers to consider them.

Hyundai (and its sister company, Kia) are Exhibit B.

So, don’t base your decision solely on one — or the other — consideration.

Don’t assume the car will be reliable just because it has a good reputation. There is often a lag between public perception/image and the actuality “on the ground.” If you’re old enough to remember the ’70s, you may recall that all Japanese cars — including Hondas and Toyotas — were once considered junk; it took many years for these companies to establish a reputation for high quality. And likewise, don’t assume that just because the car you’re looking at comes with a really exceptional warranty, it’s going to be exceptionally reliable.

Spending an hour online researching the facts about prior recalls and major known defects from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s searchable database at http://www.recalls.gov/nhtsa.html and Consumer Reports detailed information about any given vehicle’s general record for upkeep costs and problems reported by owners (see http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/index.htm) will help you decide which matters most, the “rep” — or the warranty.



Are You A NMA Member? If not, read about the benefits and then join!

Which Matters More: Brand Reputation or Warranty Coverage?

Further Reading:

© 2009 NMA
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)   IP:
Old 2010-04-14
ManifestMarketing ManifestMarketing is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: 2010 Apr
Location: 68 Johnston Road, Wanchai, Hongkong
Posts: 0
ManifestMarketing is on a distinguished road

Well, this is a very interesting topics. You really have a good observation and that's really true.

ManifestMarketing's Sig:Manifest Manufacturing
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:39.

©2019 SpeedTrapHunter