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Oracle of Delphi

Toyota's Jim Lentz on Consumer Report's ratings

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Hmmm... GS has been out for how many years and they don't have enough data to determine a trend?

As for the Toyota Camry V6 6-speed transmission issues, I don't remember a recall that corrected the design problems early on... was there one?

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Hmmm... GS has been out for how many years and they don't have enough data to determine a trend?

As for the Toyota Camry V6 6-speed transmission issues, I don't remember a recall that corrected the design problems early on... was there one?

No recall I know of.
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Yeah the 6 speed automatic staying in 2nd gear in the early models, remember? There was months, and months, of bashing on this board over it.

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Yeah the 6 speed automatic staying in 2nd gear in the early models, remember? There was months, and months, of bashing on this board over it.

But was there a recall on it?

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"We believe our quality is better than it has ever been. This decision by CR not to recommend key Toyota models is merely a reflection of our increasing share in the domestic auto industry CR has vowed to destroy, and their loathing of the type of cars American consumers prefer to buy."

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Yeah, there was I think, or they fixed the recall while doing warranty work.

And therein lays another secret about Japan Inc. - in fact, imports in general: they have successfully trained their customers over decades of programming to always bring their vehicles in to the dealer for servicing. Therefore, when minor hiccups occur, the dealer has a chance to correct them while the unawares customer is in having a oil change, tire rotation or whatever. They started that from the beginning.

Detroit, on the other hand, was hobbled with the fact that 40 years ago, most people did their own regular maintenance, so as vehicles became more complicated in the '70s and '80s, people like my father never returned their vehicle to the dealer and 'minor' issues or service bulletins never got addressed. Domestic cars minor problems would become major issues while the imported cars were seen 3 or 4 times a year by the dealer and I am sure in many cases were nearly rebuilt without the owner's knowledge!

Forensic accounting has only made matters worse. Any kind of warranty anamoly will immediately show up on the OEM's computer and they can trace problems back to part suppliers, then dispatch service bulletins so that 'possibly' effected vehicles can be nabbed when they come in for routine maintenance. Honda and Toyota have been masters at this. GM and Ford are only now cluing into how important a factor this has been for Japan Inc.

It is not a 'dirty secret' or conspiracy on the part of Japan Inc., only the good luck of having no customers, a clean slate and being in on the ground floor of a technological upheaval that turned the dealer service industry on its ear.

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