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J. D. Power study: Consumers don't fret about reliability as much

Tue, 14 Dec 2010

The mantra that all cars are reasonably good is beginning to resonate with consumers, and a J. D. Power study found that reliability is less of a concern for shoppers than it previously was.

The study examines reasons buyers avoid particular models when car shopping. Exterior styling was the most frequent reason for avoiding a model this year, cited by 35 percent of new owners. The other top reasons were price, poor reliability, interior styling and bad manufacturer reputation.

GMC, Hyundai, Ram, Audi, Scion and Smart showed improvements in customer reliability perceptions. The Cadillac SRX, Ford Taurus and Kia Sorento redesigns got substantially higher consideration rates than their previous models and segment averages.

This is the second year in a row that Ford and Audi were among the brands to show the most improvement.

The 2010 study also shows a shift among the top reasons for avoiding competitive models from last year. Concerns about the future of brands have lessened, while having a bad prior experience or poor perception of a manufacturer's reputation has gained importance.

J. D. Power spokesperson Kerri Wise cited safety recalls as a large reason consumers have backed off certain brands.

By Michelle Koueiter