Despite most of the recalls and bad press Toyota had a couple of months ago they’ve pulled through stronger and much better than ever. Some recent surveys about car reliability and dependability reveal that Toyota continues to be at the the surface of the list. Toyota as a company has also stepped up and added some major safety features to its line-up of cars for 2011.
Over 1.3 million vehicle owners that are also readers of Consumer Reports voted for which cars they found most reliable. The study covered model years 2001 to 2010. The vehicles that made the list of Most Reliable Cars should also have performed well in government and insurance industry crash and rollover tests. The cars also had to have electronic stability control available in a conventional high-volume trim line to be able to be considered. The outcome of the reliability study put Toyota cars at the the surface of the list. Models from Toyota, Scion and Lexus (brands of Toyota) were among the most reliable cars and earned top scores in five different vehicle categories. Dealership The Toyota Yaris, FJ Cruiser, Sienna V6 and Tundra V6 all scored top scores in the study. The Lexus LX also earned top marks.
J.D. Power and Associates conducted another similar study to obtain the dependability of vehicles. They surveyed owners of 3-year old models which were purchased new and asked them to recognize conditions that had arisen in the last 12 months. The Vehicle Dependability Study asks owners to recognize any issues they’ve had in 200 different problem areas. Toyota performed perfectly in this study and received four different segment awards- more than some other brand in the study. The Toyota Highlander, Prius, Sequoia and Tundra all received above average marks for his or her dependability. Toyota’s Lexus brand also made the top 5 list. In the compact car category the Toyota Prius was number 1 followed by the Corolla. In the Large Multi-Activity category the Toyota Sequoia topped the list as did the Tundra in the large pickup category. In the midsize multi activity category Toyota took the top 2 spots with the Highlander and the 4Runner. The Toyota Sienna and Yaris were in the top 3 for the minivan and sub-compact car categories respectively. Lexus made the top 3 in the large premium car category (LS460), midsize premium car (ES 350) and midsize premium multi activity category (GX 470, RX).
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has their own study that rates an automobile for how well it protects its occupants from front and side impacts, rollovers and rear impacts. Toyota had more top picks than some other make. The Toyota Avalon, Corolla, Highlander, Sienna and Venza all made the list in each of their respected categories. In the minivan category the Sienna was the only person to make the list.
Standard on all new Toyota vehicles may be the Star Safety System. Toyota is the first manufacture to create these features standard on all vehicles. The Star Safety System is composed of five different safety features; vehicle stability control, traction control, an anti-lock braking system, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution. Vehicle stability control helps in avoiding slipping and loss of traction by reducing engine power and applying brake force to the wheels that need it. Traction control also helps with slipping on wet, icy, loose or uneven surfaces by applying brake force on the spinning wheels. The anti-lock braking system prevents the brakes from locking up by “pulsing” brake pressure to each wheel to greatly help the driver maintain control during emergency braking situations. Brake assist has the capacity to detect sudden or “panic” braking and adds the entire pressure needed to greatly help prevent collision. Lastly, electronic brake-force distribution aids in redistributing brake force to help keep the rear wheels from locking up during sudden braking situations. Smart Stop Technology can also be being installed in all new Toyota models. This technique automatically reduces engine power when both accelerator and brake pedals are pressed at the same time frame under certain conditions. The device will intervene when the accelerator is pressed first and the brakes are applied firmly for longer than half a second at speeds greater than five miles per hour.
Toyota cars have made a term for themselves. Despite most of the bad press Toyota Motor Corporation has received their cars are speaking volumes in terms of safety, reliability and dependability.