Quality

Toyota's Still Tops to Consumers, but Ford's Closing In

Despite its troubles in recent years, Toyota retained its crown in Consumer Reports' annual survey of auto-brand perception, but the survey also showed that Ford is rapidly closing the gap, and other brands aren't far behind.

Ford and Toyota in Dead Heat Among Consumer Perceptions

Toyota's recent spate of quality woes have allowed competitors to steal sales from the beleaguered automaker. Ford is also catching up with Toyota in another important measure of auto industry success -- consumers' opinions of vehicle brands.

Retailers Cut Corners to Avoid Apparel Price Hikes

Expect your T-shirts to get a little bit thinner next year -- and maybe even a little more expensive. Apparel retailers are looking high and low for ways to keep from passing on too much of their own rising costs to consumers. The trick: Doing it without compromising on quality.

To Topple Toyota, Volkswagen Must Accelerate in the U.S.

VW has set a hefty goal for itself: to displace Toyota as the world's No. 1 car company. The German automaker is actually within reach, thanks mainly to its huge lead in China. To overtake Toyota, however, VW will need to really ramp up sales in the American market.

Meet Blekko, the Latest Upstart Search Engine

Rich Skrenta thinks he has built a better search engine. This week, he's launching Blekko, whose web searches will only accept information from curated lists of trusted sites, mediated by users to filter out irrelevant results. But can Blekko compete with Google and Bing?

GM Vehicles Rise in Consumer Reports' Latest Quality Survey

Although Honda and Toyota remain the benchmark of reliability in the U.S. automobile industry, General Motors has made considerable strides in improving the quality of its cars and trucks, according to the magazine's 2010 Annual New Car Reliability Survey.

Fewer New Car Buyers Are Switching to Toyota

After a series of recalls, Toyota is attracting fewer car owners who drive other brands, despite generous incentives and a massive media campaign to address concerns about quality. Nearly half of all new cars sold at Toyota dealerships this year included a Toyota trade-in, up from 42% in 2009.

Toyota Hits the Brakes on New Car Development

Acknowledging that "fast growth of the past decade has been too much in some areas for the company to keep up with," a Toyota VP says the carmaker will extend product development by four weeks and add 1,000 engineers to quality control.

GM, Ford Zoom Past Toyota in New Quality Survey

After trailing Asian automakers for more than two decades, U.S. car companies, led by Ford Motor and General Motors, zoomed past their foreign competition in the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Study of new cars and trucks.

Toyota May Need a Long Time to Fix This Costly Dent

Toyota Motor's once solid image has taken some hits in recent months, but the company's decision to not only recall millions of cars but halt production and sales of eight popular models may cause serious damage that won't easily be fixed.