Toyota Ranks Highest in Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction for Third Straight Year; Volkswagen Receives Two Model-Level Awards; Fiat, Renault, Toyota Each Receive One

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Engine/Transmission Issues Are Both Most Frequently Cited and Most Severe Problems Experienced Among New-Vehicle Owners; Fuel Consumption Is of Particular Concern

SÃO PAULO: 7 August 2013 For a third consecutive year, the Toyota nameplate ranks highest in satisfying new-vehicle owners in Brazil, the world's fourth largest automotive market, while two models from Volkswagen and one each from Fiat, Renault and Toyota receive segment awards, according to the J.D. Power 2013 Brazil Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySM (VOSS) released today.

The annual study examines the new-vehicle ownership experience (12 to 36 months after purchase) across four measures of satisfaction. In order of importance, they are: ownership costs-including fuel consumption, insurance and maintenance/repair (42%); service satisfaction (23%); vehicle appeal-including performance, design, comfort and features (19%); and vehicle quality/reliability (16%).

In the 2013 study, overall vehicle owner satisfaction averages 733 (on a 1,000-point scale). Among all countries in which J.D. Power publishes this study, owners in Brazil place the most importance on the cost of owning a vehicle. In part, this is due to spending a larger percentage of their income on vehicle service and repairs, fuel, taxes and insurance. As a result, ownership costs satisfaction is lowest among the four measures.

Toyota Earns Highest Scores in Each of 2013 Brazil VOSS Measures

Toyota ranks highest among the nameplates included in the study, with a score of 816, performing particularly well in each of the four study measures. Moreover, the Toyota Corolla achieves the highest score in the midsize segment (814) and also earns the highest score among all models ranked.

Toyota is followed by Honda (778), which performs exceptionally well in three of the four measures: vehicle quality/reliability; service satisfaction; and ownership costs.

Rounding out the brands that earn scores above industry average are three additional nameplates from Asia, one from Europe, and one from the United States: Hyundai-CAOA (771); Nissan (770); Kia (768); Citroën (739); and Chevrolet (735), respectively.

Receiving model-level awards in their segments are the Fiat Palio Fire (subcompact car); the Renault Logan and Volkswagen Voyage in a tie (entry compact car); the Volkswagen Polo (upper compact car); and the Corolla (midsize car).

High Incidence of Owner-Reported Problems

While vehicle quality/reliability has the smallest weight among the four measures in the 2013 Brazil VOSS, it remains critically important. Quality is the minimum requirement for purchase consideration in most countries, including Brazil. Furthermore, poor quality may negatively impact the more heavily weighted measures of ownership costs and service satisfaction. The added cost and time spent on service and repair visits to fix low-quality vehicles, along with poor fuel consumption, are among the primary concerns of vehicle owners in Brazil.

On average, new-vehicle owners report 352 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100)-3.52 problems per vehicle-a much higher number than in other countries where J.D. Power evaluates vehicle ownership satisfaction, including Canada (230 PP100); Germany (230 PP100); and the UK (204 PP100).

Within Brazil, domestically produced vehicles have a higher number of problems (356 PP100) than do vehicles imported from other markets such as Mexico (310 PP100); South Korea (314 PP100); and Argentina (333 PP100). "Unfortunately, a higher incidence of owner-reported quality problems reinforces the perception that vehicles produced in Brazil are of lower quality," said Jon Sederstrom, director and country manager, J.D. Power do Brasil.

Brazil's new-vehicle owners most frequently identify quality problems in the engine/transmission area, which is among the most complex of all vehicle systems. Engine/Transmission problems-including excessive fuel consumption; abnormal engine noises; engine hesitation; and engine starting problems-are cited as among the most severe (i.e. dissatisfying) by owners.

"Although Brazil is among the world leaders in oil and ethanol production, the cost of fuel for consumers is higher than in many other countries with substantial fuel reserves. As a result, fuel consumption is of particular concern among vehicle owners in Brazil," said Sederstrom.

The 2013 Brazil Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on the evaluations of 8,387 online interviews with new-vehicle owners in Brazil after 12 to 36 months of ownership. Overall ownership satisfaction is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction. The study was fielded in April, May and June 2013. The 2013 Brazil VOSS includes 73 vehicle models. This is nearly twice the number of models that were included in the inaugural Brazil VOSS in 2011.


About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw-Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, and McGraw Hill Construction. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at 

Media Relations Contacts:

Adriana Solinas; Gaspar & Associados; São Paulo, Brazil; (11) 3037-3221;
Mariana Zaia; Gaspar & Associados; São Paulo, Brazil; (11) 3037-3214;
John Tews; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218;

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