CR's 2015 Frequency of Repair chart

What is it with Toyota and rusty frames, spare tire carriers, cradles, etc. . . . ?

@jtsanders I believe the CAW is trying to unionize Toyota in Canada. No sure if they’ll succeed. At this stage Toyota has already decided to produce their next generation of Corollas in Mexico. The Canadian plant will likely make more Lexus models and keep producing the RAV4, which commands a much higher price than the Corolla.

I’m going to infuriate some and please others . . .

I hope CAW succeeds in unionizing Toyota in Canada :yum:

Remember Ross Perot and his prediction of a giant sucking sound with the free trade agreement? We will continue to have plants moved around for lower labor costs until there is some equilibrium globally in labor rates. Fat chance in our life times so it’ll be a tug of war. Like it or not unions played a role in improving working conditions and standards and increasing wage rates. Of course then they went a little nuts and the scales tipped. You can’t really blame either side but I’ve always been more of a proponent of building your internal markets rather than relying on exports.

We will continue to have plants moved around for lower labor costs until there is some equilibrium globally in labor rates.

It’s JOBS…Not just manufacturing plants.

Accounting - Most of the large accounting firms in the US outsource tax returns to India.
Law Research - Many large law firms now outsource their law research
Radiology - Get an XRay at a big hospital in the US and it’s digitized and sent to India and China where it’s read by their radiologist at 1/10 the cost of a radiologist here in the US.
Software Engineering - Hundreds of thousands of jobs have already been shipped to India and China for the cheap labor. Thousands more every year.

The problem with achieving equilibrium is that it’ll take GENERATIONS to achieve it…and most of it will be because the US LOWERED their rates.

americar writes …

IMHO CR should concentrate more on out of pocket $$$$ expense after the warranty expires.

If a new car has to have something like the transmission replaced, but still within the warranty period, that can be a big problem for the car owner, even if the owner doesn’t have to pay for the replacement. A car with a transmission defect may stop working en-route to an important business meeting, or halt on the side of the road, leaving the owner stranded in a dangerous situation, and possibly a bad neighborhood. Nobody is compensating the owner for all this, right? And the time it takes the owner to arrange a tow back to the dealership, loss of use of the car, the various phone calls it will take to keep track of what’s going on while it is getting fixed, that all takes its toll on the car owner. And then theres the problem of when something breaks next, was it caused by the transmission re-install? Who’s to say. It certainly seems true that it is more likely a transmission installed as part of the car building process is less likely to damage other systems than yanking an already installed transmission out at a dealership shop.

So I think signs of problems that occur during the warranty period are equally important in judging whether to buy the car or not.

Rusty frames, Toyota just did not use thick enough metal in the truck frames, I hauled Ford products in 1985 for a carhaul company and the guys hauling Toyotas complained about the frames on them bending from being chained down.
Any spare tire stored underneath is a problem around here in the rust belt no matter what make. Either the cable rusts through and drops the tire on the road or it becomes impossible to lower the tire. A rack to hold the spare like tractor trailers use would be a better solution.

In regards to what @Bing and @MikeInNH said, yes, its what the Unions refer to as “the race to the bottom”. I saw a guy on tv today saying the minimum wage should be unconstitutional because it “suppresses” businesses from hiring people and makes poor people dependent on the gov’t and I thought to myself, gee, if these business owners had their way, we’d all work 12 hours a day 7 days a week for a handful of scrip and a bowl of rice. Employee Of The Month gets to sleep on a dirty cot at the back of the factory instead of a cardboard box behind the factory. I won’t say what channel I saw this guy on, but I bet you all know. . . .

So who’s gonna buy anything when more and more of the population is just barely making enough to survive? This country (U.S.A.) is turning into a 3rd world country and, and. . . oh well, go ahead and flag me for being “off-topic”, but it felt good to get that off my chest.

Please, if you are going to quote someone don’t just take a small portion of it and then twist it out of context. I was referring to minor issues such as squeaky trim pieces and software updates, and not major power train problems.

A squeaky trim piece, or software update to fix a SNAFU is not at the same level as mechanical problem that requires a major engine or transmission repair that could cost major $$$$$ after warranty. Granted we all want perfection, and strive for it, but IMHO CR should concentrate more on out of pocket $$$$ expense after the warranty expires. AKA long term ownership cost more then minor warranty repairs, and software SNAFU.

@“oldtimer 11” @db4690 I don’t think mounting the spare under the vehicle is the best idea. I am going to look under my Toyota Sienna to see what the replacement tire carrier looks like. Before the parts came in and were installed, I thought of different ideas. One idea was to mount the spare on the front as some owners of the VW microbuses used to do. However the VW microbuses were air cooled with the engine in the rear. I was afraid a front mount spare might obstruct flow to the radiator. I remember the old Jeep station wagons that had the spare mounted in the passenger compartment by the right rearmost window. If I could have done that, it would have allowed the seats to be folded. Where Toyota placed the spare temporarily did not allow,the left side of the rear seat to be folded. The way I use a minivan, it was a real inconvenience to be constantly having to take the spare tire in and out. The final repair was free and everything is back to normal.
I may be old fashioned, but I feel more comfortable having a spare tire. Of course, this inconvenience is not part of CR’s frequency of repair charts.

The front mount would decrease gas mileage, and that won’t do, for Toyota anyway. Inside the rear storage are is also problematic because the cargo has to be removed to get at the spare. I suspect that is why it ended up under the van to begin with.


“I feel more comfortable having a spare tire”

So do I

I would also rather have the spare TEMPORARILY in the passenger compartment, versus no spare at all

And then murphy’s law comes into effect . . . :cold_sweat:

@db4690 When we would go on the road,I would strap the spare down behind the rear seat. When I was going short distances and needed to fold down the left half of the seat, I would put the spare in our 4Runner so my wife could bring it to me if I needed it. I had a blowout and a tire suddenly loss air on our 4Runner within a one year period and was certainly, glad to have a full size spare. The Sienna, only has the compact spare, but it is better than nothing.


“The Sienna, only has the compact spare . . .”

Does it have a factory provision for a full-size spare . . . ?

I’ve seen some vehicles that get sold with a donut spare, but have the provision for a full-size spare. In those cases, the spare tire well is deep enough and wide enough for a full-size. And the owner’s manual will usually list 2 different spare sizes

Most Sienna’s have a roof rack. Go old school Safari and strap the spare up top if you really don’t want it underneath. I have a Sienna and I keep my spare underneath with the new carrier from the recall (the third such “free” replacement).

I have 200,000 miles on my Sienna and, aside from maintenance and wear and tear items, almost nothing has needed repair. I can live with the spare tire hassles since, unlike my Caravan owning friends, I have not had to replace any engines, transmission or major mechanical items.

I find the CR frequency of repair charts very accurate and they correspond highly with my anecdotal experiences. I will say that my wife’s Ford Fusion (2012) has done quite well and, with almost 130,000 miles, has been ultra reliable. I am very impressed and would consider a Fusion in the future.