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Buying the Latest Car Models May Not be that Cool Anymore

flickr-8612213078-originalDreaming of having the latest Toyota Camry parked at your garage before it goes on sale in the market? How about the newest Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06? Buying the hottest cars these days looks cool. But with a lot of recalls happening recently, a study implies that the idea may not be so cool anymore.

One of the biggest recalls now is by General Motors which involved 2.6 million vehicles. It included at least nine models, some of which date back to 2003. But this is not typical of any recall which usually happens in the early life of a vehicle model.

A global financial advisory firm called Stout Risius Ross or SRR did a study for Yahoo Finance and it suggests that new and redesigned models are likely to experience problems than models that have been on the road for some time. “The data we’ve analyzed indicates new-production vehicles demonstrate an elevated level of recall risk,” Neil Steinkamp, managing director of the firm, told Yahoo Finance.

Let others be the guinea pig.

Not buying a particular model immediately after it just rolled out of the assembly line do make sense. Consumer advocates have been encouraging buyers to avoid new models as much as possible and consider buying vehicles that have been test-driven for at least a year or two.

The study by SRR, which analyzed sampling recall data of the 6 car-making giants (Toyota, Chrysler, Hyundai, Ford, Honda and GM) dating from 1990, presented a pattern:

First, 64 percent of vehicles went through at least one recall during their first production year.

The Buick Encalve underwent seven recalls in 2008 and 2009, the first two model years. The rate dropped to one recall per year in the next three years.

The Ford Escape was subject to 11 recalls when it first rolled out in 2001. The recalls dropped to zero in the succeeding years. But in 2013, the redesigned model was recalled at least seven times.

Lastly, the Honda Pilot had seven recalls. Its final two years, 2007 and 2008, saw only one recall per year. But when Honda introduced an all-new Pilot in 2009, the recall rate went up to two per year and three per year for the 2011 model.

Wait for at least a year.

Recalls do not necessarily imply that the vehicles involved are not that safe anymore compared with the others. In fact, manufacturers that recall vehicles look like they are more aware of and more serious about safety and quality policies than those who won’t recall their defective units.

Recalls may, however, cause unnecessary inconvenience. They require you to visit your dealer, which is usually out of your schedule, for repairs. You would also have to wait for your vehicle until it is fixed (usually paid for by the manufacturer).

In any case, Yahoo Finance recommends doing some research and trying to trace the first production year of a vehicle you’re interested to buy. It will also help to specifically check the safety and reliability backgrounds of a vehicle before deciding to purchase.

Photo credit: Joseph Brent / CC BY-SA 2.0




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