Overall New-Vehicle Quality in Malaysia Improves for a Third Consecutive Year

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Three Toyota Models and Two Honda Models Rank Highest in Their Respective Segments

SINGAPORE: 1 November 2012 — Overall new-vehicle initial quality in Malaysia improves notably for a third consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 Malaysia Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) released today.

The study, now in its 10th year, examines new-vehicle quality during the first two to six months of ownership. The study measures 228 problem symptoms covering eight vehicle components: vehicle exterior; driving experience; features/controls/displays; audio/entertainment/navigation; seats; HVAC; vehicle interior; and engine/transmission. All problems are summarized as the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower PP100 score indicating a lower rate of problem incidence and higher performance.

Overall initial quality in Malaysia averages 111 PP100 in 2012, an improvement from 124 PP100 in 2011 and 147 PP100 in 2010. Initial quality has improved from 2011 in six of the eight problem categories: vehicle exterior; driving experience; audio/entertainment/navigation; HVAC; vehicle interior; and engine/transmission. The biggest improvements have occurred in the engine/transmission category.

The most frequently cited problems among new-vehicle owners include excessive wind noise; noisy brakes; engine loses power when air conditioning is on; excessive fuel consumption; and difficulties opening or closing rear side doors. The top four problems are consistent with those cited in the 2011 study. The problem of the rear side doors difficult to open or close, which is new to the top five, was particularly prevalent among compact and entry midsize cars.

The study finds that buyers' perceptions of vehicle quality improve when salespersons demonstrate the vehicle's features during a test drive before purchase. New-vehicle owners whose salesperson demonstrated the vehicle's features during the test drive report fewer initial quality problems than do those whose salesperson did not demonstrate the features (92 PP100 vs. 128 PP100, respectively).

"Problems reported by new-vehicle owners sometimes result from insufficient knowledge of how to properly operate a feature," said Mohit Arora, executive director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. "The test drive notably provides a unique opportunity to present dynamic features to new-vehicle buyers, and more importantly to newly licensed drivers."

More than one-half (51%) of customers who say they are "delighted" or "pleased" with their overall vehicle quality (providing ratings of eight or higher on a 10-point scale) also say they "definitely would" recommend the model they purchased, compared with only 19 percent among those who say they are "indifferent" or "disappointed" (providing ratings of seven or below).

"Initial vehicle quality may have a considerable impact on customer acquisition in Malaysia, as it helps boost advocacy," said Arora. "Therefore, it is of utmost importance for manufacturers to pursue efforts to raise the quality for locally produced vehicles in order to sustain their growth momentum."

2012 Malaysia IQS Ranking Highlights

Among the five model-level segment awards, Toyota receives three and Honda receives two.

The Toyota Avanza ranks highest in the MPV/van segment for a third consecutive year with a score of 52 PP100. Following in the segment rankings are the Toyota Innova (75 PP100) and Perodua Alza (110 PP100).

In the pickup segment, the Toyota Hilux ranks highest for a second consecutive year with 41 PP100.

In the premium midsize car segment, the Toyota Camry ranks highest with 47 PP100, followed by the Honda Accord (55 PP100).

The Honda City ranks highest in the entry midsize segment for a fourth consecutive year with a score of 54 PP100. Following in the segment rankings are the Toyota Vios (77 PP100) and Naza Forte (91 PP100).

In the midsize car segment, the Honda Civic ranks highest with 30 PP100, followed by the Toyota Corolla Altis (55 PP100).

The 2012 Malaysia Initial Quality Study is based on responses from 2,971 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between August 2011 and May 2012. The study includes 55 passenger car, pickup and utility vehicle models of 16 brands. The study was fielded between February and July 2012.

About J.D. Power Asia Pacific

J.D. Power Asia Pacific has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at www.jdpower.com. Media e-mail contact: xingti_liu@jdpower.com.sg

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.  For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, J.D. Power and Associates and Platts, a leader in commodities information. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

Media Relations Contacts:

XingTi Liu; J.D. Power Asia Pacific; 08-Shenton Way, #44-02/03/04; Singapore, 068811; Phone +65-67338980; xingti_liu@jdpower.com.sg

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

Follow us on Twitter: @JDPower

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

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