NHTSA Data Dive 2: UA Rates 1990 – 2009 By Manufacturer [Updated With New Charts]
TTAC’s attempt to correlate NHTSA data with sales to generate a UA complaint rate was the first, even if it was flawed. Others have now waded into the 776,482 lines of data available from NHTSA (anybody need something to do?), and while their efforts are admirable, they’re not yet good enough. UA rates by maker or brand fail to show how different the UA rate is for certain models, which is essential in tracking down the issue. The UA problem is not a make-specific problem generally, but a model specific one. More on that when we revisit that with updated stats.
NPR has come up with a data base that correlates UA by model year (MY), manufacturer, and the rate per 100k cars sold, from 1990 through 2009. It’s all here. I’ve taken a couple of key lines of that for the following chart, comparing Toyota’s rate to Ford’s, which has had a fairly consistently highest rate among the biggest manufacturers, and also picked the highest rate per maker for each year, not including any below five complaints due to the low margin of error:
It clearly shows that Toyota’s UA rate took a jump in the 2002 MY. Until we have some model specific info, we’ll have to guess as to why. It also shows that Ford’s average rate is almost as high as Toyota, but has dropped substantially in the last couple of years (we have a theory for that, coming in a later post). It’s also quite obvious that Toyota’s rate is not very high in comparison to the worst offenders.
[Update: Commentator david42 has made two additional charts from this data, showing accelerator events and all type of vehicle speed incidents. Thanks!]
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