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I’m writing about “Door quality doesn’t boost vehicle scores” (Sept. 3).
While the article was aimed more at product development methods and good supplier communication, I have to question the fundamental premise that a good door doesn’t ensure good quality.
Isn’t it just possible that people who buy cars with well-engineered doors have a higher expectation of quality than those who don’t?
That the “good door” customers tend to be more focused on the finer elements of automotive engineering?
That they may be more disheartened than “bad door” customers when they find that their stainless steel Starbuck’s mug won’t stay upright in their cupholder while they throw their Euro sedan down their favorite winding road?
Because the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study does not require something to be broken for a consumer to note a problem, perceptions about how well cupholders, radios, brakes, transmissions and other opinion-oriented components operate are, to a large degree, subjective.
It is quite possible that the “good door” owners are simply appraising their car’s components based on their subjective level of operational expectations, expectations that come from experience with other premium products and the marketing and selling promises of their particular brand.
If your correlation between good doors and poor quality (orlack thereof) tells us anything, it tells us that the Initial Quality Study results are being misinterpreted — even by Automotive News staff writers.
The writer describes himself as an auto enthusiast.