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The ol' grey lady reports on automakers' Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), those handy missives sent to dealers (and the NHTSA) to inform service folk of problems auto shops see in its vehicles. What's great about TSBs is consumers can view them via NHTSA's TSB search tool. Though, in highlighting this service, Scott Sturgis of the New York Times either inadvertently (or quite vertently) extends his hand too far in Honda's direction. While Sturgis...

...remained even-spoken in his description of service bulletins for BMW, Buick, Chevrolet, Ford, etc...when it comes to Honda, out come the smooches. His description starts as such:

"Though Hondas are known for trouble-free operation, there are exceptions..."

Yes, well the same holds true for many Buick, BMW, Chevy and Ford models with similar trouble-free operation, despite a few noted exceptions. Let's throw the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion down the gullet of NHTSA's TSB search tool and see what comes out the other end:

Honda Accord: 7 TSB results
Ford Fusion: 3 TSB results

Obviously TSBs can't determine what constitutes "trouble-free operation," but automakers — whether Japanese, American, German or even Swedish — have all improved reliability and increased mean time between failure (with the exception of Chery — who admit some "quality issues"). Is the Times falling back on old stereotypes to advance an argument when, as is the case here, one need not be made? We're just asking.

Service Bulletins Can Explain Repair Mysteries [NYT]

New Glitch for Ford GT: Oil Leaks [internal]