Why is Toyota and Lexus so reliable?

In layman's language, reliability is the quality of being dependable or trustworthy. In engineering, it is the ability of a system or component to function under stated conditions for a specified period of time or operate in a defined environment without failure.

Toyota is a Japanese made brand popularly known for reliability. Lexus is the luxury brand of Toyota.

There are diverse reasons why people buy cars. Some people buy for luxury, some buy to have something to take them from point A to point B, some buy cars that would likely not give them a lot of issues.

There are people who buy to have all these qualities in one car.

Over a very long time, Toyota/Lexus cars have been known to be very reliable and users have trusted the brand.

There are technical reasons why they are so reliable and we are going to discuss them. But before that, what is reliability? It is the quality of being reliable, dependable or trustworthy. So, a car that can take you from point A to point B without breaking down is deemed very reliable to a user.


Why Toyota/Lexus cars are very reliable

1. High mean time between failure (MTBF)

This is the average time an equipment operates between breakdowns. From reviews and experience, Toyota and Lexus cars can work for a long time before any repair is carried out on them and they work for a long time before another failure occurs after a repair has been correctly carried out.

2. Maintanability

Another factor that affects reliability of a system is its maintanability. This is how easy it is for that system to be maintained or whether it is possible to be repaired or easy to be fixed without the manufacturer being involved in the maintenance. As it is well known, Toyota and lexus brands can be fixed easily. Sometimes, even novice mechanics fix them. Even DIY owners fix some issues without stress. This makes it easy for a car user to get repairs done without spending fortunes.

3. They are not too complex

The systems in Toyota/Lexus cars including their engines are simple. Non-complex systems have lesser number of components. The more components a system has, the lesser its reliability.

4. Low mean time to restore

This is a result of maintanability and simple design. This is the average time it takes to restore a system from a failure state to a working state. Since these cars are simple and not so complex, time to repair is lesser. This also reduces labor cost.

5. Wiring system that last

The cables and plugs in Toyota and Lexus cars last about the lifetime of the cars. They don't become flaky due to high temperature easily.

6. Use of quality materials. 

Just like the previous point on quality wiring, they use quality materials all round. This is the reason why even their upholstery last many years without obvious signs of deterioration. Even plastics used in these cars are of high quality.


7. No over engineering

Toyota and Lexus give you technologies that you need. They don't build in features just for the sake of competition or price.

8. Only verified technologies are implemented

Toyota and Lexus are slow at implementing new technologies. Some people say that they learn from the mistakes of others. We do know that they don't mind to take many years to test a technology before implementing them.

9. They strike a weight balance

They don't make cars that are too wieghty for their size. Excessive weight places extra stress on engine, transmission, suspension components and tires and even affects fuel economy negatively.

Modern cars are increasingly becoming more reliable regardless of the brand and the wide reliability gap is closing. The need for better reliability, research and advancement in technology are making car manufacturers give us better and more reliable cars.