More Reliable Cars

The most recent survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center found that five-year-old vehicles had about one-third fewer problems than the five-year-old vehicles we studied in April 2005. In fact, owners of about two-thirds of those vehicles reported no problems. And serious repairs, such as engine or transmission replacement, were quite rare. (p.15, June ’10, Consumer Reports)

Car problem rates falling 1/3 in five years is change you might not notice, but if you think about it, its a pretty big deal.  Most people are surprised to hear that the world economy doubles roughly every fifteen years; when they think back fifteen years, the world doesn’t seem that different.   Besides a few big changes, most things seem pretty similar. But this is illusory – most change happens behind the scenes. In fact, one of the reasons why change can be so fast is that most of it happens behind the scenes. If ordinary people had to notice and deal with more changes, we just couldn’t change this much.

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