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J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Trim Masters Inc. Ranks Highest in Automotive Seat Qualit

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ — Trim Masters Inc. ranks highest in overall automotive seat quality for a third consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Seat Quality Report

The study provides seat manufacturers with quality and satisfaction information related to seat systems during the initial portion of the ownership cycle. New-vehicle owners are asked to rate the quality of their vehicle seats based on whether or not they experienced problems in the following areas: forward/backward adjustment; recliner adjustment; poor/uncomfortable lumbar support; height adjustment; headrest not working properly; seat squeaks/rattles; seat material sags/loose/parting seams; seat is dirty/damaged at delivery; and folding rear seat does not work properly.

With a seat quality score of 4.7 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), Trim Masters Inc. ranks highest among seat suppliers included in the study. Trim Masters, a joint venture between Johnson Controls and Toyota Boshoku, performs exceptionally well in the recliner adjustment and height adjustment factors. Trim Masters supplies seats for the Toyota Avalon, Toyota Camry Sedan (both models are built at the Georgetown, Kentucky plant, assembly line one) and the Lexus RX 330 (built at the Cambridge, Ontario plant).

“Trim Masters truly sets the benchmark for seat suppliers,” said Allison LaDuc, manager of research projects at J.D. Power and Associates. “Not only does Trim Masters receive the highest quality ranking for the third straight
year, but they also perform particularly well in customer satisfaction among the suppliers included in the study.”

Automotive Technology Systems LLC follows Trim Masters in the rankings with 4.9 PP100. KM&I Co. Ltd. and Tachi-S Co. Ltd. rank third in a tie, each receiving 6.1 PP100.

Luxury car owners report the fewest problems with their seats and record the highest levels of satisfaction among all vehicle segments. The midsize car segment also performs well in quality and customer satisfaction,
performing above the industry average on both measures.

The van, SUV and sporty car segments have higher-than-average quality problems with seats, with owners reporting the most problems with poor/uncomfortable lumbar support. “Poor/uncomfortable lumbar support accounts for 37 percent of reported seat problems for new-vehicle owners,” said LaDuc. “Although lumbar support has improved in PP100 scores over the years, owners consistently report more problems within this factor than in any other.”

The 2005 Seat Quality Report is based on responses from 115,026 new-vehicle owners who purchased a 2005 or early-released 2006 model year vehicle.

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