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Steering Clear of Shaky Car Brands

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When the U.S. auto industry was thriving, a brand's likely longevity wasn't a factor when car shoppers picked a model to buy. But now it is, according to last month's release of the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Avoider Study, which asks about the brands new-vehicle shoppers are most inclined to shun.

Eighteen percent of avoiders cited a brand's possible mortality as a reason for steering clear of it, putting that consideration right behind styling, price and perceived reliability. Atop the list of vehicles respondents said they'd avoid for this reason: Chrysler, Dodge, Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn.