10 least reliable automakers as rated by Consumer Reports
Bad news for American automakers, especially Ford and Lincoln.
In this year's Consumer Reports auto reliability report, Lincoln took the biggest tumble since last year, Jaguar held onto last place and Ford was ranked the worst American carmaker and the second-to-worst overall.
Even though Lincoln dropped from 14th to 26th place, Ford's fall from grace was perhaps more dramatic. Just two years ago, the automaker was feted for breaking into the top 10, with more than 90 percent of its models rated average or better for reliability.
What gives? The MyFord/MyLincoln Touch electronic infotainment system proved to be a dud, as did the majority of Ford and Lincoln models tested by Consumer Reports. Redesigned versions of the Explorer, Fiesta and Focus were all deemed problematic. "Sixty percent of Ford-branded models and half of Lincolns were below average in predicted reliability, and none placed above average," Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports told USA Today.
Also working to Ford's and Lincoln's detriment was that the typically high-scoring Escape, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ were not included in the report. They've been relaunched for 2013, and hence there isn't yet enough data to score their reliability.
The biggest loser was Jaguar, whose XF and XJ models landed it on the very bottom of the reliability list. Unfortunately, the British automaker has had plenty of time to get comfortable in this spot -- it's a perennial last-place finisher and historically hasn't gotten much love from Consumer Reports. In 2009, a Consumer Reports reviewer noted that after just 12,000 miles, the fuel door and power driver's window were busted on the XF model he was testing.
Rounding out the bottom 10 are Jeep, Volvo, Buick, MINI, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram, bringing the tally of least reliable cars to a total of seven American and three foreign carmakers. On the flip side, the top seven most reliable automakers were Japanese.
Unlike similar reliability surveys from companies such as J.D. Power, which pay car owners a dollar to rate their cars within the past 90 days or three years, Consumer Reports polls only its 1.2 million subscribers. The manufacturer ratings are based on vehicles sold within the past 10 years and include 17 "trouble spots" for each individual model.
How much weight do these rankings typically carry in auto showrooms? A lot, according to industry experts. “When I was at Nissan ... more than 60 percent of consumers were influenced by Consumer Reports in one way or another," former Nissan executive Larry Dominique, now executive vice president of TrueCar.com, said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Those of us that have owned domestics before purchasing Japanese, manage service shops or fleets, are mechanics that are not biased etc. already know what the truth is and CR is NEVER going to influence those that cannot, or do not want to be, influenced so why bother? It just makes people angry.
I find it interesting that most car rating organizations tend to agree that the Japanese build the best vehicles overall, and that so many that have never owned one, or claim to have had a bad one disagree with the pros that test them each year and gather information from those tests, and customers.
If CR is SO biased towards Toyota, why are two of the five vehicles that they recently called the "worst cars of 2012" Toyota's?
If CR is SO wrong, why did JD Powers recently write that Ford has lied about their claims of improved quality? Is JD Powers on the take too?
Ford came out a a large number of new models. Most of compeltely redesigned chassis. Not a suprise that there are some early production quality issues. The benefit however, is a dramatically imrpoved product offering that finally after decades matches or exceeds the performance of it's competitors. I test drove a new Escape and was overall very impressed wit hthe driving dynamcs. I still found plenty of flaws and it felt smaller and more cramped than my CR-V. But I really liked the small 1.6 DI Turbo over my car. Very responsive, although at the cost of low gearing, making for high highway crusing RPM's.
Something not mentoned in the article is that ALL competitors have improved and the filed overall has narrowed.
I will agree that the gap has been narrowed a bit, but not a bunch. Manufacturers are making claims that they have increased their quality but thus far no car rating organizations have backed that up.
I continue to purchase Fords, GM's and Toyota's for our company and the facts are that the domestics need more service. In fact, we have not worked on a single Toyota product in our fleet except for routine maintenance. The ONLY reason that I purchase the Fords and GM's is because they offer some products that fill a niche for us that isn't offered by Toyota.
I hope that domestics really do increase their quality someday because they have some very nice products to offer but the quality falls short.
As far as I'm concerned, these studies will never have any impact on my buying decision. You have two types of car buyers; those who look at a vehicle as nothing more than a means of transportation and those who believe a vehicle should evoke an emotion.
For those exclusively interested in getting from A to B, enjoy your bland, boring Hondas and Toyotas. I'll stick with my vehicles that have personality, even if it means I may find myself in the dealership slightly more often. (Which just for the record, I've never owned an import and have never spent time in the dealerships)
It is still really funny that Honda and Toyota have had the most recent recalls for alot of cars and yet are shown to be best. This makes absolutly no sense at all. Here in N.E. Ohio Fords are pretty dominant. I do talk to the guys in Fords service dept. and they have said they are seeing less issues. My brother in law is a transmission tech at a Lincoln dealership and is in agreement with Ford having much better quality. I personally will only drive a Ford product.
The other issue is Fords My Touch. If people would actually read the manual MyTouch would be fine. It is a little complicated at first, but great to use afterwards.
Interesting study. Meanwhile, Chrysler states that warranty repairs have dropped about 33% over the last year. In the dealership it bears out. It used to be if one model had a concern, they all did. Warranty repair numbers are deep in the basement, compared to a year or so ago.
It kinda sucks because all the warranty work we used to count on during slow times just isn't there like it used to be.
Dont know how they figure that any American car company would rank behind Nissan. I recently took a trip to a salvage lot, which was overwhelmingly filled with Nissans. On the way home, I was stuck in traffic, because of a car fire, it was a relatively late model Nissan. The 370's have been a huge flop compared to to the 350's, and reliability is not that much better.
Now I admit that this could all be coincidence, but when was the last time you saw a 10 year old Nissan chugging along on the road that was in good condition, or even the last time you saw a 10 year old Nissan that still runs.
Perhapse the only thing that saves their rep is that most of their vehicles are leased, not bought.
Yet surveys and car mags etc dont really pick on the brand.
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