Consumers Reports recently released its reliability ratings, much to the chagrin of Tesla, and the results show some surprises.
Based on the organization’s Annual Reliability Survey, which saw responses from about 400,000 subscribers who own 640,000 vehicles, the results show that “all-new or updated models are now more likely than older ones to have a wonky engine, a jerky transmission, or high-tech features that fail outright.”
That’s disappointing to learn but the organization blames the problems on new technologies. In particular, Consumer Reports notes modern transmissions – such as eight- and nine-speed automatics and CVTs – have issues such as bad shifts and quality problems. The issues don’t affect every vehicle but the organization warns people against first-year models that feature them as issues will likely be worked out later on.
Infotainment systems were also a major source of complaints as owners of first-year models had “twice as many complaints about in-car electronics as owners of models that had no major changes.” Owners of the GMC Acadia and Subaru Impreza frequently complained the display screen would go blank and, in the latter model, there would be no radio reception.
While problems continue to exist, Predicted Reliability Scores for several brands jumped significantly. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles isn’t exactly a bastion of quality but its brands – Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram – all saw improvements.
Toyota and Lexus continued to lead the pack and they were followed by Kia, Audi, and BMW. Rounding out the top ten are Subaru, Infiniti, Buick, Honda, and Hyundai.
Cadillac finished dead last in the rankings but the organization noted the brand has a limited lineup so if “one or two models drop in reliability, it can magnify the impact across the brand.”