U.S. brands falter in Consumer Reports auto reliability survey
28 October, 2018, 06:18
The Model 3 sedan, Tesla's newest vehicle, was the automaker's most reliable vehicle, according to Consumer Reports, which said it had "average" reliability.
In May, Consumer Reports recommended the Model 3 after its latest tests showed a software update improved the car's braking. German, Japanese, and Korean brands are in the middle, with Audi, BMW, and Mini coming in at numbers seven through nine, Porsche at 11, VW at 16, and Mercedes at 17.
The low reliability score cost the Model S its "Recommended Buy" status with the magazine.
At the bottom of the list was the Volvo brand of Sweden's AB Volvo.
The mechanical problems with smaller turbocharged engines and transmissions with multiple gears could leave people stranded rather than just frustrated with voice recognition or other technology, said Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at the magazine. The Model 3 has average reliability in its first year of availability. The Model X was again called "much worse than average", with its falcon-wing doors a continued source of reliability woes for some owners. Tesla, for example, made air suspension and all-wheel drive standard on the 2017 Model S, and it affected the car's reliability.
A Tesla spokeswoman said some Model S owners experienced suspension issues, mostly in 2017, and said the problem stemmed from a supplier and has been addressed by the automaker. Sixteen models, including the Chevy Suburban, Lincoln Continental and Volkswagen Golf, gained recommendations amid improved reliability.
Volvo drops six spots from previous year as it rapidly brings a number of new models to market.
"With this added complexity, it's not surprising to see some brands struggling to get them right, particularly the ones that don't have a long history of producing turbos", Fisher said.
Meanwhile, Lexus and Toyota topped the predicted new-vehicle reliability ranking for the sixth year in a row. Mazda jumps nine spots in the rankings to third overall, making it the year's biggest gainer, as the automaker worked out the problems that plagued the CX-9 and MX-5 Miata roadster. Honda's luxury brand gains six spots in this year's rankings to number 13.
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