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Industry News: Consumer Reports Announces the Results the 2015 Reliability Survey


William Maley

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Yesterday, Consumer Reports announced the results of their annual reliability survey for 2015.

 

Not surprisingly, the top ten was mostly made up of Japanese and Korean automakers, with Lexus and Toyota taking the top two spots. However, Audi led the Europeans by taking the third spot. For the domestics, Buick landed at number seven on the list.

 

The survey reports that a number of automakers are still having troubles with the infotainment system, but also with transmissions.

 

“We’ve seen a number of brands struggle with new transmission technology. “Whether it’s a complex system such as a dual-clutch gearbox, a continuously variable transmission, or one with eight or nine speeds. Many vehicles require repair and replacements because of rough shifting among the gears and slipping CVT belts,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ Director of Automotive Testing.

 

One other bit of news to come out was the Tesla Model S losing its Recommended rating from the publication. While the vehicle earned top marks when it came to the tests done by Consumer Reports, the respondents tell a slightly different story. Problems listed include pop-out door handles that don't pop out anymore, leaking sunroofs, door rattles, and failure of the electric motor.

 

Source: Consumer Reports

 

Press Release is on Page 2


 

Consumer Reports’ 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey: New Transmission Technology Problems Emerge

  • Lexus, Toyota, Audi, Mazda, and Subaru Most Reliable Brands


YONKERS, NY—While problematic infotainment systems continue to be among the top issues reported by new car owners, Consumer Reports has identified an emerging trend of increased troubles with new transmission systems developed to improve fuel-economy, based on an analysis of its 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey.
The findings, released today before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, are collected annually from Consumer Reports’ subscribers. CR’s 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey takes into account data from more than 740,000 vehicles.
This year, Acura becomes the latest brand to see its overall predicted-reliability ranking drop sharply (down 7 places from last year) due to problems with in-car electronics and transmissions for its newest RLX and TLX sedans. CR has already seen these trouble areas drag down overall scores for Ford, Nissan, Fiat-Chrysler and others.
“We’ve seen a number of brands struggle with new transmission technology,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ Director of Automotive Testing. “Whether it’s a complex system such as a dual-clutch gearbox, a continuously variable transmission, or one with eight or nine speeds. Many vehicles require repair and replacements because of rough shifting among the gears and slipping CVT belts.”
Not all new-generation transmissions are troublesome. Audi and BMW have created reliable dual-clutch transmissions, while the CVTs in Honda and Toyota hybrids have been strong performers.
Among the Japanese brands, Lexus pulled off a rare feat, garnering top reliability marks for all seven vehicle lines scored in Consumer Reports survey. But it was the only strong Japanese luxury brand. Nissan’s Infiniti brand has continued its downward trajectory because of problems with its InTouch infotainment system. Although none of Honda’s vehicles rated below average, the brand has dropped a few places largely due to glitches with its infotainment system in redesigned and freshened models. Toyota, Mazda and Subaru were all in the top five.
Audi, once synonymous with service problems, continued its recent upward trend leading all European brands and finishing third, just behind Lexus and Toyota. Mini, BMW, Volvo, and Volkswagen all finished in the top 15. Porsche dropped from ninth to 14th place because of a declining score for the Cayman and a below-average debut for the Macan.
Korean automakers, Kia and Hyundai, are considerably stronger and continue to rise in Consumer Reports rankings. The sister brands finished sixth and ninth, respectively. For the first time, Kia beat the stalwart Japanese brand Honda, and by a significant margin.
The complete reliability results for all 2016 are available at www.ConsumerReports.org, today, and in the December Issue of Consumer Reports, on newsstands November 1.
For the second year, Buick was the only domestic brand in the top 10 coming in seventh place. Cadillac dropped seven places to near the bottom, still plagued by its CUE infotainment system. Other General Motors brands, Chevrolet and GMC finished in the bottom third of the overall rankings.
Ford remains in the lower half of the rankings as well, but showed significant gains with most of its cars scoring average or better. The redesigned F-150 and Expedition SUV were bright spots, scoring above average in its first year. But the first-year Mustang had issues with its body hardware, drive shaft, and stability/traction control systems. Nine of the 13 Fords Consumer Reports scored had average or better reliability.
Tesla’s Model S sedan got high marks in Consumer Reports’ 50-plus performance tests, but its predicted reliability is another matter. CR received about 1,400 survey responses from Model S owners who chronicled an array of detailed and complicated maladies. From that data, the Tesla Model S earns a worse-than-average predicted reliability score. The main problem areas are the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks.
While the long-running Chrysler and Dodge minivans scraped up an average reliability score for the first time in many years, all of Fiat-Chrysler brands (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat) finished at or near the bottom again.


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I really do think that a lot of Lexus owners are very forgiving about their cars, mostly due to past reputation and the Lexus dealership experience. My old ES300 was a pile and a half and I talked with other owners as well that do not paint nearly as pretty a picture of Lexus as CR does. Just my two cents.

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GM's had terrible rankings in Consumer Reports for ages and Cheers and Gears told me it was "media bias/domestic hate/liberals/tree-huggers/insert-convenient-idiot-conspiracy-here. 

 

But Tesla hits a bump and it's OH NOES. On a similar note:

 

"General Motors fared even worse. GMC, Chevrolet and Cadillac occupied a bottom one-third of our manufacturer rankings. Cadillac's CUE infotainment system continues to be particularly troublesome."

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GM's had terrible rankings in Consumer Reports for ages and Cheers and Gears told me it was "media bias/domestic hate/liberals/tree-huggers/insert-convenient-idiot-conspiracy-here. 

 

But Tesla hits a bump and it's OH NOES. On a similar note:

 

"General Motors fared even worse. GMC, Chevrolet and Cadillac occupied a bottom one-third of our manufacturer rankings. Cadillac's CUE infotainment system continues to be particularly troublesome."

 

CR is well know for their love of all things Asian first, then Tesla, German and last has always been it's home team the USA.

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The change in Telsa's ranking reflects CR's quality more than any change in Tesla's quality.   I said the same thing when CR had to pull their "recommended" rating for the Camry years ago, as it was originally issued without sufficient data. 

 

Regarding Tesla, it should surprise no one that a brand new company would have some teething issues with early units.  The difference is how the company reacts to those issues.  In Telsa's case, they have pretty much the best customer service in the industry, where if it were one of the big legacy manufacturers, they would deny deny deny until someone forced them to fix or recall. 

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GM's had terrible rankings in Consumer Reports for ages and Cheers and Gears told me it was "media bias/domestic hate/liberals/tree-huggers/insert-convenient-idiot-conspiracy-here. 

 

But Tesla hits a bump and it's OH NOES. On a similar note:

 

"General Motors fared even worse. GMC, Chevrolet and Cadillac occupied a bottom one-third of our manufacturer rankings. Cadillac's CUE infotainment system continues to be particularly troublesome."

 

CR is well know for their love of all things Asian first, then Tesla, German and last has always been it's home team the USA.

 

 

I think you mean their readers since they provide the responses to the survey.

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Well I think Consumer Reports is a bunch of nerds.  I don't like Musk or his car, so I will stoop so low as to side with the enemy to make my point... like a broken record.  :)

 

We actually have a P85S in our shop right now, hit a deer, and I have to write the estimate to repair it... but Elon thinks he does not have to supply simple body repair guidelines to the company that writes our estimating system (the number one collision repair estimating system in the world by far)... so we have to scramble to get the customer taken care of properly.  Typical Elon Musk hubris, seen first hand.

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Well I think Consumer Reports is a bunch of nerds.  I don't like Musk or his car, so I will stoop so low as to side with the enemy to make my point... like a broken record.  :)

 

We actually have a P85S in our shop right now, hit a deer, and I have to write the estimate to repair it... but Elon thinks he does not have to supply simple body repair guidelines to the company that writes our estimating system (the number one collision repair estimating system in the world by far)... so we have to scramble to get the customer taken care of properly.  Typical Elon Musk hubris, seen first hand.

 

What I'm reading is they are only providing the guidelines to Tesla certified repair centers.  If the center is not Tesla certified, no guidelines.

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I still do not understand what an infotainment system has to do with reliability.

 

In a growing number of cars the infotainment systems also control things like HVAC and even seating position.   If you can't adjust the heat/AC to a comfortable temp, I would consider that a reliability issue.   Reliability is more than just "does it start and drive every morning"

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I really do think that a lot of Lexus owners are very forgiving about their cars, mostly due to past reputation and the Lexus dealership experience. My old ES300 was a pile and a half and I talked with other owners as well that do not paint nearly as pretty a picture of Lexus as CR does. Just my two cents.

Seriously folks. Who down votes an opinion that is literally from personal experience? I had the car for six months and spent $1600 fixing various issues with it, from bad regulators to bad knock sensors. If someone can't give an honest opinion of their own experience without a down vote from the petty children on here, then honestly those children can just take a hike or maybe I just need to jump this ship altogether.

 

Sorry to vent but this is just ridiculous behavior by people pretending to be adults.

 

Well I think Consumer Reports is a bunch of nerds.  I don't like Musk or his car, so I will stoop so low as to side with the enemy to make my point... like a broken record.  :)

 

We actually have a P85S in our shop right now, hit a deer, and I have to write the estimate to repair it... but Elon thinks he does not have to supply simple body repair guidelines to the company that writes our estimating system (the number one collision repair estimating system in the world by far)... so we have to scramble to get the customer taken care of properly.  Typical Elon Musk hubris, seen first hand.

 

What I'm reading is they are only providing the guidelines to Tesla certified repair centers.  If the center is not Tesla certified, no guidelines.

 

Good point. It's the same for every manufacturer and their guidelines. 

Edited by surreal1272
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Funny how JD Power surveys regularly keep GM in the top half of initial quality and reliability results. CR, on the other hand, can give GM cars like the Impala, Volt, and Lambda crossovers incredibly high test drive ratings and turn around and manufacture reliability faults. Audi in the top 3?? Come the f@#k on. They're still having oil consumption issues in their turbo engines and it's pretty often I hear new stories that would keep me trading in new Audis before the warranty is up.

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Funny how JD Power surveys regularly keep GM in the top half of initial quality and reliability results. CR, on the other hand, can give GM cars like the Impala, Volt, and Lambda crossovers incredibly high test drive ratings and turn around and manufacture reliability faults. Audi in the top 3?? Come the f@#k on. They're still having oil consumption issues in their turbo engines and it's pretty often I hear new stories that would keep me trading in new Audis before the warranty is up.

Let's not forget those pesky diesel emissions (and subsequent complaints) that did not have time to make it onto these surveys.

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Funny how JD Power surveys regularly keep GM in the top half of initial quality and reliability results. CR, on the other hand, can give GM cars like the Impala, Volt, and Lambda crossovers incredibly high test drive ratings and turn around and manufacture reliability faults. Audi in the top 3?? Come the f@#k on. They're still having oil consumption issues in their turbo engines and it's pretty often I hear new stories that would keep me trading in new Audis before the warranty is up.

 

Any Audi that I've been in over 50k miles has been a basket case with all of the Achtung! lights on. 

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I really do think that a lot of Lexus owners are very forgiving about their cars, mostly due to past reputation and the Lexus dealership experience. My old ES300 was a pile and a half and I talked with other owners as well that do not paint nearly as pretty a picture of Lexus as CR does. Just my two cents.

Seriously folks. Who down votes an opinion that is literally from personal experience? I had the car for six months and spent $1600 fixing various issues with it, from bad regulators to bad knock sensors. If someone can't give an honest opinion of their own experience without a down vote from the petty children on here, then honestly those children can just take a hike or maybe I just need to jump this ship altogether.

 

Sorry to vent but this is just ridiculous behavior by people pretending to be adults.

 

Well I think Consumer Reports is a bunch of nerds.  I don't like Musk or his car, so I will stoop so low as to side with the enemy to make my point... like a broken record.  :)

 

We actually have a P85S in our shop right now, hit a deer, and I have to write the estimate to repair it... but Elon thinks he does not have to supply simple body repair guidelines to the company that writes our estimating system (the number one collision repair estimating system in the world by far)... so we have to scramble to get the customer taken care of properly.  Typical Elon Musk hubris, seen first hand.

 

What I'm reading is they are only providing the guidelines to Tesla certified repair centers.  If the center is not Tesla certified, no guidelines.

 

Good point. It's the same for every manufacturer and their guidelines.

No it is not, sur.

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I really do think that a lot of Lexus owners are very forgiving about their cars, mostly due to past reputation and the Lexus dealership experience. My old ES300 was a pile and a half and I talked with other owners as well that do not paint nearly as pretty a picture of Lexus as CR does. Just my two cents.

Seriously folks. Who down votes an opinion that is literally from personal experience? I had the car for six months and spent $1600 fixing various issues with it, from bad regulators to bad knock sensors. If someone can't give an honest opinion of their own experience without a down vote from the petty children on here, then honestly those children can just take a hike or maybe I just need to jump this ship altogether.

 

Sorry to vent but this is just ridiculous behavior by people pretending to be adults.

 

Well I think Consumer Reports is a bunch of nerds.  I don't like Musk or his car, so I will stoop so low as to side with the enemy to make my point... like a broken record.  :)

 

We actually have a P85S in our shop right now, hit a deer, and I have to write the estimate to repair it... but Elon thinks he does not have to supply simple body repair guidelines to the company that writes our estimating system (the number one collision repair estimating system in the world by far)... so we have to scramble to get the customer taken care of properly.  Typical Elon Musk hubris, seen first hand.

 

What I'm reading is they are only providing the guidelines to Tesla certified repair centers.  If the center is not Tesla certified, no guidelines.

 

Good point. It's the same for every manufacturer and their guidelines.

No it is not, sur.

 

Yes it is. Every (or I should say just about every) manufacturer has certified 3rd party repair centers. My buddy back east is GM certified and even has the extra certification to work on Vettes. This is not really news. Certified shops will have access to the info. you claim Tesla did not give you.

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Um... you misunderstand my point.  But nevernevermind.

 

Edit:  I used incorrect terminology.  I will need to write the estimate in my system manually, because our humble friend Elon has not supplied CCC with the database needed, with part numbers/prices and a labor time guide.  I can write a Corvette, or anything else up to a one-ton truck from anyone all day.  With this POS, I need to go old school and punch everything into my super duper computer manually.  I am rolling my eyes at this.  He and his car are not that special.  But that is OK, we are part of a collective that will be able to supply me with the necessary information to override Musk's decision to curtail his customer's choice of repair shops.  I WILL OVERCOME.

Edited by ocnblu
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Well I think Consumer Reports is a bunch of nerds.  I don't like Musk or his car, so I will stoop so low as to side with the enemy to make my point... like a broken record. 

 

attachicon.gifobummer.jpg

 

Haha, now that's funny right dere.  Do you have a funny photo of your new man True Dough?  I understand he's a bit of a hunk.  :AH-HA:

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Um... you misunderstand my point.  But nevernevermind.

 

Edit:  I used incorrect terminology.  I will need to write the estimate in my system manually, because our humble friend Elon has not supplied CCC with the database needed, with part numbers/prices and a labor time guide.  I can write a Corvette, or anything else up to a one-ton truck from anyone all day.  With this POS, I need to go old school and punch everything into my super duper computer manually.  I am rolling my eyes at this.  He and his car are not that special.  But that is OK, we are part of a collective that will be able to supply me with the necessary information to override Musk's decision to curtail his customer's choice of repair shops.  I WILL OVERCOME.

Um...didn't misunderstand it at all but I can agree to disagree.

 

No worries ocn.

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      Consumer Reports’ prediction of new-car reliability is a key element of CR’s Overall Score. The score also includes road-test performance, owner satisfaction survey results, whether a vehicle comes with key safety systems, and results from crash tests, if applicable. This year there are more than a dozen vehicles with reliability ratings that improved enough to lift their Overall Scores to enable them to be “CR Recommended.”
      Overall, there is a lot of reshuffling among the brands in CR’s latest predicted new-car reliability rankings, with most domestic brands moving down the list. But reliability for some key models from Detroit has risen over the past year, allowing CR to “Recommend” them. Those vehicles include the Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Suburban, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Lincoln Continental.
      Brands from Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) continue to occupy the bottom third of CR’s rankings. Dodge edges up three spots to number 21 out of 29 brands thanks partly to the “Better-Than-Average” reliability rating of the Dodge Charger, which has steadily improved over the past few years. The Dodge Grand Caravan continues to have “Average” reliability, while the Challenger, Durango, and Journey all stay “Below-Average.” Jeep has mixed results, falling two spots to 22. The Grand Cherokee and Renegade improve to “Average,” while the Cherokee and Compass SUVs have “Below-Average” reliability. Chrysler drops seven spots to number 24. While the Chrysler 300 improves to “Average,” the Pacifica minivan falls to “Below-Average.” Ram was the worst-charting FCA brand at 26.
      GMC inches up one spot to number 25 due to average or above reliability for the Terrain, Yukon, and Yukon XL. The Acadia and all the pickup trucks rate “Below-Average.”
      Other GM brands saw their place in the rankings fall from last year. Buick, which had recently been a bright spot for reliability among all domestics, falls 11 spots to 19 – this year’s biggest decline. The redesigned Enclave SUV had a “Much-Worse-Than-Average” rating, with owners reporting problems related to the new nine-speed automatic transmission. Chevrolet is down five places to number 23, in part because the redesigned Traverse had “Much-Worse-Than-Average” reliability. Cadillac is again the worst-performing of the GM brands, dropping one spot to 28. Only the XTS sedan rates “Better-Than-Average” for reliability.
      Ford ranks number 18, down three spots from last year. The Taurus, the oldest model in Ford’s fleet, has “Much-Better-Than-Average” reliability. But the usually reliable Fusion drops to “Below-Average”, mainly because of problems with the Sync 3 infotainment system screen. The Mustang and Explorer are “Worse-Than- Average.” As for 20th ranked Lincoln, its bright spot is the Continental’s "Much-Better-Than-Average” reliability rating. The MKC, MKX, and the MKZ are “Below Average.”

      Volvo sinks to last in down year overall for Europe
      Volvo drops six spots from last year as it rapidly brings a number of new models to market. It’s now in last-place among the 29 brands in the survey due in large part to an infotainment system that’s common to a number of different models including the XC60 and XC90 and the S 90. For the XC60, owners also reported problems with the climate system and interior cabin rattles.
      Other European automakers also lost ground. Audi tumbles three spots to seven on the list. BMW falls three spots to eight, followed by Mini at number nine. Mercedes-Benz declines three spots to number 17. The C-Class coupe and sedan improves to “Average,” but the GLC and E-Class are “Below-Average.” Porsche bucks the trend in this group, rising two places to number 11.
      Lexus, Toyota trade places at the top as Asia dominance persists
      Lexus and Toyota take the top two spots, respectively, in CR’s predicted new-car reliability rankings, as they have for six years 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. Subaru continues its recent march up the chart, rising two places to fourth overall.
      The Infiniti brand also rebounds slightly, with the Q50 getting an “Average” score and the QX60 improving to “Above Average.” Nissan similarly tumbles a few slots, even with both the Maxima and the redesigned Leaf rating above average.
      Honda turns in mixed results, landing at 15, which is six spots lower from the year prior. The brand’s reliability is bogged down by some of its new and redesigned models. The Odyssey and the Clarity have “Much-Worse-Than-Average” reliability, and the CR-V and new Accord drops to “Average.” However, Acura seems to have worked out recent trouble spots with its new transmissions and infotainment systems. Honda’s luxury brand gains six spots in this year’s rankings to number 13.
      Kia drops two spots but remained in the top-ten as its all-new Stinger hatchback rates “Average” for reliability, as was the Sportage. Hyundai comes in at number 10, and its luxury Genesis brand is close behind. The G80 has “Above Average” reliability, and the G90 is below average, with reported problems in the area of body hardware and power equipment.

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