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Detroit Three fail to make top 10 in new Consumer Reports reliability study

Kalea Hall, The Detroit News on

Published in Automotive News

The Detroit Three automakers once again had a subpar performance in the latest Annual Auto Reliability study from Consumer Reports.

Bested by the Asian automakers, not one Detroit Three brand made the top 10 in the study, which was released Wednesday during an online press conference with the Automotive Press Association.

The top five brands in this year's study are: Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus coming in at No. 1 followed by Toyota, BMW AG's Mini, Honda Motor Co.'s Acura and Honda.

Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln came in at No. 23, behind the Ford brand's 22nd place.

Buick had the best results of the Detroit Three and among General Motors Co.'s four brands, coming in at No. 12. Cadillac took 16th place, Chevrolet 20th and GMC 24th.

Stellantis NV’s Ram truck brand ranked 15th and Jeep came in at No. 26. Chrysler came in dead last at No. 30.

For this survey, Consumer Reports asked its members about problems they’ve had in 20 areas, including engines, transmissions, electric motors and in-car electronics. The organization then takes the information to predict reliability ratings for new cars.

 

This year's rankings cannot be directly compared to last year's since Consumer Reports changed some of the survey questions to better cover EVs and changed the methodology it used.

In last year's study, Lincoln was the only Detroit Three brand to make the top 10.

This year, Consumer Reports gathered data on more than 330,000 vehicles from the 2000 to 2023 model years, along with a few newly-introduced 2024 models.

Of the top 10 most reliable brands, seven are headquartered in Asia. Mini is this year’s most reliable European brand with its third-place overall ranking, with both the Cooper and Cooper Countryman scoring above-average reliability. Meanwhile, the domestic automakers had a "challenging year," according to Consumer Reports.

Notably, the study found that, on average, new EVs have 79% more problems than their internal-combustion-engine peers. Plug-in hybrid EVs are even worse with an average of 146% more problems. But hybrids experience 26% fewer problems than ICE vehicles on average.

"EVs are still in their relative infancy as mainstream vehicles, so it’s really not surprising that manufacturers, by and large, are still working out the kinks,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, in a statement. “That said, we are seeing signs of movement in the right direction. And as our data has consistently shown, reliability-minded consumers would be best served by forgoing brand new vehicles in their first model year.”


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