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Lexus, Toyota Top Latest Consumer Reports Reliability Survey

CR yanks recommendation for Tesla Model S.

by on Oct.20, 2015

Lexus ranked at the top of the CR Automotive Reliability Study thanks to vehicles like the RX450h.

As has been the case consistently over the past few decades, Toyota and its upscale Lexus brand once again topped the 2015 Consumer Reports Automotive Reliability Study; but the annual survey of U.S. motor vehicle owners also revealed a number of surprises.

Among other things, the CR study shows big gaps between the best and worst manufacturers, whether Asian, American or European. And while some of the biggest reliability issues in recent years have involved advanced infotainment technologies, the 2015 study indicates U.S. motorists have also been experiencing serious problems with the latest, high-mileage transmissions.

Another unexpected finding comes as a bit of an embarrassment for Consumer Reports itself. Earlier this year, the magazine gave its highest rating ever to the Tesla Model S. But CR has now withdrawn its sought-after “Recommended Buy” endorsement from the battery car because of significant reliability issues.

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“Tesla has moved from ‘Average’ to ‘Below Average,’ said Jake Fisher, who oversees automotive testing for the non-profit magazine. “Were no longer recommending the Model S,” which suffered from a variety of issues, ranging from squeaks and rattles to drivetrain failures, as well as electric door handles that wouldn’t operate properly, explained Fisher.

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Toyota Leads as Vehicle Dependability, Overall, Rises Sharply

But perceptions still lag reality for many brands.

by on Feb.15, 2012

2010 Lexus LS 600h L

The 2009 Lexus LS was ranked tops by the latest JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study.

Toyota and its Lexus luxury brand dominate the latest Vehicle Dependability Study, according to J.D. Power and Associates, though the annual VDS study shows that today’s cars, on the whole, are proving more reliable than ever.

But the Power report also reveals that perceptions continue to lag reality for some brands that have made major gains in recent years.

Of the 32 brands covered by the 2012 Vehicle Dependability Study, 25 showed improvements year-over-year, with five declining and one holding steady.  What’s particularly significant is that the latest survey focuses on vehicles built during the depths of the automotive industry’s worst downturn in decades, said Power Vice President David Sargent.

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“Despite facing immense challenges in 2009, automakers placed a keen focus on delivering outstanding levels of quality, which they understood would be essential to their long-term success,” noted Sargent, adding that, “Three years later, owners of these models are enjoying unprecedented levels of vehicle dependability.”

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Japan Makers Dominate Consumer Reports Reliability Survey

Detroit makers slip, European show serious problems.

by on Oct.25, 2011

Ford's Lincoln MKX came in for criticism in the latest Consumer Reports reliability study due to technical problems with its infotainment system.

Japanese automakers dominate the latest annual automotive reliability study by Consumer Reports magazine –- while Detroit makers suffered some unexpected setbacks and European brands, including those producing some of the marker’s most luxurious products, experienced significant reliability issues, according to more than 1 million owners who responded to the survey.

Led by Scion, the low-priced, youth-oriented Toyota brand, Japanese marques captured the top nine spots in the widely-followed study. Ford, meanwhile, which had become a benchmark for Detroit’s comeback in quality, suffered a sharp decline, plunging from 10th to 20th among the 28 brands covered by the study.

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“The fortunes have changed for the Big Three” overall, noted David Champion Consumer Reports’ chief of automotive testing, during a presentation to the Detroit Automotive Press Association.

Based on the results from 1.3 million surveys completed by CR subscribers, the data found Ford’s Explorer SUV, compact Focus and subcompact Fiesta models all coming in below average during their first year on the market, while several previously well-rated models dropped to below average due to a mix of problems.

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Ford, Toyota Locked in “Dead Heat,” Says Consumer Reports

Ford “excels in factors that consumers say matter.”

by on Jan.05, 2011

Ford gains, Toyota declines, in latest Consumer Reports Brand Perception study.

Ford and Toyota have found themselves in a statistical “dead heat” in terms of how they’re perceived by U.S. car buyers, reports Consumer Reports magazine.

The annual Car Brand Perception Survey reveals a number of trends and surprises about how motorists relate to various automotive brands.  Not unexpectedly, Toyota has taken some serious hits as a result of more than a year of scandals relating to its various quality and safety problems.  Ford, on the other hand, continues to gain momentum with an assortment of new products that seem to be hitting the sweet spot in the American market.

“Ford excels in the factors that consumers say matter most,” the influential non-profit publication reports, “safety, quality and value.”

Ironically, the good news for Ford comes just a day after Consumer Reports reviewers decided not to give a “Buy” recommendation to the maker’s Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers, contending that their “MyTouch” touchscreen infotainment systems are “overly complicated and distracting.” (Click Here for the full story.) That same technology has won numerous endorsements from other third-party reviewers, reflecting Ford’s generally positive growth in consumer perception.

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