US: Consumer Reports says new technologies impact reliability

According to the influential magazine, owners of the newest cars choke full of digital multimedia features or advanced fuel saving systems will see a drop in their vehicle’s reliability rate, read the conclusion of the annual survey of vehicle reliability. There is “an emerging trend of increased troubles” seen in many new autos which for example use the latest available technology to lift fuel economy, announced the magazine. Their yearly reliability survey showed that early adopters of the latest technologies are increasingly suffering from reliability issues. The traditional complaints array also hit the scruffy multimedia “infotainment” systems at major global carmakers, including Ford, Nissan, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles or GM’s Cadillac luxury subsidiary. Honda Motor Co’s Acura premium marquee for example dropped a full seven spots to No.18 in the magazine’s ranking of a total of 28 brands due to issues experienced with transmissions and in-car entertainment systems, added the magazine. The average reliability score in the survey was based on responses from readers and owners and the most reliable brand came out to be Japan’s Lexus – with the only Detroit marquee in the top ten being Buick. For the first time ever the annual survey was entirely online and provided ample space to complain to the 740,000 consumers, commented Mark Rechtin, the magazine’s auto editor. Judging by the comments, the magazine has realized that it can no longer put reliability issues in today’s vehicles just in safe areas such as infotainment systems or squeaks and rattles. The editors said they remained surprised by the numerous reports of transmission, drivetrain and other motorist-stranding occurrences. FCA’s brands were all towards the lower end of the survey – Dodge best at 23, followed by Ram, Jeep and Fiat taking up the shameful trio of last spots – 26, 27 and 28, respectively.