Consumer Reports has released the results of its annual car-reliability survey. While it's no surprise that Japanese carmakers have claimed a stronghold of the top nine spots, what's particularly vexing is that Ford dropped to the 20th spot from 10th last year. Chrysler, on the other hand, saw its brands are up by as much as 12 spots.
According to Consumer Reports, reliability ratings of the Ford Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus all ranked below average as vehicles in its first year of production "tend to be less reliable." Ford also faced challenges with technologies like MyFord Touch infotainment system and the new automated-manual transmission used in the Fiesta and Focus.
On the other hand, of the many brands under Chrysler's corporate umbrella, Jeep moved up seven spots to 13th place, making it the most reliable American brand as all its models scored average in reliability. The Chrysler car brand and Dodge climbed up 12 and three spots in ranking, respectively.
The fortunes of General Motors were mixed with Buick and Cadillac near the bottom of the ranking, Chevrolet remained steady at 17th place while GMC dropped down one spot to 22nd place.
As for the Japanese brands that topped the survey, the list was led by Scion, Toyota's entry-level sub-brand, followed by Lexus, Acura, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Infiniti, Subaru and Nissan, respectively, with 87 of the 91 models included in the survey rated as average or better in reliability while 24 earned the highest rating. Of the Japanese brands, Mazda was the most improved as it moved up eight spots to occupy fourth place.
Proving that major Korean car brands are indeed on the rise, the survey saw Hyundai holding steady at 11th place immediately followed by sister brand Kia at 13th.
Of the European brands, Volvo ranked the highest at 10th overall. A close second is Volkswagen at 16th place followed by Mercedes-Benz at 18th, BMW at 19th and Mini at 23rd.
For the survey, Consumer Reports based its finding on the 1.3 million vehicles with model years ranging from 2002 to 2011 that are either owned or leased by its subscribers.