NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Most Reliable Cars: Toyota At Top; Jaguar At Bottom

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 7:49 am

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Consumer Reports has come out with its ranking of car reliability. Toyota's Scion brand topped the list. Luxury carmaker Jaguar was at the bottom. Chrysler was rated most improved. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Okay, here's the Consumer Reports top 10 list: Scion, Lexus, Acura, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Infiniti, Subaru, Nissan and Volvo. Not one American car brand.

DAVID CHAMPION: I think the fortunes have changed for the Big Three, in some ways.

GLINTON: David Champion is head of auto testing for Consumer Reports. That's him, unveiling the list in front of a group of car reporters in downtown Detroit.

CHAMPION: I've been up here in the past few years saying that Ford has been really doing well over the past five or six years, really improving their reliability. But unfortunately, this year, they've dropped significantly.

GLINTON: Last year, that top-10 list of car brands would have included Ford at number 10 out of 28. This year, it fell down to 20. A big reason: flaws in Ford's new MyTouch system, which essentially integrates all the car's electronics into one flat-panel screen. Chrysler made the biggest improvement, jumping up 12 slots. It went from near-bottom to near-middle, making it Consumer Reports' most reliable American car brand.

CHAMPION: Chrysler, I think, is doing well. They just need to maintain that, and as they introduce new models, keep that focus that they have on getting at least average reliability going forward.

GLINTON: Overall, GM brands essentially stayed the same. Champion says this year's list needs to be a wake-up call for the American car industry.

CHAMPION: Ford has been doing well in the past. They've got to get back up to where they are. Chrysler and GM, if they're going to succeed, have to be up there with the Japanese manufacturers in terms of reliability.

GLINTON: Meanwhile, each of the Detroit carmakers say they take consumer feedback seriously, and they all promise to do better. Sonari Glinton, NPR News, Detroit. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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