New engines, infotainment bugs hurting auto reliability

FAN Editor

New and more advanced transmissions as well as more complex infotainment systems are hurting the reliability of cars and trucks.

That is the conclusion of the Consumer Reports annual auto reliability survey.

“It is really the new technology that is being added to the new vehicles that has really been the problem,” said Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports.

The survey, based on the impressions of more than 640,000 vehicle owners, is considered a benchmark report in the auto industry.

This year, Fisher says, vehicle owners continue to be frustrated with new systems that are filled with bugs and glitches. In particular, new transmissions designed to improve the performance of new models are often delivering an inconsistent ride for drivers. Fisher says these technologies have more than their fair share of problems.

So which brands get the highest marks from their owners?

This year, Toyota was No. 1, with Lexus coming in second and Kia moving up to third, the highest ranking that brand has ever achieved.

What stands out to Fisher about the most reliable brands is their conservative approach to introducing new systems into vehicles.

“These are auto manufacturers that are very slow and methodical as they add to that technology,” said Fisher. As a result, Toyota and Lexus owners complained less about seeing glitches in their vehicles.

On the other end of the survey, three domestic brands were ranked as having the least reliable models, with Cadillac falling six spots to dead last in the survey.

“With General Motors, they put out a lot of new product very recently, and they are struggling with that,” said Fisher. “We expect that over the years, over the generations, the life generation of these vehicles, they are going to get a lot of the bugs worked out.”

Source: Consumer Reports

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