Japanese auto brands grab top 4 spots in USA ranking

Japanese auto brands grab top 4 spots in USA ranking

Tesla Inc's high-end Model S sedan lost its "recommended" rating and the electric carmaker slid overall by six spots to nearly the bottom in Consumer Reports magazine's annual reliability survey.

Lexus and Toyota topped the list for the sixth consecutive year.

Consumer Reports' readers reported more mechanical trouble and fewer problems with infotainment systems in USA makes like General Motors, Tesla and Ford.

The latest Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Survey, gathered information from Consumer Reports members who collectively owned or leased more than 500,000 vehicles, from model years 2000 to 2018, covering more than 300 models. "According to this survey, in-car electronics - like infotainment systems - power equipment, and transmissions continue to give owners headaches", explained Mike Quincy with Consumer Reports. "I would be happy to not be able to pair my phone five times than get stuck on the side of the road once". Seven of the top 10 brands in the survey are from Japan and South Korea and include: Subaru, Kia, Infiniti, and Hyundai.

Volvo took last place among 29 brands, below Cadillac, Tesla, Ram and GMC.

Tesla fell six spots from previous year and now ranks third-worst (27 out of 29). GM's Buick, normally a top-10 finisher, tumbled 11 spots to No. 19. Ford was the highest-ranked United States brand but fell three places to No. 18.

The domestic brands largely were plagued by problems with newly introduced models, Fisher said. The Taurus, the oldest model in Ford's fleet, has "Much-Better-Than-Average" reliability.

Every year, Consumer Reports sends a questionnaire to its members to learn about issues that they've had with their cars over the past year, the severity of those issues, etc.

The Tesla Model S, which Consumer Reports' test drivers have praised for its performance, received a "below average" reliability rating.

The magazine says the Model S has dropped to below average reliability due to suspension problems and other issues such as its extending door handles.

Tesla said it had streamlined and simplified Model S configurations, not made them more complex. The company makes hardware and software changes weekly, raising the risk of problems, he said. The Model X, which ranked among Consumer Reports' 10 least reliable vehicles, was also prone to troublesome noises and leaks, according to the publication.

Cadillac, he said, pushes the edge on new consumer-pleasing technology, but that causes reliability problems.

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