By on May 31, 2011

Thanks in part to the help of people from TTAC, TrueDelta received a record number of responses to April’s Car Reliability Survey—over 22,000. Updated car reliability stats have been posted to the site for 559 cars, up from 534 three month ago. There are partial results for another 418. These stats include car owner experiences through the end of March 2011, making them at least eleven months ahead of other sources.

Highlights among new 2011s:

–the repair frequency for the Ford Fiesta continues to worsen—it’s the highest among the 2011s for which we have a statistic—while the Jeep Grand Cherokee also appears to have more than the average number of problems

–the BMW 5-Series seems about average so far, but BMWs sometimes require few repairs for the first year or so then take a turn for the worse

–the Honda CR-Z and Toyota Sienna appear to rarely require repairs

There are also updated statistics for the percentage of cars that required no repairs or 3+ repair trips in the past year. These statistics can be more useful than the averages.

To view the updated results:

Car Reliability Survey results

Repair odds stats

Come across something interesting? Please post it in the comments here.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.

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14 Comments on “TrueDelta Updates Reliability Survey Results...”


  • avatar
    Philosophil

    The Fiesta is interesting in a not-so-good way. Perhaps an even more interesting question is whether the Fiesta’s woes foreshadow the new Focus.

    • 0 avatar
      turbobeetle

      I just purchased a 2012 5 door Focus two weeks ago (and just registered it to TD’s website).

      So far so good! I have no buyers regrets and am amazed at how much better this car is over the 2011′s.

      I like the fact that the Focus offers the 160 hp engine that gives you near 40 mpg where as with the Mazda 3 or Mitsu Lancer you have two choose between the two.

    • 0 avatar

      The most common problem with the Fiesta, by far, was a poorly conducting grounding strip that caused the car to either not start or refuse to go into gear. I would hope that they won’t make the same mistake with the Focus, though there could be others. Easily fixed–they remove the paint where the strip attaches, but it’s a little worrisome that such a common problem wasn’t caught before thousands of cars were sold.

      There have also been a few outright failures of the new dual clutch transmission shared with the Focus. If there aren’t others in the next few months perhaps we can chalk it up to some glitches in the first units.

      • 0 avatar
        Philosophil

        I actually like both the Focus and the Fiesta, so I hope you’re right. I am also a little concerned as well, however, about the long term reliability of all the new of DIG engines (and not just Ford’s)–not to mention the many new turbos as well.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I am surprised by this since the Fiesta has been on sale in Europe for a year or two before coming to the US. At least if it is a simple fault to fix then it won`t continue.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        As a 2012 Ford Focus owner, I am frightened. My wife and I took our Focus back to the dealership for repairs after 10 hours. The hood latch and hood latch sensor are being replaced. Having owned six VW AG vehicles, I miss the reliability of a VW electric system….

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        The Fiesta sold here is built in what is essentially a brand new plant in Mexico. It was an old truck factory that was stripped bare and started over. The automatic transmission is also new, not shared with the European Fiesta.

        I pre-ordered a Fiesta, but changed my mind after a lot of delays and evidence that things werent going so well with the startup of the new factory. We got a Honda Fit instead. The reliability ratings are day and night.

        The Fiesta is almost niche product in this market. They had better get the Focus right, especially that transmission. Something like half the Fiesta orders were manuals, but going up one class to the Focus, the typical American take rate on automatics is close to 90 percent.

  • avatar
    Canandovq

    Toyota and Honda´s reliability make a difference,

  • avatar
    roar1

    Seems to me that Ford has gotten somewhat of a free pass after not takig the bailout money, there is more to that story for sure. The people that I know that own Ford stores are telling me they are seeing as many or maybe even a few more issures with the new launches as they have with previous launches of Ford products. Time will tell. Things are never as good or as bad as they seem, Ford maynot be as good as they seem and certainly Toyota is not as bad.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    As an early owner of the Fiesta, I haven’t had any major issues. My complaints were the the “reservation” process. It was only on paper.

    The car’s problems have been small, but shouldn’t have happened. Gas gauge only went up to 7/8. Took five months before they were autherized to fix. Or was it seven? Still works poorly. The clock is slow! And the speedo is 5 or 6 mph too fast, yet the odometer is right on. They say the speedo error is OK, in specs, I guess the clock has a fix, but it’s a hassle to take the car in. I need to check the ground on the battery.

    Workmanship is good, MPG’s are great and it’s a fun car to drive.

    It needs a traction control Off switch and an arm rest. Where are all those soft touch surfaces they talked about. The high end models should have a nicer interior than the base, but they really don’t. I’ll gladly pay extra for those things.

    I got the five speed manual, works nicer than my old Toyota, but not as nice as my old Neon or Tempo. I should be glad they offer a manual.

  • avatar
    mike978

    I see the 2011 Kia Soul has zero faults on 26 cars – is that likely to stay that low?

    Also interesting when I looked at nada/lemons and saw the Soul being 73% and <1% respectively whilst the Honda Fit was 93% and 3% – surprised by the 3% – either very reliable or very unreliable whereas the Kia (and most cars) seem to fall somewhere in the middle.

    • 0 avatar

      A 3% on the lemon-odds could just be a couple of flukes, and the confidence interval would include zero. Need larger sample sizes to get accuracy within a few percent. As it is, I wouldn’t read too much into differences of up to 5 percent.

      The Kia Soul won’t stay at zero–any car sometimes has problems–but it is likely to remain low.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I sold my Saab 9-3SC that was in the survery, but will add the new BMW once I pick it up in July.

    In 26 months/34K miles the Saab had ZERO extra trips to the dealership. A couple minor niggles fixed under warranty at the scheduled services. The worst of which was they replaced the battery due to some stored low-voltage codes. I had no idea.

    Hoping the new 328iT is as good.


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