Ford took a swan dive in the latest Consumer Reports reliability rankings, finishing second-to-last ahead of Jaguar in the standings. To the Blue Oval’s credt, the poor ratings don’t tell the whole story.
A brief release outlined by CR lists some of the reasons why Ford had such a poor showing this year.
Several factors contributed to Ford’s decline. A few new or redesigned models, including the Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus, came out of the gate with more problems than normal. Ford has also added the MyFord/MyLincoln Touch electronic infotainment system, which has been problematic so far, to many vehicles. In addition, three historically reliable models—the Ford Escape and Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ—are not included in the analysis. They were redesigned for 2013, and we don’t know how the new versions will fare.
Only two years ago, Ford had cracked the top 10, and was “Detroit’s poster child for reliability”. Now, the brand is far behind in the standings, and Japanese auto makers are dominant yet again.
Toyota, on the other hand, excelled in our latest ratings. Its three brands—Scion, Toyota, and Lexus—swept the top spots. They were followed by four other Japanese makes: Mazda, Subaru, Honda, and Acura. All of the models produced by the top seven brands had average or better reliability. And of the 90 Japanese models reflected in our brand comparison, 86 were average or better, with 35 earning the highest rating.
Members of the “TTAC is biased against GM” crowd will be upset to note that we were impressed to see GM on the cusp of greatness, rising to 11th place this year. Remarkable gains were also made by Audi, which shot up to number 8 from its previous spot at number 26th.