By on October 29, 2012

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.

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202 Comments on “Ford Plunges Seven Spots In Consumer Reports Reliability Rankings As Audi, GM Rise...”


  • avatar
    tced2

    Is a car “unreliable” if you can’t conveniently change the fan speed on the heater? Or is it poorly designed?
    Is a car “unreliable” if it has ugly tail lamps? Or is it poorly designed?
    Is a care “unreliable” if it doesn’t start? Yes.
    I think the definition of “unreliable” has changed.

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      Spot on, sir. Blame these ‘reliability surveys’ for not defining reliability enough.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        If you use a very strict definition of reliability, though, just about everything will be 99% reliable.

        I do think the definitions are there if you dig in a bit beyond the headlines.

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        th009, CR is mashing together objective reliability issues (it broke) with subjective design/engineering choices (the ride is too rough for my taste). The first one relates to reliability, the second one does not.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        As a former subscriber to CR (decades ago) I’ve seen their reliability survey. It asks only people who purchased the car new if they had something they considered a problem. So yeah it could be a real reliability problem such as a transmission that fails or someone who doesn’t bother to read their owner’s manual to figure out how to operate something. It also means that mfgs that consider replacing the water pump, gaskets and seals “maintenance” that those items will never show up as problems. Granted those items normally wouldn’t show up until the car is older.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Say what one will, but Consumer Reports conducts BY FAR the most comprehensive reliability survey of any entity/organization, and they systematically make the survey “idiot proof,” breaking reliability issues down into major groups such as engine-major, engine-minor, transmission, suspension, electrical, etc.

        Consumer Reports also uses modern and credible scientific sampling methods to compile their statistics on reliability, and anyone who has taken even an entry level statistics course knows how important that is in order to arrive at accurate results.

        Also, in contrast to something such as the quite lame J.D. Powers Quality Survey, which only measures reliability and vague “problems” for a 90 day period, Consumer Reports compiles datum regarding actual failure of components over the entire lifespan of a vehicle’s production run (that’s why some newly produced vehicles are shown as starting off great, but not aging so nicely).

        At this point in the conversation, someone usually comes along and attempts to besmirch CR’s credibility by talking about how reliable a certain vehicle they own/owned is/was, despite CR designating it as problematic, which is a specious argument, since we are talking statistically tabulated datum and the “more likely” or “less likely” types of predictive values here.

        It’s entirely possible that one owner of a Jaguar XK might have absolutely zero problems with their vehicle over 150,000 miles, while an owner of a Honda CR-V gets stuck with a unreliable lemon. This does not discredit CR’s methodology nor their accuracy in terms of forecasting likely reliability of particular models of vehicles, and would be more the exception to the rule than the rule itself.

        As far as Ford is concerned, I’ve literally seen the reliability complaints skyrocket with the release of the new Focus, Edge & Escape, and these related to significant mechanical problems with transmissions, steering systems, fluid leaks, as well as the fairly (by now) indisputable myriad of electronic issues, while problems with the Gertrag MT-82 transmission in the Mustang have been very prevalent (although the Mustang otherwise appears to be reliable in V6 or V8 form).

        The ecoboosted 3.7 liter V6s have also suffered reliability woes even early on in their development cycle, whether in a Ford or a Lincoln.

        I’d place a large bet that the new Fusion/MKZ are going to see a fair amount of reliability woes based on early reporting of problems in tester vehicles along with the fact that Ford is really inevitably begging for heat associated issues in the relatively small gasoline motors that will powering relatively large cars such as the 2013 Fusion.

      • 0 avatar
        dodobreeder

        And even if we don’t all read CR and take their findings to heart, there are decades-long reputations that each car manufacturer has earned. Reliable is as reliable does.

        So, regardless of what the definition of reliable is, what may be acceptable for one person may not be for the next. And this could be why more and more people seem to keep their new cars only for the duration of the warranty period.

        When the engine module died on a friend’s F150, it was a warranty issue the first time around. No charge. Just the loss of use of his truck for a couple of days.

        But when it happened to him again after the warranty had expired, it set him back almost $1000, even though all they did was swap out that same module with a rebuilt one.

        Seems these modules die quite often in a very hot climate like the Mojave desert.

        Maybe that’s why Toyota products seem to consistently sell well. Maybe there are fewer things that pi ss people off with Toyota. It would pi ss me off if I had to take my new car or truck in for warranty repair.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “CR is mashing together objective reliability issues (it broke) with subjective design/engineering choices (the ride is too rough for my taste).”

        This is false. CR defines reliability by items in need of repairs that aren’t routine.

        The JD Power Initial Quality Survey weights the score equally between “dependability” (whether things break) and “quality” (whether things work well.) CR does not.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        PCH –

        CR lists the areas it asks questions about on their website, and from the list it looks like they try to get ‘did it break, and if so how badly’ type of responses, but that doesn’t mean that the responders will necessarily understand what’s going on in their vehicle to be able to respond accurately.

        For example, with the PowerShift dual clutch transmission you will feel shifts more than with a traditional torque-converter automatic, and when the vehicle comes to to a complete stop it’s in true neutral with the clutch disengaged, so you will feel the clutch engage as you press the accelerator to move again. Someone who doesn’t understand the normal designed-in behavior of that transmission might mistake either of those situations (hard shifts or a slight shudder when starting from a stop) as mechanical failures, even though they are completely normal for the unit and will not effect the long term reliability or performance of the transmission one bit.

        I use the powershift example because it seems somehow that the idea has gotten out there that the unit is buggy, problematic, or unreliable. That isn’t the case – the rate of actual transmission failures is extremely low. There’s a big difference in not liking the feel of how a vehicle shifts when it is operating normally and not being happy with the quality of the shifts when the transmission is malfunctioning. A test drive before purchase should allow you the opportunity to see how you feel about how the transmission operates – if you don’t like the feel of the PowerShift, you shouldn’t buy a car with it. On that same note, if you do buy a car with that transmission, you shouldn’t ding the vehicle on a survey because you don’t care for the performance characteristics even when the unit is operating normally.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “but that doesn’t mean that the responders will necessarily understand what’s going on in their vehicle to be able to respond accurately.”

        It’s hilarious how so many of you who gripe about Consumer Reports have no idea about the survey actually works.

        The survey is quite easy to read and understand. There is no reason to believe that respondent confusion is so high as to make the results questionable.

        You sell Fords, so you don’t like the results. Instead of griping about Consumer Reports, go get your dealership to complain to the corporate office, instead. Tell them that it makes it harder for you to sell cars when the CR results are declining, and that you expect better for both you and your customers.

      • 0 avatar
        Domestic Hearse

        mkirk,

        Be well, be safe, and know that your service is appreciated. Thank you, from all of your friends back home at TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        @dodobreeder

        “When the engine module died on a friend’s F150, it was a warranty issue the first time around. No charge. Just the loss of use of his truck for a couple of days.

        But when it happened to him again after the warranty had expired, it set him back almost $1000, even though all they did was swap out that same module with a rebuilt one.

        Seems these modules die quite often in a very hot climate like the Mojave desert.”

        My old Audi A4 has the ignition control module heat-sinked to the air intake. Electronics don’t do well at high temp. The rule of thumb I’ve seen is every 10C increase decreases module life by half. They run air ducts to brakes (cheap to do), why not to electronics too?

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        PCH:
        CR isn’t a paid third party because OEM’s have better internal quality indicators. I’ve learned this with some more time doing my job.

        For everyone else, CR is probably as good as it gets to look up long term reliability. It isn’t great, but you’re not going to get any better w/o proprietary info.

        JD Power is contracted by OEM’s due to it’s better visibility to new product launches, but I’d be willing to bet it will lose favor in the future.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Deadweight – MT-82 issues have dropped off since the re-cal of the synchros.

        Your theory of forced induction, small displacement powertrains continues to gain traction with me.

        I always catch myself deleting content from these replies to you and PCH. Thats why I love this site, I step outside of my tasks and think beyond the metrics.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        @tres: Thanks. I do know what you mean by the whole comfort zone thing that you implied in your response.

        I have often typed responses and then either a) deleted them before hitting submit, b) deleted them only to re-type them and hit submit or c) revise a significant portion of what I typed one or several times before hitting the submit button.

        As you point out, this is because I’m forced to think more carefully about what I’m about to state or claim, and I often times have to significantly revise or even delete what I had reflexively written the first time, because I was about to state something that wasn’t quite accurate or based on a misinterpretation of facts (or even based on an assumption that was erroneous).

        Sometimes it’s good to not be “comfortable” because it keeps us on our toes.

        As far as Ford is concerned, some people accuse me of an anti-Ford bias.

        They may be correct, but I genuinely don’t believe I have such a bias.

        (As just one example of my neutrality is my consistent skepticism, no matter the manufacturer, of the dramatic claims in improvement in reliability relating to turbo-charged, gasoline fueled, small displacement motors attached to relatively heavy curb weight vehicles, whether a Chevy Cruz or the 2013 Fusion. I know thee enemy of all ICE, and it is heat).

        My focus on Ford as- in my opinion- an oversold quantity in terms of quality/reliability has only recently surfaced in the last few years as a consequence of claims made about the dramatically improved reliability of Ford’s overall lineup, coupled with what I know to be new and dramatically different components only recently being incorporated into their U.S. vehicles that have not fairly earned a reputation for good reliability, or that have actually proven to be unreliable yet haven’t warranted the negative attention these problems deserve.

        I’d rather Ford be cast accurately in terms of reliability/durability and build a sustainable and long-lasting reputation for the reliability of its cars and trucks than see it crash and burn after riding the wave of marketing hype and false proclamations, because there’s only one way to truly improve one’s brand in a lasting way (the former, and not the latter).

        Now, in the interest of completeness and fairness, I must admit that I do believe Ford is way too “proud” of their vehicles in terms of MSRP and actual transaction prices, and I have a dislike for almost every aspect of the Ford dealerships that I’ve had experiences with in the past, but I try not to let those past experiences ‘bleed into’ my statements about the reliability of Ford’s current offerings (and hopefully succeed more often than not; as an example of what I believe is evidence of my neutrality on this point of “too proud MSRP,” I offer up my criticism of Acura, which I believe to be even more egregious than Ford given the core competency of their offering relative to their pricing).

    • 0 avatar

      My only question is: How many congresspeople and journalists did Toyota and Honda buy off to get the top spot. Cause when I think back, I’ve seen so many recalls with their cars recently, that I couldn’t keep track.

      It’s no wonder we have a trade deficit. Traitors at home.

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        They don’t need to buy off any journalists – Consumer Reports reliability ratings are based on car owner’s -perceptions- of “problems”.

        Regarding recalls, depending on the nature of the recall, it may not seem like a problem to an owner. If the car never broke down and the owner just had the work done for free along with the next scheduled oil change, I imagine some owners don’t feel that there was a problem; they were never inconvenienced and were never subject to a constant/intermittent noise/smell/judder/shimmy that makes them crazy every time they drive the car.

      • 0 avatar
        neevers1

        Yeah it’s the perceptions of the problems…. Which is the problem.

        I know someone with a new Audi, and it makes an accordion noise when you accelerate, she doesn’t think it’s a problem. But I bet if a ford did that, it’d be a huge issue for her.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Yes, owner perception makes a huge difference. As I mentioned in another thread, I looked at a friend’s Honda service records, and there was definitely stuff in the post-warranty 60K and 90K major services that was not just “maintenance.”

        In addition, his Honda’s major services seemed to be more expensive than another friend’s Audi’s service record post-warranty. At the time, both cars had 100K miles and both cars were getting serviced by independent mechanics and not the stealership.

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        neevers1 – It gets even more weird when you compare “reliability” against “customer satisfaction”. You’d think the two would go hand in hand, but they don’t always. It must be nice to be sort of oblivious to the many undesirable things a car can do.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @neevers1, what the heck is an “accordion noise” in a car?

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        @BTSR: Your comment could have been written in 1974. The only people the imports ‘bought off’ were millions of happy customers by selling them quality products.

        Of course, I can’t count my former Odyssey lemon among them.

        And “traitor” is not defined by purchasing a product built by an overseas company, especially one built in the US. Consider that in 2011 a Fusion had 20% US content while a Camry had 80%.

      • 0 avatar
        Tinker

        @BigTruck:

        My assumption was that Toyota Trucks are assembled in San Antonio, and are the most “American” of vehicles sold in the USA of A. I say that makes a difference,

        Toyota sells morer vehicles listed in the top 10 “American” Made (by parts content) cars, than any other maker.

        And why did Mazda Do so well, once they dropped the Tribute, also based on a Ford Product?

        It’s at least as credible a claim as yours.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Wow…so the made in Japan truck parked in my driveway that I miss daily while serving yet another deployment here in Afghanistan makes me a traitor? Perhaps your anger is better directed at either the US Automakers that have outsourced production whenever possible to save a buck or the UAW that has driven labor costs up to the point that US makers can’t compete depending on what side of that spectrum you fall. Spare me the wrapping of yourself in the flag though.

      • 0 avatar
        N8iveVA

        @Tinker

        “Toyota sells morer vehicles listed in the top 10 “American” Made (by parts content) cars, than any other maker.”

        And where do the corporate profits for these vehicles go? Yeah, Japan

        “And why did Mazda Do so well, once they dropped the Tribute, also based on a Ford Product?”

        That doesn’t make sense since the Escape the Tribute was based on has great reliability records

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        To my mind, a voluntary recall is a GOOD thing. It means the manufacturer is stepping up to the plate and fixing a potential issue before it actually becomes an issue. You cannot find everything in testing, sometimes you need to get a large number of widgets in the hands of consumers to find problems.

        It’s when a manufacturer has to be TOLD to do a recall by the government that I get concerned.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        crontrollio: In addition, his Honda’s major services seemed to be more expensive than another friend’s Audi’s service record post-warranty. At the time, both cars had 100K miles and both cars were getting serviced by independent mechanics and not the stealership.

        Which is ultimately meaningless, as independent mechanics vary widely in their rates. At least they do around here.

        I’ve talked to independent mechanics, auto auction employees and even an investigator for Pennsylvania’s biggest automotive lemon law firm. They all tell me the same thing – the Japanese still beat everyone else when it comes to reliability. German cars, with few exceptions, really are more troublesome than their Japanese counterparts.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Having experienced multiple black screens of death and “system resets” with MyFord Touch rental vehicles I can assure, the problem goes far further than not being able to set the fan.

      Surprised to see the praise for Acura/Honda when the words/phrases, Acura/Honda, V6, and JUST out of warranty transmission failure go together about as well as French fries, hot oil, salt and ketchup.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Unreliable means trip to the dealer for repairs. That is the problem with Ford. Ford is near last place in reliability, which means the most trips to the dealer for repairs.

      Couple near last place reliability with excessive transaction prices … sounds like poor value.

      Ford tries to justify excessive transaction prices with a bunch of useless technological gadgets … but the smarter half of the population that lives on the east and west coast sees through this smoke screen … that is why Toyota and Honda dominate east and west coast sales.

      Ford is lucky a number of people in this country are willing to accept near last place reliability, poor packaging ( the back seat of the 13 Fusion is the latest packaging joke ), and high prices just to have a Ford badge.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      I’d guess 90% of the problems are due entirely to the Sync system. I’ve had it for two weeks, I’ve had to do a hard reset because the soft reset was freezing up, then soft reset after the hard reset after the problem cropped up again. So far it’s back to working again, but that’s pretty bad for a new car. Friggin Microsoft.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    Is MyFord Touch actually “problematic” or is it that Luddites refuse to learn to use it?

    I guess Consumer Reports didn’t use the historical reliability of the Escape, Fusion, and Mark Z in their analysis, as they’ve done with certain vehicles in other analyses.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      Just so everyone is clear, SYNC and MyFord Touch are two different things that happen to work together on cars equipped with both. Some of the complaints are attributable to SYNC, some to MyFord Touch, and some to the computer hardware that runs the system. (Few, if any, of the problems are attributable to the underling Microsoft software stack, so let’s not hear that baloney.)

      It’s considered ‘problematic’ because of a combination of “It don’t work right.” (system crashes, slow response) and “I don’t like it.” (too many choices/menus, prefer knobs). I don’t blame people for “refusing to learn” a product so poorly designed that using it is a chore, even if you know what you’re doing.

      There are problems related to the underpowered “in-dash” hardware, problems related to the millions of lines of code written by Ford and its contractors and problems related to the interface and design of both the screen elements and the “touch” enabled physical interfaces on the center stack. Ford needs to address all these areas if it wants to improve customer perception.

      The voice interface works reliably for most users, so let’s give Ford (or Nuance, since they did all the coding for the voice interface) credit for that.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Yes, “can’t use it” counts. Some years ago, VW switched their cruise control back to the “old-style” stalk after getting hit badly in the JD Power ratings for the new one.

        On my rental Fords, SYNC works fine, but the MyTouch was completely frustrating in the old models, still annoying in the new models.

      • 0 avatar
        neevers1

        I had a car with Sync….. It worked perfectly, never an issue.

        I’m SURE it’s not a problem with the system, but the people using it. I really love sync, and it factored in to my buying another ford, this one will have MFT, so we’ll see how it is, for real.

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        neevers1 – Thanks for pointing out that SYNC is available all by itself, without MyFord Touch, on certain trim levels. People discuss SYNC and MyFord Touch as if they are one and the same and they are not.

        In cars where SYNC isn’t screwed up by the complexity of MFT sitting on top of it, the system seems to be much better perceived.

      • 0 avatar
        Sgt Beavis

        IMO part of the problem is that Ford used Microsoft to build the system.

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        MFT was a huge mistake. Buggy inteeface, slowdowns and crashes plague te system. I had an Explorer for four days and MFT crashed on the third.

        Recent reflashes have speeded it up, but it still occassionally slows down and crashes.

        In terms of reliability, Ford’s new cars are pretty good. MFT? Probably bottom of the pack. If the customer has to keep returning the car to the shop to be reflashed, that’s inconvenientfor thecustomer. And the newest softwarw builds will not have come soon enoug to improve e CR survey results, anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        MFT was a huge mistake. Buggy inteeface, slowdowns and crashes plague te system. I had an Explorer for four days and MFT crashed on the third.

        Recent reflashes have speeded it up, but it still occassionally slows down and crashes.

        In terms of reliability, Ford’s new cars are pretty good. MFT? Probably bottom of the pack. If the customer has to keep returning the car to the shop to be reflashed, that’s inconvenient for the customer. And the newest softwarw builds will not have come soon enoug to improve e CR survey results, anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Niky –

        I think ranking MFT vs the competitor’s options can also depend on personal priorities. MFT doesn’t have the fastest response or most simple interface, but it does have quite a bit more capability and room for individual fine tuning and configuration for each owner.

        If you value ultimate flexibility and functionality, MFT is hands down the best system on the market. If your most important criteria are simplicity and a low learning curve, some of the other options will likely appeal more to you.

        There is no need to bring the car in for a software update anymore – MFT updates can be downloaded to a USB stick and easily installed on your own if you care to go that route.

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        That’s pretty good to hear, although local dealers (I live in Asia) don’t have that option yet.

        Still a hassle. Still requires customer intervention. Which will affect CR scores, like it or not.

        I agree that MFT has a lot going for it, and the plethora of functions are fascinating to explore… but it’s rather unintuitive, and frustrating, even for an experienced smartphone/tablet user. Any interface that forces you to go three submenus down simply to activate the button that allows rear seat passengers to turn on their AC controls is madness.

        And replacing mechanical buttons with haptic touch controls is also fraught with issues. Merely brush the emergency blinker button and it turns on. Stab at the dashboard in panic, and if you have two fingers down instead of one, or half your finger off to the side, it won’t. I was fiddling around with the system when I found this out.

        There are lots of things to love about the wide array of functions on new Fords, and the data screens on the instrument cluster are wonderful. But they really need better controls.

    • 0 avatar
      dougjp

      Manufacturers who foist something onto consumer that consumers didn’t want should pay heavily for their arrogance. People should refuse to learn junk, and talk with their dollars.

      Consumers are NEVER to blame in situations such as this, and manufacturers who do make themselves a laughing stock for their excess arrogance.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I am pretty sure you can still get a conventional audio system or as was pointed out, a SYNC only system. If you don’t want it, get a model without it.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Last I checked, manufacturers aren’t putting any guns to people’s heads and forcing them into anything.

        In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Buyers are flocking to vehciles with the MFT system. Many models that offer it have a 3/4 take rate on the system.

        Sounds like people are voting, then blaming the politician once they elected him.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        “Manufacturers who foist something onto consumer that consumers didn’t want should pay heavily for their arrogance”

        I found that people moan the most about the little things that are different about cars coming from across the pond. Examples of this cars from Ford and GM (Opel), keep the UNLOCK/LOCK button on the dash, next to the HAZARD button where they belong, not scattered across the driver and passenger door and lost atop the steering wheel. Cruise Control systems are different, most from the Continent not being on the steering wheel. My Saturn Astra has the CC on the turn signal stalk in usual GM style, but are three separate buttons hidden behind the steering wheel. It took me a day or two to figure it out, but now seems so natural and intuitive.

        Most North Americans find such differences unforgivable (most have no idea that their car comes with an Owner’s Manual and that they are ‘GASP’ expected to READ it) and if they can’t instantly figure it out, moan that its UNRELIABLE.

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        That 3/4 take rate helps push Ford’s numbers down. Every single one of those cars will get at least one software update. And most of the older ones will have experienced a systems crash at least once.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        @ Dolorean

        On a personal note, I think the door lock button is intuitive on the door since that’s what it’s controlling. What’s even more befuddling to me is when window controls are located on the interior of the car as well. Two examples that come to mind are the last gen Toyota Celica and the Chrysler PT Cruiser. I was in the back seat of my friend’s PT trying to crack a window, searching all over the door, even along the bottom edge and in the door pocket when he finally told me it was mounted at the back of the centre console. The amount of WTF??? that day blew my mind.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “Examples of this cars from Ford and GM (Opel), keep the UNLOCK/LOCK button on the dash”

        I’m not sure why that would be the ideal placement. Please explain why it’s better than the door. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever driven a car that had it on the dash, including cars I’ve driven in Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        @FreddyM and corntrollio, the door unlock button located on the dash is the poster child for cost savings. Any time a manufacturer can reduce dual controls (two door unlock/lock buttons) to one control (one central) and still maintain its mission (ability to unlock the doors from the driver and passenger position), its a win. I will admit, this is not intuitive to Americans as we are used to the unlock/lock button on the doors. However you must admit that different car manu’s hide the damn unlock/lock button on the door in hundreds of different locations, depending on the car, thereby lessening its intuitiveness. The cost savings may seem minimal, but I remember reading that Ford in the ’70s cut nearly a million dollars in cost by going to two screws to hold the dome light instead of four.

        Window controls being centrally located however, is the poster child of what NOT to do with cost cutting. You can never locate them where everyone has access to them without contorting themselves around. My ‘87.5 Dodge Shadow ES turbo had the window switches on the central console, right next to the GEN 1 cupholder. Rendered useless once the first Slurpee was spilled onto them.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        About the door locks on the centre console as a cost savings measure, it was like the clouds opened up revealing the shining light of comprehension.

        *cue angel choir*

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Door locks and window switches in the center of the car make perfect sense to me:

        1. The passenger can then easily operate the locks and ALL the windows. 2. You don’t need a switch and wiring in the doors, where the wiring is subject to fatigue failure from flexing, and the switch is potentially exposed to damp.
        3. In the days before multiplex computer control you greatly reduce the amount of wiring going into the drivers door.

        Just seems like good engineering to me.

        I still miss the central window controls in my older Saabs. My BMW has the lock button on the dash. Having them on the door always seemed very GM about my ’08 9-3SC.

        What always cracked me up was the grousing about how the Astra still had a 24hr format clock when imported to the US. Having owned several VW so equipped when I was young I was thrilled that my later Saabs and BMW allow the clock to be setup that way.

      • 0 avatar
        Charliej

        doug, you sound like some of the customers I had to deal with when fixing electronics. The “why should I have to learn anything” attitude is strong in the US. Modern electronics are amazing, but you have to learn to use them to get the best results. As my Sony rep once told me, “some people are to damn stupid to own a TV”.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      I would say that Luddites did the engineering and design of that stuff. If top level Ford executives are smart, the will fire those responsible for the Consumer Reports disaster. On wall street, such mistakes are cause for termination.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    Meet the new Ford, same as the old Ford.

    And the problems will only get worse with the silly and shortsighted One Ford nonsense.

    And imagine what’s going to happen when all the problems that Ford is ignoring pop up. Like loss of steering in the 2011+ Explorers, the silly gas guzzling Egoboost 3.5 in the F-150s (see, a proper V8 is far more reliable than a high-strung V6).

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      How will One Ford cause the problems to get worse? Do you honestly believe that by stretching engineering resources over more unrelated products, rather than fewer, things will get better? Definitely not.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Silvy you have to understand, 86SN2001 is Dan Ackerson’s handle on TTAC as a dyed in the wool GM guy really hoping to make america forget about the bailout, 86SN2001 always pokes his head in a Ford discussion and gives his “credible” opinion.

        Thats my theory anyway?

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        raph, I have to admit that it is kind of weird how many fans of GM are a bit unhinged. All brands have their small minority of idiot fan bois, but a few of the apparent GM supporters on this site always seem to be trying really hard to make the shortlist for “Dunderhead of the Year”.

        Edited to add: The “real” GM fans, and that’s the vast majority of you, are great. Please adjust the meds of your goofball contingent.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        Hey Ralphy, your theory is wrong.

        I’m NOT a GM guy. Nice try though. There are a few GM models I like, but I like vehicles from all Manufactuers. From Toyota to Pagani.

        But his isn’t about me, it’s about Ford and their miserable vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        +1@ralph

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Thats my theory anyway?”

        Nice theory, but you’ve got it completely wrong.

        Sn2001 isn’t a GM fanboy, he’s a Panther fanboy. He’s extremely upset that his beloved Crown Victoria was dropped from the Ford lineup. Panther Love meets Fatal Attraction.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        Pch, you’re even more wrong than Ralphy.

        The Panther? Really?

        Too funny!

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        “Pch, you’re even more wrong than Ralphy.
        The Panther? Really?
        Too funny!”

        No, what’s funny is that Pch is right and you are not being honest. So you never posted here in the past as P71 CrownVic?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “So you never posted here in the past as P71 CrownVic?”

        Of course he did. For one example, compare these two comments:

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1996-ford-taurus-sho/#comment-1950958

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/09/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-limiter-i-just-met-her-edition/#comment-1536439

        It’s the same guy. I presume that P71_CrownVic must have been banned, so he doesn’t want to admit the connection.

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      Meet the new “86SN201″, same as the old Silvy, Crown Vic, etc.

      Still acting like a jilted high school girl.

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      @el scotto, Not worried. Did nothing to be worried about, but thanks.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Acura beats CR ratings over Ford…..?

    Booya, beeotch!

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      Well, Ford’s got new product out that’s got some design flaws. The Acuras (and Scions) considered by CR have been around for several years, plenty of time to sort out teething problems. Hopefully Ford can get MFT sorted out over the next few years, at least.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        We have a first model year Acura TSX. After almost eight years it developed a power lock problem. New models are a nightmare. I’m scared to this day about the trouble free status of my Civic Si sedan, which was one of the first to reach dealers. Sure, it has been flawless for a couple months short of six years, but you know how new models are. It could turn out to be just as big of a POS as a 2012 Ford.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t believe in these things, but even if I did, I still wouldn’t want a guzzied up Honda.

  • avatar
    mazder3

    Its interesting that Jaguar is dead last in the CR reliability survey, but is first in the JD Power reliability survey in the UK.

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      The English define “reliability” much less strictly than North Americans.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No it’s the fact that CR defines “reliability” much less strictly, just asking if people have had anything they considered a “problem”.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Scoutdude, it is JD Power that has the reputation for interpreting bad design as poor reliability, not CR.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        C’mon, now…British cars aren’t unreliable, just “delicate”…

        Until CR realizes that, they’re interpreted as being unreliable!

        I’m very surprised by Ford’s problems, though, as I really thought they were on to something. This just goes to show how different Japanese companies still are compared to American companies – it’s their culture as opposed to quick-buck, short-sightedness of America in general. That’s not a shot, but appears to still be a fact, no matter how hard they try. It is what it is…

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      That is interesting indeed. TTAC should look into that.

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        Look up Michael Karesh’s articles on the subjext. He has a very critical and thorough analysis of CR’s reliability survey.

        Let’s just say “brake dust” here and leave it atthat.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I have no bone to pick with Michael Karesh, or his survey methods, nor True Delta (I’ve signed two vehicles up on True Delta).

        But Consumer Reports uses credible statistical analysis based on the best practices in scientific sampling culled from MILLIONS of responses (hundreds of thousands per year annually; millions in the aggregate) from actual, registered vehicle owners, regarding structured reporting of carefully defined issues that clearly rise to a significant enough level to be deemed as “problem” by almost any rational standard.

        While no such survey can or will ever produced perfectly objective and accurate results, no other motor vehicle reliability survey even comes close to Consumer Reports’ survey in terms of comprehensiveness nor objectivity (nor predictive accuracy, IMO, on average).

        I am driving a vehicle right now that Consumer Reports identifies as “unreliable” (for the model years it has enough data on to so report), yet I’ve had zero problems with it, aside from normal wear and tear items, through 7 years and 68,000 miles. My personal and individual ownership experience in no way disproves the predictive accuracy of CR’s projections on the whole.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        FWIW, my personal experience with all of the vehicles I have owned over the past 30 years has tracked the CR reliability survey with high accuracy. In other words, if the survey says this make/model/year has problem X and I owned that make/model/year, I experienced problem X.

        That’s why, if you’re really slavish to that sort of thing, you don’t buy a make/model until its been out for several years . . . so you can see how it’s doing in the survey.

        Also, you have to make some sort of judgment about the kinds of problems people report: are they expensive problems to repair? Can you avoid them (e.g. MFT and the DCT transmission on the Focus).

        In Ford’s case, it does seem that they are either not doing customer focus groups on some of their new “features” or are ignoring what those focus groups have to say. It’s hard to imagine that MFT was a big hit in the focus groups but did so poorly in the marketplace.

        As for the DCT, I found its behavior off-putting in a rental Focus I drove for a weekend. In a test drive, my wife didn’t like the DCT after about 3 mintues; she thought the manual was fantastic. It’s not that people think the DCT is broken, Nullo, its that they don’t like the way the thing feels in parking lot maneuvers and similar slow-speed operation. And, in terms of long-term reliability, I don’t think any of these DSG/DCT/SMG transmissions have proved anything but a long-term reliability headache, if not a disaster. So, I’m not sure why I should expect better from the unit in the Focus.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Same here, with the one exception (7 years old, 70k miles) that I drive now, which has been perfect, but CR has reported as either inconclusive or unreliable.

        Then again, the real test begins at 100k miles.

  • avatar

    I’m not surprised that Jaguar would be in the lower ranks, nor its corporate sister, Land Rover.

    I wonder how Nissan/Infiniti fared…

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Nissan typically fares about midpack. That said, both of the Nissans I’ve owned have had stellar reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      When I got my 2012 G37 earlier this year, CR called it Sports Sedan of the Year a few weeks later.

      Truedelta doesn’t have a whole lot of data for 2012 yet, but the 2011 G37 has fewer issues than most of its competitors. The Tennessee-built Nissan, on the other hand, seems to be average. Now that the JX is starting to be built at the Tennessee plant too, it’ll be interesting to see the numbers on that in a few years.

  • avatar
    areader

    I watch people trying to swipe their credit/debit cards, which I assume they do frequently, and they are baffled. They swipe, stare at the display, swipe again, etc. Many checkout stations allow the card to be swiped as soon as the first item is scanned. But it’s rare that I see anyone who seems to understand this. They stand there until the last item is scanned and the clerk tells them how much they owe, and then they begin their attempts to scan the damn card. Of course many times, they haven’t even dug through their wallet or whatever container, to get the card ready to scan. And these are not old people by any means. Yes lots of people are just too stupid to do much of anything correctly. BUT, this is the market, and the “customer is always right” idea is valid. I think Ford deserves every bit of grief they are catching for not understanding this and dealing with it. Lots of people have no need or desire to hook their phone to their car or even know what bluetooth is. For lots of people a radio that uses a rotating knob or maybe a few buttons to change stations, is as complicated as they can handle and meets their needs. Same for temperature control.

    • 0 avatar
      acuraandy

      indeed areader:

      I fix Navigation and Blueteeth for my living, and have for 10 years.

      And guess what I got when I bought new? AM/FM/XM (if i decided to re-up the service) with an AUX in/iPod plug. All work flawlessly.

      FWIW im one of those ‘Gen Why’ hipster d-bags…personally I just like simplicity in my rides….:)

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I think some of it is a generational gap. There is a huge difference in how quickly my younger customers pick up Sync/MFT vs the older ones. For the 30 and younger crowd a few quick demonstrations are all that are needed, the system is laid out in a way that makes sense to anyone familiar with computers and they pick up on it quickly. For the 50 and older crowd I need to make sure I have a solid hour or so to go over the in-car technology or else I’ll be getting phone calls the next day asking how to do basic things. There are of course exceptions in each group, but overall the rule seems to stand.

      There have been moves to address customer concerns with the system – many of the newer models like the Focus, C-Max, Escape, and F-150 have discrete climate knobs even when paired with MFT. I’d like to see some of the things my older customers almost universally want, like back up cameras and blind spot warning, be available without going with the top tech package – right now some vehicles offer that and others don’t.

      There is likely an age bias in the CR responses as well. I don’t know anyone personally around my age that reads, subscribes to, or puts any stock in CR. The blue hair crowd on the other hand seems to love it (again, I’m sure there are exceptions).

      BMW received a lot of flack for iDrive when it first came out, but now Mercedes, Audi, and Lexus all have similar systems. Pioneering a new interface paradigm is risky, but being first out also means you’re the first to learn from your mistakes and have a head start on getting it all right.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Holy cow…I bet your head explodes when that old lady starts counting out exact change or….GASP…writes a check.

      You are right though, Different strokes for different folks.

      I miss the cable acuated sliding climate controls like my old 88 Ranger. Why? Because the cables still slide and work the blend doors in 20 years…no electronic or vacuum solenoids to tear my dash apart just so I can turn the heat off in the summer!

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      There are those pesky “hands free” laws for you cell phone. It’s kinda nice to listen to your own music on your commute. the benefits of learning some tech far outweigh the drawbacks.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        You don’t need a touch-screen for hands-free. In Ford’s case, SYNC (without MyTouch) does a very competent job of providing hands-free capability.

        Me, I’ve been working in the software business for the last 30 years, so I have no issue with technology in itself — but I do still find the MyTouch implementation aggravating.

  • avatar
    redav

    I agree with CR’s assessment. I strongly feel Ford should stick to designing & building cars and get out of the “technology” business. They lack the core competencies to excel on that front.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      So, you think Ford should get rid of engine management computers and all that other darned “technology”, because they clearly don’t know what the heck they are doing? Do you believe that their electronic ignition systems rarely start the car or that once going, the car runs roughly because the engine management software is buggy? Forget meeting California emissions, right, because that software can’t possibly keep up the the readings sent by the myriad sensors.

      Are you sure you’ve thought your position through? I think I’m seeing problems with it.

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        To be fair, engine management systems deal with strictly the engine that Ford designed. The info-tainment systems Ford uses, used Microsoft (3rd party) software and need to sync to multiple and often unknown devices like music players and cell phones.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        But SYNC (which was done by Microsoft) isn’t the problem, it’s the atrocious touch-screen implementation in the Ford MyTouch system (which was not done by Microsoft).

        SYNC by itself is fine and quite useful …

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Get rid of it all baby!!! Mechanical injection diesels and hand crank windows for everyone!!!

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        th009 brings up a good point – blaming Microsoft reflects a poor understanding of the incredible complexity Ford has built on top of the Microsoft product. The underlying Microsoft software stack does it’s job just fine, handling mundane tasks like the machine to machine interface that allows the ability to connect a device via bluetooth or USB. (For the record, MS didn’t design SYNC, they designed the underlying software stack only. Ford added applications, functions and interfaces on top of the MS product to create SYNC.)

        The slow response times, so-so interface design, menu complexity and system crashes are all on Ford or third party contractors hired by Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I think generally speaking, adding too much computerization to cars is a huge mistake… and this comes as someone who had worked in some part of IT for almost 8 years. Most people need their cars to get around, just as they need their refrigerator to keep things cool and a stove to cook food. Imagine a touchscreen on your fridge or stove that controlled everything in the device and having it crash on a regular basis. Some things need to work, adding a software layer is an unnecessary layer of complexity.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        But if you have worked in IT, there is such thing as fault tolerant software that is used for a variety of critical applications. Most people would think driving a car is probably one of those.

        On a side note, there actually are people who have touchscreens on their fridge, although not me.

      • 0 avatar
        WildcatMatt

        My in-laws had a Jenn-Air oven that was computer controlled. It had all kinds of programmable modes and things. Which was kinda nice, until the day the motherboard shorted out and suddenly they were stuck using just their microwave for three weeks while they waited for replacement parts. For an oven.

        Agreed that some things just need to work.

  • avatar
    SV

    I think MyFordTouch is a good idea poorly executed. The fact that it’s still killing Ford’s quality ratings even after all the band-aids indicates that more drastic changes are needed. Maybe even scrapping the current setup and going for something new, preferably with plenty of ergonomists involved in the process.

    The PowerShift gearbox is just as much part of the problem. The latest reflash has made its behavior passable from what I’ve heard, but it looks like the quality issues are still there.

    While I imagine the reliability will trend back up as the technology matures, I worry about the damage that will be done to Ford’s reputation (and by extension, sales and profitability). Hopefully something drastic will be done soon.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I think your response strikes a perfect balance in being objectively critical of one of the problematic components of Ford’s new models without engaging in hyperbole, and that you use to that one example as a great analogy of how reputations of manufacturers for reliability get dinged hard in an age where consumer expectations are very high.

      I personally believe that if an automaker who hasn’t proven internally (via extremely thorough testing & analysis) that any (especially major, mechanical) component isn’t extremely reliable & durable authorizes said component for production, they are literally gambling on potentially losing years of of consumer goodwill & trust on the reliability impression front, which is a front they definitely do not want to lose (it’s a massive task to undo such damage).

  • avatar
    65corvair

    My Fiesta has had 7 problems and 14 trips to the dealer. Next trip is Friday. The only thing that surprised me is how high Ford did. Wifes ’09 Dodge Caravan with more miles has had zero.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    I miss the e65/66 BMW iDrive days, when no one would be caught dead shelling out $85k for a car with fancy new gizmos and then complaining about not understanding how they work. Auto rags (rightfully in many circumstances) lambasted the system, but I never once heard one of the pasty-assed clients complain about what they had paid extra to show up at the golf club in.

    Now a days, any middle class idiot who manages to get spyware installed on their phones trying to download obnoxious ringtones can clamor for infotainment systems in their c-segment econobox, and the manufacturers oblige. I really enjoy the system in mom’s 2012 Taurus SHO, and not once have I had major issues with it. Of course, I don’t try to use the voice control while driving – that s#*% got old 10 years ago, and I would rather enjoy the fantastic car than fight with a bastard offspring of my day job. It’s saddening to see Ford painted with such a wide brush when most end users probably haven’t even bothered to open the manual to figure out how to set the clock…

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      You make a good point about the lemming nature of many buyers, particularly when combined with a survey that asks if they have had something they consider a problem. When you paid a big chunk of money for a car many people don’t want people to think they made a bad choice so they don’t consider something a problem to make themselves feel better. You also have the issues like some Hondas that had brakes that wore out in a year and the dealers that told the owners that it was their fault or the gov’t for “mandating stability control” not caused by the fact that they didn’t design them to last.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      When did you last read a manual on a rental car? Should I be expected to do a 2h study session each time I step into a different car?

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        If you are renting a car then you wouldn’t be weighing in on CR’s survey of owners, or any other reliability/customer satisfaction of owners.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Why should a vehicle be designed for the renters? Rental fleet sales are a necessary evil, not an end goal in the development of a model. For a vehicle that will be kept for multiple years it’s not a big deal to take a few days to learn the ins and outs of the interface if it makes everything smoother and faster down the road.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Daily rentals may be the extreme case, but an awful lot of people do rent cars. And they form impressions of the cars, whether positive or negative, based on those rentals, too.

        But I believe that a car’s controls should be sufficiently clear and discoverable that a few minutes’ look around the cockpit would be enough for someone to figure out how to drive the car, whether a renter, a parent, sibling or a child, a neighbour or a friend borrowing the car. It really isn’t that difficult to do.

        BMW’s iDrive and Audi’s MMI also have their challenges in being able to discover how to use them. However, I find them much less frustrating than Ford’s MyTouch to use once over that initial hurdle.

        And as I said in earlier posts, I have no issues at all with SYNC. But I’d really like to know who developed this touch-screen for Ford …

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        th009, Ford itself is responsible for the design of the touch screen user interface appearance and menu structure.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Thanks for the info, silvy_nonsense!

        I work in a software development group at a hardware company. Looks like my company is not the only hardware company that has a hard time developing good user interfaces.

  • avatar
    Acd

    After renting several 2012 Explorers recently I understand CU readers frustrations with MyFordTouch but I found the turn signal stalk where you click it lightly for a lane change and harder for a turn to be even more frustrating. There were several times when I thought I was going to rip the stalk off the steering column because I had to click it a second time to signal a turn because the first time only activated the lane change.

    Maybe if Ford would stop putting things in their cars that just piss people off their cutomers wouldn’t confuse these questionable design decisions with unreliability and ding them in the surveys.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “but I found the turn signal stalk where you click it lightly for a lane change and harder for a turn to be even more frustrating”

      If the “new” turn signal stalk can be explained that concisely, it suggests the user is the problem, not the car.

      Plenty of cars have had this feature for years and years, and it’s a ridiculously simple mechanism that took my older than 60 dad two lane changes to figure out, after which he said, wow, I don’t know why all cars don’t do that.

      Similarly, even though every manufacturer does it differently, my dad has never had a problem figuring out the cruise control mechanism in any car he has borrowed or rented, and he probably rents more cars than 95% of the population.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    I’m wondering if we have got to the point where “reliability” is no longer a major differentiator.

    The rapid swing in Ford’s rating due to one or two problems, and the rapid rise of Audi, suggest to me that small things can make a big difference in these surveys.

    The radical differences in rankings between different surveys suggest that it is no longer obvious to everyone which cars are “good” or “bad”. Twenty five years ago, the difference between a Honda Accord and a Hyundai Pony was pretty significant – I don’t think there are differences like that anymore.

    Michael Karesh’s “Nada Odds” suggest that even “poor” cars are pretty decent these days…

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I think this is a decent point.

      Although Toyota has remained an institution at the top of most reliability surveys, the ability to leapfrog to the top 5 or tumble to nearly dead last in a short period of time seems to be common.

      Another article I read tonight about these CR ratings cited the Explorer as being very unreliable with 20% of owners reporting a problem. The Prius c was considered very reliable with 1% of owners reporting problems. However, I wonder what percentage of owners reported on a car rated as “unreliable” in 2001? 1991?

      Personally, I would like to see CR, Truedelta, JD, etc. placing a greater emphasis on cost of ownership, longevity of “wear items”, and the cost/amount of required maintenance.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I agree that I’d like to see things like real world cost of ownership including cost of insurance, scheduled maintenance, projected life of wear items. Too many of the cost of ownership ratings I’ve seen list things like maintenance and repair as a percentage of purchase price. So their cost of ownership boils down to MPG and resale value based on MSRP not average transaction prices.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @Scoutdude

        Insurance is more a function of where you live and who you are than the car, once you reach middle age. I pay <$700/yr for a 2011 BMW, but what if I lived in NYC? Or had a DUI or a bunch of speeding tickets on my record? Or bad credit? My insurance would be the same whether I was driving a Corolla or a Corvette, actually.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I have seen it in many places that on all of these “quality” surveys a first place vehicle from 10-15 years ago would be placed dead last today. ALL cars are extremely reliable as far as the basic functionality of getting you where you are going. We are now to the point of nit-picking design features.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    You can’t get away from reliability… or cost of ownership. First and foremost is that a car is safe, but even if it’s mechanically reliable, if the cost of repair is either prohibitively expensive or very time consuming, then it’s not the same as reliable and inexpensive and easy to fix.

    Personally, I’m not routing for MyTouch to fail, I just hope that philosophically, there is one sacrificial lamb that turns the industry equivocally away from these things and back to real buttons and controls.

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      “back to real buttons and controls”.
      Can’t agree more. I’m all for new tech but not just for the sake of new. Things should be getting simpler to use, not harder. I want simple buttons and knobs that are quick and easy to use. Right now we seem to be stuck with the “If it ain’t broke, fix it until it is” mentality. Man, I sound like an old man, rant over.

      • 0 avatar
        whisperquiet

        I don’t own a new Ford, but did just buy a new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe with Blue Link and a touch screen display. It also has easy to navigate buttons and rotary switches. Like others have stated, I could care less about Blue Link, On Star, I Drive, synched cell phones, Blue Tooth, IPod, or any other junk that diminishes my driving experience. Hold the Santa Fe driving experience jokes..

        I can’t wait for my trial period of Blue Link to end……..I don’t want a relationship with connectivity; I just want to drive my vehicle in the simplest way possible. Luddite..check!

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I felt the same way as you until I got my new Charger. The Uconnect interface is pretty simple and easy. Of course there still tactile buttons and knobs that aren’t lifted from an iPod, but I find myself using the touch screen more.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I agree that I prefer simple buttons and dials over the touch screen controls. Once I’ve driven a car I know where the controls are and I can reach down and adjust the volume, station or HVAC w/o taking my eyes off of the road. Though I prefer my vehicles with the controls on the steering wheel since I don’t even have to take my hands off of the wheel, just move my thumb. Note I’m referring to the simple buttons on the wheel that have temp/volume/fan up/down source/next radio controls ect.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    I’ve always been a Ford fan but sadly I am not surprised by this report. The paint on the top of the rear bumper of my dad’s prized 2010 Mustang GT has started to fade to a white color a few months after going out of warranty. This is disappointing and will likely drive the old man to replace my mom’s aging Camry with another Camry instead of the Fusion or Taurus they had been originally been considering.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    People can choose to rationalize the CR reliability ratings if they want. At the end of the day, this is a reflection of Ford’s buyers being unhappy with the mistake they made when they believed the hype. Defenders are the battered wives of auto fandom, defending the spouses that knocked out their teeth.

    • 0 avatar
      CelticPete

      Rationalize? It doesn’t pass the smell test. I plan to buy an Audi soon. But I don’t think for a second they are significantly more reliable one year later they there were a year ago.

      It’s a telltale sign that CR is reporting statistical noise as saying something about ‘reliability.’ Truth is almost all new cars are faily reliable. They aren’t going to leave you stranded by the side of the road.

      CR would have alot more credibility if Ford was slowly creeping down the list.. Truth is most modern cars are pretty reliable. They won’t leave you stranded by the side of the road.

      Calling bad design a reliability problem is dishonest…

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Actually, Ford has introduced 2 major systems, both mechanical (i.e. having nothing to do with MyFordTouch), that helped drag down its score; 1) The PowerShift transmission, and 2) ecoboosted motors, of which the V6 versions got dinged badly.

        There have also been a plethora of recent fluid leaks due to faulty couplings and splitting hoses, etc., but I do not know if those issues have yet showed up in CR’s datum.

        That’s not statistical noise. In fact, the ecoboosted V6 woes began showing up in 2012s annual auto edition of CR (i.e. last year’s edition); check out the comments regarding the Lincoln MKS, as just one example of this.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        How did the F-150 do in the Ecoboost reliability category? One would think if the engine had issues in FWD cars/suvs the same would have occurred in the trucks, but personally I haven’t heard anything negative about the trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        As Deadweight pointed out, there are mechanical issues driving Ford’s decline. Results can change drastically when you replace proven old designs with gimmicky new ones and ask your customers for Hollywood movie-style suspended disbelief in taking on the roles of guinea pigs. Many of them probably come to their senses around their third engine fire related recall. Look for Ford to displace Jaguar next year as the ridiculous new Fusion replaces another dependable old Mazda.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        CJ may be biased and jaded, but he’s mostly correct.
        But CJ is wrong in one key aspect: better quality information comes from JD Power and survey sampling. Statistically speaking, that qualifies CR as garbage grade. There are far more surperior internal quality indicators.
        Here’s to hoping the new Fusion’s quality excels as well as it has been received.

        I also am curious how the 6 speed Getrag sourced from Liverpool will pan out. Thus far, I’ve enjoyed it.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I wasn’t even aware that Ford was now sourcing Getrags from Liverpool for U.S. Mustangs.

        From Chinese to U.K. produced trannies, or from the frying pan into the fire?

        j/k

    • 0 avatar
      rodface

      CJ, this is in response to your comment above regarding your Acura and your Civic. Are you being sarcastic? You’ve owned two first-year cars, one for eight years with just a power lock failure, and one for six years with no issues?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Yes. I was being sarcastic in suggesting they could yet turn out to be Ford-like. My two first model year Honda products have combined for one issue in 14 years of ownership. They are less problematic than my fifth model year and third model year BMWs were, than my company’s new first model year Audi, and than any of the other dozen or so cars I’ve had. Incidentally, we did pay the fist model year price with our 2012 CR-V, as the dealer put the state inspection sticker right over the exterior light/temperature sensor, causing the A/C to keep cycling on and off until the sticker was removed and replaced a few inches away from the sensor. Had we waited a year, the dealer techs probably would have learned not to put the sticker where they did.

        The Civic Si hasn’t actually been perfect. One day I got some improbable outside temperature readings on the dash display, but it was about three years ago and hasn’t happened again since.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        FWIW CJ:

        The first gen TSX is relatively bulletproof. I havent seen the torque converter issues normally plaguing other AcuHonda models. As for the door lock issue, a $30 door lock actuator (that has since been addressed) will fix it, with positive results.

        And that is usually about it with them. Notwithstanding the HVAC/Radio going out due to an inferior lighting/power circuit board that can be replaced with a $100 replacement unit.

        Bar none, the first gen TSX is truely a good car. One client at my ‘stealership’…..regularly brings his in that has 250k miles (albeit a manual trans…one clutch replacement) with few issues other then factory rec maintenance.

        If I could find one for less than a newer Hyundai, id buy one.

        Second gen however, give me a V6 or nothing at all, although that Special Ed version with the faux suede seats is very enticing. They tend to grab you in the seats whilst hard cornering :)

  • avatar
    tbone33

    I recently purchased a new Focus hatch with Sync. The radio, cd player, and Bluetooth phone are all easy to operate. The Bluetooth audio, apps, and USB stick all work, but take a couple of weeks to get used to. The secret with Sync is to use the verbal commands almost exclusively.

    Also, my understanding is that the dual clutch transmissions have problems, but the rest of the car is solid. Glad I went with a stick.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The DPS6 dual clutch transes don’t really have many problems. People just don’t like how they operate, which causes them to think there is a problem, when the trans is operating normally.

      The shift drums make clacking noises – normal.
      It vibrates a bit during engagement – normal.
      Slight delay when pulling away from stops – normal.

      Customers used to driving hydraulic automatics aren’t used to the way the trans behaves. Endless TCM calibration chagnes try and mitigate the symptoms, but in the end, the customer should have probably more thoroughly tried out the transmission and bought a different car if they didnt like it.

      • 0 avatar
        Mark45

        And how many were told by the salesman the “transmission computer just has to learn your driving style”.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        @mark,
        It’s true, the adaptive cycle for the DPS6 is ridiculous. If a sack of crap was designed to be a sack of crap, and behaves as such, is it really a problem?

        I guess that’s for owners to determine.

        But personally, the first time I drove one, I noticed these things. I took it apart, disassembled it, re-built it, reinstalled it, did the re-learn and adaptive drive cycle and it was the same.

        This was an excercise at Livonia trans when the DPS6 first came out so we could really understand these gearboxes.

        If you can put up with it’s behaviour, they should turn out to be fairly robust.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Our Focus is the third car that we’ve owned with a dual-clutch transmission. The transmission has been the worst of the three, in terms of reliablity. VW’s DSG transmission is significantly better out of the box. I will admit that the maintenance costs of the DSG will be much higher than the DPS6, but I have had significantly more issues with the DPS6.

        The transmission shudder, over-revs, and gear selection issues are real and not user error. I’ve had the clutch packs and other parts replaced. I haven’t had issues since the parts were replaced.

        FWIW, I still own the Focus, and sold my VW products. The Focus and C-Max are better products than the Golf and Jetta Sportwagen.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Our new 2012 Fiesta had…

    Bad transmission–Ford NEVER fixed it right and the car was lemoned as a result. The car almost killed my wife when it stalled out on a highway onramp because the transmission decided to take a lunch break in the path of a truck
    The remote would open the trunk maybe one time out of three
    Big plastic pieces of the HVAC kept falling out from under the dash
    Terrible burning smell–no idea what that was

    Stuff not directly linked to reliability
    SYNC didn’t work with iPod touch that was mated to Apple OS
    SYNC didn’t respond to verbal commands

    Stuff Ford broke
    CV axle destroyed during transmission swap

    All in all this ownership experience has been attributed as a fluke by all of the Ford faithful, but the only thing that was worse than the car was the denial and excuses by FOMOCO and the local dealers over all the problems we had.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I’d probably not buy another Ford for a while after all that. Everyone does build a lemon though. My mother had a lemon lawed…wait for it…Corolla. Only one I’ve ever heard of.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        One of our neighbors almost lemoned a Camry. Transmissions grenaded, V6 needed several things corrected/fixed, among other things. They finally got it repaired, but not sure if I would have put up with all that, warranty or not. That car couldn’t hold a candle to his 2003 Monte Carlo SS or his 2011 Ford Fusion! His words, not mine.

        If that happened to my old Chevy or happens to my new one, I’ll scream bloody murder.

        Sometimes junk does gets through. Toyota and Honda aren’t stellar, but do appear to be, overall, a cut above the others.

        As good as they may be, I DON’T WANT ONE. I wanted a Chevy, and that’s what I bought because that was my CHOICE. Many don’t care about that, but I still do.

        That, my friends, is the difference.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I had personal and long-standing experience with owners of Toyotas with the 3.0 liter motor, installed in everything from Camries to 4runners, that developed the now infamous “sludging & seizing” syndrome.

        I have no doubt whatsoever that while some of these motors were neglected, the majority were not (many “sludged” motors had recommended and even conservative OIC at Toyota Dealerships), and my opinion is supported by the fact that despite Toyota initially and for quite a long time adamantly denying any mechanical problem with those motors nor liability for repairs/replacements, they ultimately were forced to concede by state attorneys general that there indeed were tolerance issues and other design defects (e.g. positive crankcase ventilation problems) regarding the motor design, and Toyota replaced many of these motors for free.

        A similar scenario played out with Honda/Acura automatic transmissions in the mid-2000 era. They definitely had a problem with self-grenading automatic transmission, but never did (or never were forced to) admit liability in an overall manner, instead handling non-warranty claims on an ad-hoc, case-by-case basis that infuriated many owners.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Yet despite past Camcord issues the lemmings keep marching off the cliff. I wouldn’t care as much but those same people defend Toyonda even when it screws them. The Japanese in 2012 are a shadow of what they were ten to fifteen ago in terms of value for the money.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        @ Deadweight

        And yet despite those glaring major issues with two of Japan’s finest, as is evidenced by the opinions above, the Japanese brands still retain a much brighter halo of reliability and bulletproof engineering.

        I’ll admit that after having owned 3 Honda products, the last of which being as close to a lemon as possible without actually being one, I still have a tendency to rank the Japanese brands head and shoulders above the D3 brands.

        As someone mentioned above, is this a case of fool me thrice with the D3, where their past history of poor quality and reliability earn them a very harsh expectation on all their cars, whether these faults are real or imagined?

        For what it’s worth, I’m one of the Honda boys who jumped ship and bought a Ford – a Fiesta in fact, and I have heard FJ60’s comments echoed by many other owners about the problems they’ve faced, and I have no doubt that they’re real. I have yet to encounter one problem. But I don’t blame the others one bit for never buying another Ford in their lives, as at the end of the day, when the customer complains that they are not satisfied with WHATEVER about their car, the last thing they want to hear is “you’re not doing it right”.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I think Ford has gone the route of “Eco-Boosted, Power-Shifted, My-Ford-Touched SYNC-O-Cars” because they wanted to get the transaction prices 20-30% higher than in the not-too-distant past.

    And they certainly have, but they’ve opened a Pandora’s Box of trouble for themselves as well as their customers.

    (They still “offer” the basic versions of these cars, but they saddle them with unattractive wheels, basic fascias, and they don’t keep them on the lots, either – they’re just exist to keep the base price competitive.)

    So, lots of buyers actually end up with “features” that they don’t really want, and would not rather deal with, and when they have the slightest bit of trouble with them, they consider it a “problem”, because they were forced to buy a computerized defrost vent so they could get the “nice wheels” that didn’t come on the “base” model.
    It’s human nature.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Thats everywhere though. You can always fill out an order sheet, but then you forego the pile of cash on the hood or the low interest rate. I wanted a Sonata with a 5 speed a few years ago. Couldn’t find one in a 3 state search. Same for the Tucson. I had to search several dealers for a 4 cylinder though in fairness it was at the end of its model run.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      “saddle them with unattractive wheels”

      Remember the old days when you could just unbolt steel wheels and replace them with some nicer alloys of your choosing? I didn’t know Ford had started welding the wheels to the hub on the base models.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Some people prefer the factory look and OEM wheels aren’t cheap.

        I guess I’m something of a wheel snob, I wish all manufacturers offered more stand-alone wheel options.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Ford really frowns on inventory option swapping or really any modifications of any sort. While many dealers will find a way to oblige you, they can get a slap on the wrist for it when it comes warranty time.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    I will agree with the needless complexity of a touchscreen interface in a vehicle. I put a touchscreen GPS enabled headunit in my truck. It at least has a knob for volume and interfacing with the iPod, but if I had it to do all over again I would pass.

    That picture is crazy. It’s like the HAL9000 installed in my dash. “Play artist Fiona Apple please Hal. Sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that” as the oxygen is sucked out of the cabin because HAL prefers Katy Perry.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    “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.”

    Interesting, CR has historically given Toyota a free pass on new models. The Fusion has been pretty decent historically, why no free pass here?

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      This was my comment above. It’s rather inexplicable. When Toyota/Honda do a redesign, it’s assumed that it will be the same as the prior model.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        To me, their sampling data is irrelevant. It’s this clear biased double standard that ruins their credibility for me.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Didn’t CR recently STOP doing this for at least Toyota?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        khrodes, I should hope so. How could anyone put any trust to a publication that would hold different brands to different standards? The fact they did it at all shows they are capable of disseminating heavily biased information guised as fact.

        I consult with a lot of people regarding potential car purcaheses, and whenever someone opens up a CR mag to help with their choices, I tell them to throw it right in the garbage because that is what it is.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The magazine stopped doing this for redesigned Toyotas about two years ago.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Even if that MFT works perfectly (and it does for some people), the visual interface must drive even detail-oriented and/or OC graphic designers crazy. The layout looks very sloppy to this one.

    There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the alignment of the MFT buttons or the graphics or text within them. The buttons in the upper left are closer to the central crosshair than the ones in the lower left. The “Do not disturb” button is particularly cringe-inducing, as are the uncentered seat-heater icons.

    In an industry where panel gaps are closely measured and tech-savvy people point out even the slightest layout faults in the iPhone interface, MFT seems distinctly lacking in visual precision.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I will not buy any car with either a CVT or one of these double clutch automatics, I have a client who owns a transmission shop and he told me to be wary of those.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      CVTs for sure. The warranty claim rates are high on these. Dual clutches do get a lot of parts replaced, but are significantly more robust than CVTs.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Mechanics tens to be luddites, and an independent transmission shop isn’t likely to be able to fix a CVT (they’re straight replacements; there’s not enough parts in them to warrant repair) or DCTs (the opposite problem: too complex).

      It really depends on the make. Audi, Nissan and (it seems) Subaru can make a decent CVT that as good or better than an automatic. GM and Honda have had troubles.

      DSGs I’m not sure of; they haven’t been in consumer hands for long, and the marques that sell them are, well, mixed.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Agree — mechanics are very much luddites and are constantly complaining that cars are getting too complex and too electronic. You know what happens? It’s like every other industry. They learn.

        People said the same stuff about fuel injection and a variety of other things.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        2 points:

        1. DCTs are actually much less complex than a traditional automatic. You aren’t seeing many being repaired in independent shops yet because they’re still too new. Manufacturers still mostly have them on parts return programs and for the ones that are now out of warranty, they aren’t numerous enough yet to warrant the investment in tools and training.

        As a former mechanic, I resent notion they are luddites. Successful mechanics are quick to embrace and learn new technology so they can start making money off it. (There are more than you think).

        2. Nissan’s CVTs are not particularly decent. Nissan has had their own service actions to try and contain these, and the very same Jatco units in the Caliber/Compass/Patriot tend to see regular replacement.

        I can’t comment on Audi or Subaru, but Ford got into CVTs and left because of cost, and customers didn’t care for them.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        While I admittedly have no hard statistics to base this on, I get the distinct impression that CVTs and dual clutch transmissions have both been far more problematic than conventional automatics, with the exception of a few, select automakers (e.g. Subaru).

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “As a former mechanic, I resent notion they are luddites. Successful mechanics are quick to embrace and learn new technology so they can start making money off it. (There are more than you think).”

        I did say that they learn anyway. They just complain about it first.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      You can make a good argument that the “new” automatics coming out like CVTs and double clutch automatics are mostly a result of CAFE to squeeze out a miniscule more amount of MPGs across a manufacturers line up, especially since automatics dominate the US market.

      Bureaucrats like to tout that “making” auto manufacturers deliver more fuel economy saves consumers money; but call me crazy, I’d rather pay an extra $7 a month in gas and have a transmission with a proven track record than be shelling out $5,000 every 4 years for a new transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Exactly. And now we have 9 speed transmission of the automatic variety to look forward to in the near future, as well.

        Yippee! Much more (rushed to design & fabrication) complexity in exchange for extremely marginal fuel efficiency gains (and massively higher repair rates).

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I’m a Ford fan, but I do think the meme of “Ford’s reliability is poor purely because a few idiots don’t know how to use a computer touch screen” is a smoke screen for real mechanical reliability issues they are having across their lineup. They will be hiding behind that one until every single car manufacturer also has a touch screen.

    Consumer Reports is of course always attacked because they’ve had the temerity to not put the Big 3 at the top of their list for the last 25 years. I’ve heard armchair “statisticians” say their methodology sucks because their best friends cousin has never had any problems to they’re on the “take” from the japanese government.

    Still, I think Consumer Reports should be more open about this specific issue and what constitutes an actual failure and what is the result of operator ignorance.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I defend CR because I find them to be the purest in terms of incorporating honest and sound scientific sampling methodologies in their tabulation of reliability data, coupled with the fact that they have such a massive number of REGISTERED (i.e. VIN Number required to participate) vehicle owners reporting on their ownership survey (that is also very logically formatted).

      It doesn’t hurt that they don’t accept advertising from manufacturers and purchase all their tested vehicles anonymously at random dealers.

      That’s not to say they are infallible. One issue that always bothered me was when the NUMI plant was open and run jointly by GM & Toyota, and they scored the Vibe (I think it was the Vibe?) as average reliability, and its Toyota counterpart (built on the same line as the Pontiac, being the same essential vehicel) as above average.

      But I absolutely agree with you that Ford is using the MFT issue as a smokescreen to distract potential customers from what are deeper, more mechanically oriented problems with some of their vehicle core systems.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I know a woman at work who bought a used 2008 Impala LTZ with the 18″ tires who basically said the car is a piece of crap. When questioned why she said the car drifts on the highway, it has a lot of road noise and the car shakes at highway speeds over 60. I looked at her car which only has 18K miles and found one tires with 26 PSI of air(not quite enough to trigger the warning indicator)one with 40 PSI and the others had 30 and 36. The tires were also cupped and unevenly worn. I told her to take the car back to the dealer and demand new tires which shockingly they did and the car now rides smooth and quiet with no vibration and tracks perfectly.
    Point being this very same woman would have given this car a poor rating in her survey all because the previous owner never rotated the tires, the dealer never bother to check pressures and the owner never took the car out on the highway for the test drive. In her mind this car was junk when all that was needed were new tires.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I wonder how much of a percentage of customer complaints encompass these sort of driver induced problems.

      I see this frequently in software development:

      “This software is crap”

      “Why?”

      “I can’t find my candidates when searching on ‘completed candidates\'”

      “Candidate statuses can be reset, which is shown here on the candidate page. Search on candidates who have a posted result instead of or in conjunction with candidates who are completed”

      “Oh”

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      ’08 Impala with tire problems? That might be more than owner neglect.

      You should tell her to head off to an alignment shop ASAP or she might be buying tires every few months.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      It is far more often user error than people are willing to admit. Rather than take responsibility by reading the owner’s manual, people would rather blame the manufacturer.

      However, I do agree that she should get her alignment checked.

  • avatar
    Neumahn

    Ford has made a terrible mistake hitching itself to Microsoft. Had they chosen Google instead or even Apple things would be so different now. Imagine an Android dash with a Ford API for access to all the car’s features. People could then opt to use the official Ford app or they could choose from an assortment of replacement dashboards. If only…

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Yes, because I want random app developers having unaudited code that runs in my car.

      • 0 avatar
        Neumahn

        Well it would be your choice. Nobody would force you to run third party apps.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Ford wouldn’t want you to use random unaudited code in their car either, or you’ll have idiots blaming Ford instead of user error. If the code makes their car unsafe, for example by having rogue code or a virus, most people would blame it on Ford, just like they do when they decide on a whim that they don’t like touchscreens or DCTs.

        But then maybe the people who know nothing about software development are right — we should just allow any random idiot to run his/her code in our cars. iPhone apps will save the world!

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Ever heard of Blue Square?

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I would have thought Apple would be a no brainer given there rep for easy to use interfaces and well thought out designs.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    One thing noticeable about all these surveys is that they try to inflate the differences between automobiles to make it look like the difference between the worst and the first is huge, so that you think their survey is valuable. That difference is really not very big these days. Most cars are pretty damn reliable, and even the least reliable car today would probably be better than the cars of yore.

    That’s despite the fact that “check engine lights” didn’t exist before, which artificially inflates today’s total. Back in the day, your mechanic caught CEL-type problems at the next service interval because most of them don’t disable your vehicle, and some CEL-type problems didn’t even exist because they are specifically related to emissions equipment.

    That’s also despite the fact that people basically nitpick design choices, even though there may not be a problem per se.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I like consumer reports a lot. They are comprehensive. That said, they are obviously on the take from Hyundai. They rate Hyundai tops in nearly everything from 2010-2012. Having rented several of the vehicles, I can say, they are not so hot.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Another interesting point is how Chrysler products fell in their rankings, while warranty repairs are significantly down for 2012 as opposed to 2011 and earlier.

    So either new owners aren’t reporting these issues to dealers or there is a hole in the data.

    Apparently the Charger is well below average in reliability, but the 300 is recommended? When they are arguably the same car, built on the same line by the same people with most of the same options?

    I don’t buy whatever data was used to procure these results.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      You can’t paint over sample sizes with whiz-bang terminology describing how you process the data. CR is flawed as they are trying to interpret a statistically insignificant population. They do a decent job at it, but it will never be sound.

      It’s the only ticket in town. And they have identified trens that match with what I’ve seen. But they also have lagged tremendously with MFT. That or the consumer / dealer network has not been reactive what-so-ever.

      Averaging issues out via mix/take rate and volume and reporting trends doesn’t sell subscriptions. Throwing red flags does.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    After skimming through 169+ replies this consumer reports vastly reduced interest in Ford products.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    With Detroit scoring so poorly in Consumer Reports reliability, Toyota and Honda can save money by cutting the marketing budget. The buyers will just show up at Toyota and Honda dealers.

  • avatar

    I want Ford to succeed and hopefully they can fix these issues at the earliest. Out of the Det 3, Ford seems to be the best managed and the most successful. They have worked hard and I am glad it is paying off(Record 3Q profits). Superficial or not, these issues are important enough for customers that they took the time to down rate Ford vehicles. I can really empathize with customers having issues with MFT, SYNC or Dual-Clutch transmissions. Some of it has to do with what we are comfortable with. I’ve always used TomTom GPS and will be lost if I had to use a Garmin, though I consider myself tech savvy. Once when i was using her car I got so frustrated and ended up using the GPS on my droid phone. That stupid Garmin thing will not let you pick a town if you didn’t know the street you were going to. Was also very hard to cancel the current route and pick a new one. It wasn’t user friendly in any way. My wife OTH has always used Garmins and would prolly fling a TomTom out the window if she had to ever use one. Its not that any of them are flawed, its just what you are always used to. Now, these are $100 devices that can easily be replaced or in most cases returned for a full refund. Imagine being stuck with a $30,000 car that is not user friendly(for you), one that cannot be returned or replaced without a significant loss.

  • avatar

    myford touch is a pathetic effort. on my beast, it keeps warning me about a non-existent backup camera and fails to remember the usb play settings. but the best one is the “go” touch button superimposed over the scroll button when trying to enter a navigation destination. that one is just brilliant.

    however, i don’t blame ford for anything beyond the inanity of hiring micro$£op to provide the system software.

    plus the car itself (focus st) is a beast.


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