TrueDelta has updated the stats from its Car Reliability Survey to cover through the end of September, 2012.
Elsewhere you’ll read that, for the 2013 Mazda CX-5, “first year reliability has been well above average.” We can’t tell you how the CX-5 performed during its first year, since the first few cars only arrived at dealers late last February (less than two months before that other survey was conducted). We can tell you that, in the seven months after the first Mazdas were delivered, few of them required repairs. Same conclusion, just an average of 3.5 months of data per car instead of a couple of weeks.
We came within a response or two of having a full result for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ sports cars. Through the end of September they were looking better than average. But enough owners have recently reported problems with tail light condensation and a chirping fuel pump (the latter probably experienced in our press fleet pre-production car) that their score will worsen with future updates. If no further problems creep up they’ll have middling-to-poor scores for a few quarters, after which they could regain a better-than-average stat.
Among 2012s, the designed-for-Americans Volkswagen Jetta and Passat have improved enough that they’re now about average. Earlier problems largely involved trim and rattles. Meanwhile, the FIAT 500 has worsened in recent months, with no clear common problem. So far this has only taken it from better than average to about average, but if the recent repair frequency continues they’ll fall below average.
Continuing our review of new-for-2012 designs, we’ve yet to have a single repair reported for the Honda CR-V, with 47 owners participating. The redesigned Honda Civic, Hyundai Accent, and Subaru Impreza have been nearly as flaw-free. The Toyota Camry and Hyundai Veloster have required repairs a little more often, but are also clearly better than average. More of a surprise: the all-new Audi A6 and A7 have been as glitch-free as the Camry and Veloster.
In the next grouping, the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Sonic are both about average. Finally, no 2012s for which we have at least 25 responses are substantially worse than average.
For a “sad face” (worse than average score) you’ll have to go back to the 2011 model year, where you’ll find two, for the Infiniti M (experiencing the sort of glitches people normally expect from Audis) and the MINI Cooper (common problem with the thermostat). With first-year common problems with the air suspension and panoramic sunroof now behind it, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has improved to about average.
You’ll find far more sad faces among older cars, especially European ones.
To check out the stats for other models and years, and to sign up to help with the survey:
Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta.com, an online source of car reliability and pricing information.