Posts By: Michael Karesh

By on March 14, 2014

Warranty claims paid

From time to time someone comes to me with a great idea: instead of surveying car owners to get TrueDelta’s reliability stats, why not use warranty claims data? The reason why not: manufacturers consider such data to be highly proprietary. So when I heard that the auto industry’s “first OEM warranty and recall study” was going to be presented at a Society of Automotive Analysts meeting, I was intrigued. Had someone gotten their hands on this data? What were they able to learn from it?

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By on February 20, 2014

Tesla brown front quarter
TrueDelta has updated its car reliability stats to cover all of 2013, making them about eight months ahead of other sources. A new set of statistics includes only powertrain and chassis repairs—the systems needed for a car to be drivable. Stats for electric vehicles, including the Tesla Model S, are especially noteworthy with this update.

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By on September 16, 2013

FR-S engine

Car reliability has improved dramatically since the 1990s, much less the dreadful 1970s and 1980s. But is it yet safe to buy a redesigned car in its first model year? Or do early buyers still serve as unpaid beta testers?

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By on March 4, 2013

It’s an Audi, what do you expect?

TrueDelta recently updated the stats from its Car Reliability Survey to include all of 2012. Unless the car in question is a 2010 model (covered by J.D. Power’s VDS), statistics that indicate how it has been holding up since last April aren’t available anywhere else. Put another way, we’re currently eight months ahead of the folks with the new auto issue.

Among fairly new cars, so few received red “sad faces” (for an especially high reported repair frequency) this time around that we can cover them all here.

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By on February 14, 2013

I started contributing car reviews to TTAC back in 2006. Today’s is my last. But which car should I cover in my final TTAC review?

By on January 29, 2013

As car enthusiasts, we’re obligated to despise the Cadillac XTS. A decade ago the marque seemed on the path to glory with exclusive rear-wheel-drive platforms. Now we get this front-driver that shares its architecture not only with a Buick but also with a mere Chevy. Such backsliding mustn’t be condoned, much less rewarded. Unfortunately for […]

By on January 21, 2013

My daughter’s favorite flavor of Slurpee is all of them—in the same cup. To her, it’s more exciting to combine all available options than to pick one and roll with it. If you’re the same way, you’ll find the 2013 Mercedes-Benz E550 4Matic a very exciting car.

By on January 15, 2013

GM’s new large pickups might be locked up at NAIAS, but they were wide open at the launch event I attended last month. The event included three presentations: one of both trucks together, then one each from the two marketing teams explaining how their truck was different…by saying pretty much the same thing. Both Chevrolet and GMC truck buyers have perfectly organized garages where you can eat off the floor. People with messy, disorganized garages must buy someone else’s truck.

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By on January 11, 2013

I wavered on whether to request a Malibu 2.0T from Chevrolet. My review of the 2013 Malibu in Eco form allegedly helped make it “the most disliked car of the year,” and I’m not one to shoot fish in a barrel. But I did allow that the upcoming conventional engines could make for a better […]

By on January 3, 2013

We’re all familiar with the Mercedes-Benz GLK, from its new-for-2010-looks-like-2002 exterior to its “they want how much for this?” interior. But the fourth model year is MCE time. Mid-cycle, has Stuttgart enhanced its compact crossover enough that previous rejecters should reconsider it?

By on December 21, 2012

“So, which is the better car, the new Honda Accord or the new Ford Fusion?” By now, anyone known to friends and family as a “car guy” has been asked this question at least a few times. Let’s ask it again.

By on December 7, 2012

Take the iconic Volkswagen GTI. Add a larger turbo to the 2.0-liter engine to bump the official horsepower rating from 200 to 256. Add all-wheel-drive to mitigate torque steer. The resulting Golf R ought to be hot hatch nirvana. Jack Baruth found something else. But he drove a Euro-spec car. Perhaps VW performed some beneficial […]

By on November 30, 2012

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.

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By on November 30, 2012

For years General Motors fought a rearguard action, asserting that its relatively big cam-in-block engines were at least as good as the “high tech” DOHC mills offered by “the Japanese.” Led by the buff books, freethinking pistonheads knew better. More power from a smaller displacement engine clearly indicated higher intelligence. Honda, smartest of all, extracted […]

By on November 20, 2012

It’s the perfect day and the perfect road for a brisk mountain drive in the siena red Z3. For the last time this year it’s easily warm enough to put the top down—in a little over a week the remnants of Hurricane Sandy will bury the area in snow. WV15 winds tightly along a mountain […]

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