By on May 21, 2009


TrueDelta has once again updated the results of its Car Reliability Survey. Based on over 10,000 responses for the first time, the new results cover owner experiences through March 31, 2009. Elsewhere, results continue to be based on an April 2008 survey. Thanks to these prompt quarterly updates, TrueDelta can provide reliability stats on new or redesigned models sooner, and then closely track cars as they age. Among the highlights: the 2009 Audi A4 has required 37 repair trips per 100 cars per year—similar to the benchmark Honda Accord. The implication: most of these cars will not require any repairs in their first year.

Among other new-for-2009 upscale sedans, the Hyundai Genesis has required 67 repair trips per 100 cars per year and the Jaguar XF has required 147. Another new 2009 model, the Ford Flex crossover, has required 38 repair trips per 100 cars per year, edging out the Honda Pilot’s 43. This reinforces Ford’s emerging reputation for first-rate product reliability. And Audi? Will the latest A4 continue to require few repairs as it ages? Time will tell. The previous A4, introduced as a 2005.5 model, remains about average in reliability. [fair disclosure: the author owns and operates the aforementioned TrueDelta website]

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20 Comments on “TrueDelta: Ford Flex and Audi A4 A-OK (So Far)...”

  • avatar

    Once “new Chrysler” is up and running, which would be a greater gamble: a German car, or an Alfa?

  • avatar

    Good to hear. I would have to imagine that this means the A5/S5 sport similar reliability.

    The updated 2.0T in the A4 has worked out a significant number of bugs from the previous version of the engine: PCV, coolant flange failures, AC compressor failures, etc. Word from people running the updated 2.0T is that it is a significant improvement in overall reliability.

    It’s possible that the Germans are starting to learn their lesson!

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    “Once “new Chrysler” is up and running …”

    We won’t need cars, because pigs will fly.

  • avatar

    My Flex has been pretty good so far, and it was a VERY early build car.

    By the same token, my S5 has also been reliable.

  • avatar

    @ Robert:

    They’d better be able to fly ’cause My Old Pig Ain’t Runnin’

  • avatar

    Of course the Flex gets high marks. When you sell a bakers dozen of them…even Ford can get that many right.

  • avatar

    Relative to conventional cars, crossovers and SUV’s are generally not quite as reliable.

    Does the Flex compare especially well to it’s class competitors?

  • avatar
    Joe O

    I have seen a ridiculous amount of A4’s with one headlight/LED strip out. I’m talking like 20% of all new A4s I see on the road (and I’m within 20 miles of about 4 dealerships in the main line area of PA, so I see ALOT).

    So I am curious about this….

  • avatar

    Ford sold 3,190 Flexes compared to 3,494 A4s by Audi.

    Seems like any statistic for an A4 would be just as valid for a Flex.

  • avatar

    2009 Audi A4 has required 37 repair trips per 100 cars per year

    Since most people only keep their cars for less than 12 months, I am sure they will find repair indecent statistics for current year model very useful.

  • avatar
    Brendon from Canada

    @drifter – the data is significantly more valuable the the JDPower initial quality reports…

    And if you are comparing year over year and want a new car, it at least gives you something to go by.

  • avatar

    Since they share so many parts, the handful of A5s in the survey are also in the A4 sample.

    Joe O: This does include only completed repairs. If A4s are havings issues with the headlights, these will start showing up when people have them fixed. Thanks for the heads-up.

    IGB: Crossovers do usually have higher repair rates, but the difference is not huge. The 2009s I have data for–Ford’s Flex, GM’s Lambdas, and the Honda Pilot–are all close.

    I’m hesitant to make much of the repair frequency for the 2009 Lambdas, because the 2008s started out with few repairs, but recently have required as many as the 2007s…

    With Fords, I haven’t seen such increases as the cars age, so I have more faith that the Flex’s repair frequency will remain fairly low.

  • avatar


    It is what it is. On the results pages we show the average odometer reading, so it’s clear how old the cars in question are.

    Best we can do is closely track the cars as they age, which we do with prompt quarterly updates.

    Want at least a year of data? Two? Then there’s no choice but to wait–the wait will just be up to 15 months shorter than if you rely on other sources.

  • avatar


    Thanks for posting these results. We participate in your surveys with our two vehicles (Accord and Focus).

    Interestingly, I’m not seeing a big disparity between your results and those of Consumer Reports.

    Honda and Toyota are still consistently the best; Ford is the best of the domestics and closing the gap between it and the top scorers; the new Chevrolet Malibu is scoring well, but GM quality is still somewhat uneven; and some German marques still have problems but others are improving.

  • avatar

    Joe O: What is the situation you see the Audi LED strip out? I think this may not be “out” as you imagine…
    I’ve seen this also, but as far as I understand, on certain models with LED “light strip” DRL’s the LED’s will intentionally temporarily turn off on one side if that side’s turn signal is on. (I believe it may only also happen below certain speeds? not sure…)
    This is so that oncoming traffic can identify the turn signal easier, which may be difficult otherwise with the rather bright LED “light strip” on certain Audi’s.
    It does appear strange to see only one side’s LED’s on, but I guess what most people are noticing is actually intentional, not a reliability fault.

  • avatar

    P71_CrownVic Dude, why the hate for Ford, its getting really old. I have never read a positive comment from you. What are you, a cranky old Ford retiree? Did they sell you a lemon in 1975 i.e. a full lux Grenada?

    I like Ford, I think they are a forward thinking company with a good, and getting better, vehicle mix, they are on par with the imports for quality and they are an American company we should support and root for.

    Just my opinion, not a flame….

  • avatar
    Mike Kelley

    Consumer Reports loves the Ford Fusion’s great reliability. It has been as good as the long-lasting Toyota Camry and Honda Accord since its introduction.

  • avatar

    Audis are pretty popular around here (9 dealers in the metro area) and I’ve never seen one with an LED daytime running light out that didn’t also have its turn signal on. Including on my own beloved A3:-)

    To be honest tho, it had occurred to me before that, when I’m turning, oncoming drivers probably think my lights are broken.

  • avatar

    There’s apparently a mod that can be done (dealer might be able to do it, not sure) that makes the LED lights stay on permanently, even when the turn signals are on.

    Audi does seem to be getting their quality act together. I hope the trend continues, as Audi dominates the industry in just about everything else.

  • avatar

    Good news I guess … my A4 Avant is on the boat :)

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