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America's Top-Scoring Car Brands For Reliability

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Niall McCarthy

American nonprofit consumer organization Consumer Reports has released its annual study about the reliability of new cars sold in the U.S. and its contents make for grim reading for several automobile manufacturers, especially Tesla. The study's findings are based on customer feedback and they focus on 17 potential trouble spots on cars from the engine to the electrical system and body work. Brands with at least two vehicle models were assigned an index score on a 0-to-100 point scale and the average worked out at between 41 and 60 points.

The three car brands with the highest reliability scores are all from Japan with Mazda ranked top with 83 out of 100. Toyota came second with 74 while Lexus, its luxury vehicle brand, rounded off the top-three with 71. Buick was the first U.S. name on the list with 70 while one European brand, Porsche, was present in the top-10 with a score of 55. That was still better than its parent company Volkswagen which came third last ahead of Tesla.

A report from Reuters attributed Tesla's dire reliability ranking to quality issues present in the new Model-Y crossover. It states that "owners of the Model Y, which began production in January, have reported misaligned body panels that had to be fixed and mismatched paint including, in one case, human hair stuck in the paint". Even though the Model-Y dragged Tesla down towards the bottom of the ranking, its score was not helped by the Model S and X which were both rated "worse than average" for reliability. While quality issues are common on new vehicles, the poor scores of the S and X show that Tesla surely has work on its hands at enhancing build quality across its range. Unsurprisingly, the brands with no major changes to their lineups tended to be ranked higher for reliability.

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