Ford Motor Company falls, Chrysler rises in reliability survey

Oct 25, 2011

Ford Motor Company fell from grace in a Consumer Reports survey this year.

The survey predicts reliability of new models, based on past performance of older versions of the cars.

Ford dropped from 10th place to 20th.

David Champion is with Consumer Reports. 

He says the MyFordTouch and MyLincoln Touch in-car communications systems work poorly.

And a new transmission in the Ford Focus and Fusion doesn’t work well, especially at parking lot speeds.

"Lots of chattering of the clutches as they tried to pick up speed backwards and forwards.  Even on the highway it had some strange shifts," Champion told a gathering of media at the Automotive Press Association in Detroit.

But Chrysler’s fortunes rose in the survey.  Chrysler rose from 27th in reliability to 15th.

Champion says the company has made reliability a top priority and it’s paying off, especially with the latest models.

 "The Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Dodge Durango and the Chrysler 200 all did well in our reliability survey even in their first year," Champion said.  "And when we see that, it gives us a good look at where a company’s going -- 'cause it’s usually a lot easier to take a vehicle that is reliable and continue that reliability than take a car that’s been unreliable and actually fix all the problems to bring it back up."

GM's GMC and Chevrolet brands stayed about the same from last year, but Cadillac and Buick both dropped six places in the ranking.  That put them near the bottom.  Only Audi, Porsche and Jaguar were rated less reliable.

The top nine spots went to Japanese carmakers, including Mazda at number 4, Honda, number 5, Toyota, number 6, Subaru, number 8, and Nissan, number 9.