New technology that makes cars easier to drive, more fuel efficient, and better connected could also be the reasons why new cars are less reliable than they’ve been in the past.
It wasn’t that long ago when a car buyer could take home a sedan with a 5-speed manual transmission, a CD player, a steering wheel, a basic 4-cylinder motor, and air conditioning. Cars like that could be driven for decades with minimal problems. Heck, Toyota and Honda built their businesses on those cars and still benefit from that reputation for reliability.
Things are changing, though. As cars become more advanced, their reliability is decreasing.
The Consumer Reports annual auto reliability survey was released this week, and Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for the magazine, says reliability is hurting. He said to NBC News,
“It is really the new technology that is being added to the new vehicles that has really been the problem.”
The same article continued,
This year, Fisher says, vehicle owners continue to be frustrated with new systems that are filled with bugs and glitches. In particular, new transmissions designed to improve the performance of new models are often delivering an inconsistent ride for drivers. Fisher says these technologies have more than their fair share of problems.
Toyota has escaped the troubles for the most part and has, once again, landed in the number-one spot for reliability. Its luxury brand, Lexus, took the second spot, while Kia cracked the top three for the first time in its history.
Ram, GMC, and Cadillac took the bottom three positions. All three, the GM brands in particular, are moving quickly to incorporate new technology, and the speed is hurting reliability. The top-ranked brands are incorporating new tech at a more methodical pace, thus having fewer bugs surface for the consumer.
It has to make a buyer wonder if all the extra technology is worth it, or if we’d go back to the old days of simplicity if we could.
What kind of vehicle do you own, and has it been a reliable ride?
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