Volvo, Tesla get Consumer Reports’ dubious reliability honors

James Raia

Tesla is recalling nearly 500,000 models because of rearview mirror and trunk issues.

Consumer Reports has long been recognized for its reliability to compile and present objective information. So who’s better than the service-oriented publication to provide lists of the most reliable and least reliable automakers?

The publication’s annual reliability survey analyzed data in 17 areas from more than 500,000 vehicles. The areas for potential problems included interior wear-and-tear, transmission repairs and squeaky brakes.

Consumer Reports detailed Tesla was among the least reliable carmakers in 2018.
Consumer Reports detailed Tesla was among the least reliable carmakers in 2018.

The annual list usually has surprises and this year is no exception. Volvo was the least reliable career in this year tabulations. The reason: The Swedish-made, Chinese-owned manufactured dropped six places from last year and had an average reliability score of 22.

Volvo owners complained about three models was the S90. Its issues ranged from screen freezes and a blank display in its infotainment center as well as engine knocking or pinging. The XC60 and XC90 also suffered from “freezing” infotainment screens and climate systems issues.

Despite its innovation and outspoken owner always making in the industry spotlight, the electric sports car manufacturer is in the news for dubious reasons. It tied for the second most unreliable manufacturer designation with Cadillac.

Tesla, which dropped six positions in the survey, had a scored of 32. The Model S had a below average rating following suspension problems and door handle issue. The new Model 3 received an average reliability rating; the Model X stayed much worse than average. Model X owners are having issues with the center display screen and Falcon doors.

Here’s the list (in reverse order) of Consumer Reports’ least reliable manufacturers for 2018.

10. Lincoln
8. Dodge
8. Jeep
7. Chevrolet
6. Chrysler
5. GMC
4. Ram
2. Tesla
2. Cadillac
1. Volvo

For a detailed account of the report, read: Consumer Reports Reliability.

Article Last Updated: October 30, 2018.

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