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Real World FCA Reliability: UK

by David Zatz on

In the United States, car reliability figures generally come from surveys, such as Consumer Reports, J.D. Power indexes, and TrueDelta.com. Some of the problems of using surveys are listed in Allpar’s article on problems of Consumer Reports survey methods.

In the United Kingdom, Warranty Direct, which has 50,000 policies, can provide actual repair data. This is similar to a past list from WhatCar? which used leasing agency repair data, years ago, to sort through reliability. They ignore customer complains about the nature of the car, e.g. how hard it is to put on a Wrangler soft-top.

Wrangler-RocksStar-1-Web

The British versions of most cars are different from the American versions, making direct comparisons difficult. Diesels are far more popular, and even Chrysler and Jeep cars have them, but there may still be lessons to be learned.

In the latest results, Honda came out #1 in the reliability index, which takes into account frequency of repair as well as the average cost of the repair. Daihatsu and Suzuki were very close behind, followed (with a gap) by Toyota. Then, after another gap, came Chevrolet (#5), leading a grouping including Mazda, Ford, Lexus, Skoda, Hyundai, Subaru, Nissan, Daewoo, Peugeot, and Fiat before the next break.

Fiat was #15 in the list, rated “good.”  Chrysler was between Mercedes (#32) and Audi (#34), but still rated on the “good” side. Jeep came in at #35, one ahead of Alfa Romeo at #36.

Jeep-2007-Liberty-Web

The reliability index then takes a large jump from “good” to the middle of the range with #37, Land Rover, and Porsche, at #38.

The list was anchored by Bentley, at #39, with a reliability index nearly double that of Porsche (higher is worse). Bentley most likely kept Chrysler, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo from being rated as “bad.”

The results are different from most American surveys, which show Fiat as being worse than any Chrysler brands. The flaw of relying too heavily on WarrantyDirect’s figures is that they cover older vehicles; the Jeep Cherokee is in fact the Liberty version, for example.

While this index is good at showing the long-term reliability of different cars, it is also covering a period when Chrysler was having severe cost-cutting and when its quality was at a period nadir. Thanks, “romalerig.”

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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