Even though Ford is known for producing reliable and dependable automobiles, Consumer Reports' 2011 annual survey has shown that three of the Detroit-based company's newest models have suffered quality wise. Japanese manufacturers however have performed well, capturing nine out of the top 10 places.
Compared to 2010, Ford fell 10 places in the survey after the new Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus all recorded below-average reliability in their first year. Ford's slip to number 20 was the biggest drop for any manufacturer in the survey. According to Consumer Reports, the drop in reliability could be attributed to its new MyFord Touch infotainment system and a new automated-manual transmission.
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It wasn't all bad news for US-based manufacturers however, as Chrysler performed well and showed the most improvement out of any company. The new Chrysler 200 and the redesigned Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee all performed amicably.
Japanese brands continued to dominate with Scion, Lexus, Acura, Mazda, Honda and Toyota leading the way. A staggering 96 percent of Japanese models were rated average or better in predicted reliability, with 24 of these earning Consumer Reports' highest rating.
European automaker's were decidedly inconsistent, but Volvo did manage to place 10th overall. BMW's new X3 did well but its luxury 5 series sedan alongside Mercedes-Benz's flagship S-Class were below average.