New Car Buyers Want Reliability – Consumer Reports Says They Aren’t Getting It

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California Lemon Law Attorney

In a recent Consumer Reports survey, many new car buyers responded that worries about repairs and reliability are the biggest reasons they are not buying used vehicles.

The national survey of buyer behavior revealed that serious concerns about reliability is the biggest reason many consumers want to buy a new car. Another reported reason for favoring new over used is wanting the best and latest in safety technology.

Much of the matter comes down to the idea that a new vehicle will have fewer breakdowns, even if that is not always true, reported Ed Kim, VP of industry analysis at AutoPacific, an automotive consulting firm. He said consumers are wary of what they view as the high cost and frequency of used-car repairs.

Actually, Consumer Reports yearly reliability surveys have shown that some new vehicles are not free of reliability problems. This is especially true for vehicles in their first year of production.

For instance, in the first two model years, the Tesla Model X was rated as the least reliable vehicle in the magazine’s 2017 reliability analysis. Owners of the Tesla complained about poor air conditioning and the top hinged ‘falcon’ doors that were not reliable. Also, owners of the first-year Jaguar F-Pace SUV had major problems with the infotainment screen freezing up, as well as front differential leaks.

Many automotive experts said it is simply wrong-headed to believe that buying a new vehicle means you will not have reliability issues. Consumer Reports is able to reliably predict which new and used vehicles are going to have the most problems — and those expected to have the fewest. Their annual survey is emailed to all CR members, and the magazine typically receives responses on more than 650,000 vehicles for its reliability surveys.

What New Car Buyers Are Looking For

Drivers who are only looking for a new car told CR this year that they wanted to avoid repair problems with older cars:

  • 51% reported they liked having a new car warranty.
  • 46% said they did not want the inconvenience of having to repair a used vehicle.
  • 44% said they were worried about costs of repairing a used car.
  • 43% said they were concerned about a used car’s breaking down.

CR noted that it is vital to buy a vehicle based upon the newest data; models that were once dependable could develop problems after the newest redesign.

For instance, the Subaru Impreza until 2016 had outstanding reliability ratings. But after the redesign in 2017, reliability dropped substantially. About 20% of 2017 owners of the Impreza had problems with the rearview camera, infotainment screens freezing and phones failing to pair.

What To Do About an Unreliable New or Used Car?

As lemon law attorneys in California, Neale & Fhima wants to remind you that if you have bought a new or used vehicle with major reliability problems, you could be entitled to compensation. The California Lemon Law protects consumers from owning highly unreliable cars, trucks and SUVs that still are under the original manufacturer’s warranty. Contact one of our lemon law attorneys in Southern California today if you have a new or used car under warranty with recurring, serious reliability problems.