Auto News for Oct. 28


Consumer Reports is out with its annual reliability survey and the top ten finishers look familiar.











Buick, as you can see, was the top finisher among the Detroit three. Lincoln came in 15th, Cadillac 18th, GMC 19th, Chevrolet 21st, Chrysler 22nd, Ford 23rd, with the bottom four rungs going to Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Fiat.

CR said multi-function, cross-linked infotainment systems and associated in-car electronics are a growing reliability plague for many brands. The big problems are unresponsive touch screens, reluctance to pair phones and multi-use controllers that don’t function properly.

The worst offender, the magazine said, was the Intouch system in the new Infiniti Q50 sedan where more than one in five owners reported a problem. That, combined with the poor reliability performance of the QX60 SUV dropped Infiniti’s reliability rank 14 points to 20th overall, the biggest decline of any brand in this year’s survey.

It said Ford and Honda are among the brands finding ways to alleviate infotainment problems.

Buick was a big winner moving from 16th place last year to 6th this year with all six models scoring average or better reliability.

Detroit’s small and compact cars did not do well with the Chevy Sonic and Cruze, Ford Fiesta and Focus and the turbo version of the Dodge Dart all well below average reliability.

CR said the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks show “a lot of teething pains” with the GMC falling ten places in the survey. The Ram pickup also faltered contributing to the nameplate’s seven place slide to 26th.

Mercedes was the only European brand to decline significantly dragged down 11 places by the new introduced CLA sedan and the redesigned S-Class. Yet the E-Class V6 sedan and the GLK SUV both scored above average.

Those seeking still further information should refer to CR’s annual auto issue that will be on newsstands on Thursday.

Honda has lowered its earnings forecast for the year, but also reported a nearly 18 percent gain in quarterly earnings. It cited slower sales in Japan and China as the reason for the reduced forecast. Honda sold fewer motorcycles here in the U.S. during the quarter.

GM will announce today that production of the electric drive for the second generation Chevy Volt will be moved from Mexico to the company’s Warren Transmission plant in Michigan. It will invest $240-million in the plant to make the change.

Mazda says its new compact CX-3 crossover will make its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month. Mazda is saying little about the new model that is expected to be based on the subcompact Mazda2.





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