In the recently released 2006 Annual Car Reliability Survey by Consumer Reports, seven models from Mercedes-Benz were rated as Least Reliable. The last generation S-Class, CLS, E-Class, SL, CLK, V6 SLK and the M-Class SUV were all ranked least reliable based on the Consumer Reports survey comprised of responses from 1.3 million of the magazine's subscribers. A Mercedes spokesperson blames the brand's poor performance on a couple of issues that include brake dust on high performance stoppers (that's part of the charm!) and problems with the company's new 7-speed transmission that have reportedly been fixed. Mercedes-Benz has certainly had quality issues the past several years that can't be denied, which may in part be blamed on its insistence of imbuing its lineup with the latest whiz-bang gadgetry that ups the complication factor exponentially. Still, many fault Consumer Reports for using an outdated and flawed survey method that doesn't accurately report the reliability of the vehicles that appear on and off its lists. Michael Karesh, a vocal Autoblog commenter and purveyor of a Consumer Reports alternative site called True Delta, has written several articles that address the most serious problems with the way Consumer Reports conducts its surveys. Despite one's opinion on the validity of what Consumer Reports reports, there's no denying the fact that the periodical holds serious sway with consumers. It's no wonder Mercedes is so miffed at the rankings it received at the hands of Consumer Reports subscribers, though the German automaker needs to recognize the part its own vehicles played in these standings.


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