• Oct 16, 2007
UPDATE: Read Toyota's response to Consumer Reports

So you thought Consumer Reports was biased in favor of imports, did you? Tuesday's release of CR's 2007 Annual Car Reliability Survey suggests otherwise, as the Toyota Camry V6, Tundra V8 4WD and Lexus GS AWD were all bumped from the magazine's vaunted "Recommended" list for receiving below average ratings. This news also has farther reaching effects, as CR will no longer recommend new or redesigned Toyotas based solely on the automaker's past reliability, a practice for which we dinged them back in August.

Meanwhile, Ford did very well in the new survey, with 41 out of 44 of its products scoring average or better in predicted reliability. Plus, the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Ford F-150 V6 2WD were three of the only four domestic models that earned the label of "Most Reliable".

Follow the jump to find out which other brands made quality gains in the eyes of CR subscribers.

[Source: Consumer Reports]




Overall, however, Consumer Reports states on its blog that U.S. automakers still have a way to go, with 20 out of 44 models on the "Least Reliable" list belonging to domestic automakers. The European brands including Audi, BMW, Volvo, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, are seeing improvements with specific models like the Audi A3, A4 and A6; BMW 3-, 5- and 7-Series, the Volvo S60 and Porsche 911 all earning above average ratings.

Love 'em or hate 'em, disagree with their testing and survey practices or not, but there's no denying that Consumer Reports holds a lot of sway with potential car buyers. Tuesday's news will surely be felt by Toyota at some level. The company has long enjoyed an unquestioned reign of superior quality that may be coming to an end soon.

For more results from CR's survey, click the Read link below, but for the full results you'll need to be a subscriber.


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  • 179 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      So Toyota is not only replacing GM as the #1 automaker, but in making crappy cars as well. I'm not that surprized. I had a Scion tC that rattled like a tin full of screws. I took it in to get it fixed numerous times and the Toyota service department basically left the roof liner sagging and unglued. You should have seen how many pieces inside that car was put together with double stick tape!
        • 7 Years Ago
        My cousins tC has the same bubbles you are speaking of. They were there from day 1 but the dealer said there was nothing the could do but reskin the pillars and roof. His also rattles but not too bad.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why so much surprise? If you have followed the data over the last 7 to 8 years the only surprise is that it has taken so long for this conclusion to be reached. Based on the facts, not opinions, most would conclude that Toyota is not and has not had superior quality for some time.

      roar
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm think that these reliability and quality reports - whether they are Consumer Reports or anywhere else - are good resources, but they need to be considered only one part of the research. It's hard for me to believe that anyone can get decent, objective data. Another example is J.D. Power with their Initial Quality Reports, but exactly what is "Initial" and who is reporting it?

      Some people are fussy about fit and finish while others are considerably easier to please, some people are especially high on their new car, others have been burned by another brand, some people do their own maintenance rather than take it to the dealer, etc. - there are a lot of personal perception issues that are hard to overcome and will have an effect on the data. No matter how diligent the reporting organization is, there is still a distinct possibility that the data they get is tainted.

      Anyway, the thing I wanted to comment on is that I found it interesting that Consumer Reports will no longer recommend new or redesigned Toyotas based on past vehicles - I hope that is a policy that they will start to follow for all brands and that perhaps new designs could be handled as a separate study.
        • 7 Years Ago
        >>> Very nicely put, Travis. You argue a good case.
      • 7 Years Ago
      1967 Corvette, purchased from Aloha Motors in Honolulu when I got out of High School. 427/435 h.p. Engine has never been rebuilt and odometer has gone over twice. NOT for sale, ever. 1985 Corvette, 347,000 miles and heads have NEVER been off the engine. Does not smoke at all. Still my daily driver. My old man, 83 years old, still has his 1969 Camaro RS/SS 350. He claims 250,000 miles and it still smokes only the tires.
      Domestic Iron rules. Jap Crap is still Crap.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So if CR bashed Toyota, it must be biased against imports! Zomg!

      Oh wait, I forgot I don't have a chip on my shoulder and don't care. Shuts up those domestic lovers who cry wolf of prejudice though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So, Ford has reliable products but overall unattractive designs and poor showroom service.

      Kinda sucks for Mullaly and the Mullets I guess. :v
        • 7 Years Ago
        It does. Bill Ford and his minions screwed the company over big time.

        Bill Ford should have brought over a couple Euro Ford designers and had them design everything. The funny thing is, the US designers pretty much hate the Euro designers cuz they won't incorporate the three bar grille theme.

        I believe Mullaly wanted to incorporate the Euro designs into US products but the design teams threw a fit. If I were him, I would toss them all out.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As someone who has experience working with survey data with similar or larger sample sizes to CR's data, I can pretty confidently say that much of their results must be crap. While the overall results for individual models might have some statistical validity, establishing reliablity for a specific part, such as the transmission, when the average percent of problems is around 2%, is simply bad statistics. They never say what their confidence intervals (CI) are. 90%, 95%, 50%, what is it? Because, based upon the data, I'd bet that the 90% CI of their data would range on a specific part from below to above average. How do you publish results where the CI on transmissions could give you any possible result?
      • 4 Years Ago
      if they were not biased for all these years they would have not had to dump toyota. there is a biased, this move was to protect their credibility.

      in my books CR never had any. they never mentioned toyota's infamous engine sludge, or infamous frames rusting in half after a few years. they fabricated everything.

      toyota is going down, and i hope CR with them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I eagerly bought a Pontiac Vibe, "sister" vehicle of the Toyota Matrix but better looking. It is rated at the top of the list for reliability at several auto web sites. It ranks higher than the Matrix. I LOVE this Vibe. It is a dream to drive, gets 31 mpg. while only 2 months old, is very roomy and comfortable, has great visibility, no clinks or clanks thus far, and the salesman, whom I know personally told me when I went to him pursuing a purchase, that Vibes are never in the shop except for oil changes and maintenance. I have owned 5 previous Pontiacs since 1970 and ALL were reliable cars. We need to support American carmakers. Their products are good. When I took my Firebird to State Farm due to hail damage, I had 6 dings. The Hondas, Toyotas and Acuras were made with such thin, crappy steel that most of them had to have a new roof, hood and trunk lid due to hundreds of dings. The Japanese are legends in their own minds, and most Americans bought into that idea. It's crap.
      johnny
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've had my 350 Honda for 20 years. Oil changes and 1 overhaul in 20 years. It get me everywhere I need to go. across the country 10 times and back, without a problem. You can just call me old fashion, but I own it. 3.5 gallon tank I get 350 miles to the tanks.
      Not bad for 20 year old technology.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My 89 Buick Lesabre has over 310,000 miles on it, with no mechanical problems. The transmission fluid has never even been replaced. Now thats what I call reliable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cmon Toyota, give us the HILUX. You will be glad you did!!!
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