CarMD has released its third annual Vehicle Health Index, which for the 2013 tracked the frequency and cost of repairs for "check engine" problems of 119-million vehicles built between the 2003 and 2013 model years. For the first two years of the index, Toyota ranked at the top of the list, but this year's results see Hyundai moved to number one, pushing Toyota down a spot.

The Korean automaker's rise to the top has been "fueled by its low repair frequency," according to CarMD. Toyota is second to Hyundai in lowest repair frequency, but Toyotas also have the highest average cost of repair. (Interestingly, General Motors vehicles have the lowest average.) Both Toyota's and Hyundai's manufacturer "health" ratings suffered this year, but Toyota took a bigger hit, which also is what helped Hyundai achieve the top ranking.

While Hyundai is the top manufacturer in the index, the 2012 Toyota Camry is the top vehicle. The best-ranking Hyundai was the 2010 Elantra (behind three Nissan models and four Toyotas), which took the number eight spot. Hyundai has six other vehicles in the top 100.

The top-ten manufacturers with the best overall vehicle "health" rankings are Hyundai (No. 1), Toyota (No. 2), GM (No. 3), Chrysler (No. 4), Honda (No. 5), Ford (No. 6), Nissan (No. 7), Kia (No. 8), Volkswagen (No. 9) and Mitsubishi (No. 10).

Check out CarMD's study (Warning: PDF file) to check out all sorts of data related to car health – there's a ton of information to peruse.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      w4msp2
      • 1 Year Ago
      buy a subru legancy trouble free ,mine is 3 years old never had a problem, wait till you try to sell a Hyundai you will take a loss.
        NightFlight
        • 1 Year Ago
        @w4msp2
        It isn't 2002 anymore, you might want to do some research.
        Jeff Gilleran
        • 1 Year Ago
        @w4msp2
        While the Legacy is a good car, Hyundai (as mentioned) is not 2002. Hyundai has been working hard to improve image, and quality. Alot like Honda was doing in the 1980's. Resale value of the typical Hyundai has been increasing steadily for years. More and more people are viewing Honda and Toyota as equals to Hyundai, but now they are starting to pass them. Hyundai also offers the best Warranty in the business, pressing the consumer to judge for themselves how much improved they are now.
          john96xlt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jeff Gilleran
          "'Alot' like Honda was doing in the 1980's." Are you kidding me? Some of us are old enough to remember the 1980s, Honda was some of the best out there in terms of quality and reliability. They weren't perfect, but they were excellent for their time.
        Cruising
        • 1 Year Ago
        @w4msp2
        I heard about people like you from Regular Car Reviews. Preaching the superior reliability of Subaru when in fact the reliability is about average with the rest of the car companies. I won't argue with you about the reliability because of the threatening tactics sometimes used by owners to push the agenda.
          brandon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          Subies aren't the most reliable, but they are easy to work on. And they are usually cheap to get used parts for. New.....That's another story. Speaking as an owner of a 2005 LGT and 04 FXT. The FXT has needed a wheel bearing, radiator, axle, fuel sending unit, one trans cooler line, and a trans because of the line that went bad. The LGT has needed a wheel bearing, and uppipe(cracked around the weld). And probably a new trans in the near future as 5th grinds about everytime I shift to unless it leave the clutch in for several seconds. My buddies 06 WRX needed a trans @ 90k and looks like the rings are shot now(major oil consumption). The FXT is about 130k, and LGT is about 135k. I do still like my cars though. Just lot's of issues.
          brandon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          I will say this, I would like to build both the major components (engine and tranny) to be built proof. Then I would keep my LGT as my daily no matter what else I ever buy.
          brandon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          Bullet, sorry.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow. How did VW make that list?
        rdchappell
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Because they aren't as bad as any anecdotes you've heard may suggest?
        Matt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        VW had three major issues like a decade ago: coil packs, window motors, and fuel pump (which effected every automaker using Bosch HPFPs; BMW, Merc, etc). All 3 have been long since resolved, and current VWs are more reliable than average. Get with the times; now Hondas and Toyotas are recall magnets, Hyundai and VW are pretty reliable.
        flychinook
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Power windows falling into the doors doesn't result in a check engine light. ;)
        aquaticko
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        It's just one car, but my mother has had an '06 Passat 2.0t manual for 7 years, and doing nothing more than follow the scheduled maintenance routine, she's had no significant issues of any kind. Hasn't even replaced the clutch after nearly 100k miles.
      PICKLEBOY
      • 1 Year Ago
      Makes sense that Toyota would have a higher repair cost. Economically, since they generally have less issues with their cars, they have less people coming into the dealers needing repairs when compared to GM, so they have to charge more for the repair. While GM may have lower repair costs they probably have more people coming in for repairs since their vehicles aren't as reliable when compared to toyota
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PICKLEBOY
        toyota has less repair because they are using old technology, while the otherswill more likely have repairs as their tech is much newer.
          brandon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          Old tech compared to what? A pushrod motor? Wtf are you talking about? I would say if anyone is really pushing the enevlope for tech it would be M-B, Audi, Honda, and to a lesser extent Ford.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          @ brandon, what is new about toyota, the corolla is a carry over platform and the engine and the CVt is not new it is in japan for along time, the Rav4 is a carry over engine with platform. look at the other japaneese, mazda new platform and engine, nissan new platform, the engine maybe a carry over, but the CVT transmission is new, honda new DI engines, subaru carry over engine, new transmission and platform.
          john96xlt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          GM doesn't have a old tech 4-speed automatic in it's compact Cruze, as does Toyota's Corolla, despite it being an older design overall.
          brandon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          Also, using your logic, GM should be the highest on the list.
          animekyoto89
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          baloney..........
      brian peters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Never been a fan of Hyundai but they have been making great strides. Was disappointed in Ford's showing but this is the last 10 years so as some of those old models drop off hey should improve. We do have to remember though "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." So spin away!!
      c_lapap
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good thing, because Hyundai customers are extremely cheap. Part of the reason why you go out and buy the cheapest new car you can find in it's segment.
      al4gg10
      • 1 Year Ago
      While a nice interior is a good reason to Buy a car for some .... its Not The Thing that will determine if I Buy A car or not. With Hyundai cars driving one has never been high on my list. I prefer cars that handle well & have solid shifting manual transmissions .... so you know that is where Hyundai is weak at Best. They simply don't know how to make a sporty car. See the Genesis Coupe / Veloster / old Tiboron for examples. Their manual transmissions are notchy / clutches feel vague. My brother got to have a new Hyundai every 2 weeks to promote the brand in his job .... 2 years ago & the interiors were done up very well. He even got a 4 door Genesis which again was nice but still none of the cars were "sporty". Car MD never had a check engine light go On for lack of Drivability ! If there was one for that every model would be having the " Check Engine ... or Lack Of One Go On " !
      davebo357
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm surprised Kia is so far off from Hyundai if it's just based on check engine lights and they're all using the same engines.
        Cool Disco Dan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @davebo357
        Check engine lights don't just light up for engine errors. If you have a gas cap thats not on your check engine light might go on like it does in my Nissan.
      Jeff Gilleran
      • 1 Year Ago
      @john96xlt "'Alot' like Honda was doing in the 1980's." Are you kidding me? Some of us are old enough to remember the 1980s" I have owned several Honda's from the 1980s, and totally agree with your assessment. Honda built some great cars. I think the 90s were the best built, but that's just me. I'm old enough to see the growth of the company first hand and most of that growth exploded in the mid 1980s growing up as a teen back then. I'm a serious automotive enthusiast and have been since I was about 4. (I was born in 1971). Hyundai is doing exactly what Honda did at that time, in the new millennium. Quality is WAY better than it was prior to 2001! So improvements have been steady for more than a decade, and the proof is in the numbers. When a company offers a strong warranty, they want people to notice that, "hey, we make some pretty good cars" and want people to feel comfortable enough to try a Hyundai. Hyundai is not anything like they once were. They have come a long way from the crap they were making in the late 80's and into the late 1990s. I can safely say, that the Koreans are giving the Japanese a run for their money isn't a joke. Its really happening and I hope it continues. More competition means better products from all manufacturers. At least.. one would hope quality sticks. LOL
        john96xlt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jeff Gilleran
        You're not disagreeing with me or making a point at all, you're just rambling on about how Hyundai is better now than it was in 2001. So? So is Ford, so is General Motors, so is Fiat, so is Renault, so are a lot of companies.
          Jeff Gilleran
          • 1 Year Ago
          @john96xlt
          My point is that you were "rambling" on about how fanboys are only using an excuse under the banner of "supplier defects" for so long and I felt you were specifically attacking Hyundai. Maybe I'm assuming and incorrect. And my point was indeed in several of my posts that suggest that other companies besides Hyundai are dealing with the same issues. I also said "competition" is good.. Meaning more than just Hyundai. That should have been gleaned from my posts as well.
      Walt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not a realistic index. Neither Hyundai or Toyota sell trucks - namely work trucks, trucks that are on the job every day making a living for their owners. Vehicles that work for a living are going to have a higher repair frequency, grocery getters and mall cruisers - not so much.
        Flo Hendry
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Walt
        Ah, never see an Hyundai big rig? Look again... http://worldwide.hyundai.com/WW/Showroom/Commercial/Truck/HD45/PIP/index.html
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