Ford's ranking fell because survey data revealed problems with three of Ford's newest models — the Explorer, Fiesta and Focus, Consumer Reports said.
DETROIT — Ford’s overall reliability rank sank 10 rankings to 20th in Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey while several Chrysler brands improved significantly, the popular consumer magazine said Tuesday.
Ford’s ranking fell because survey data revealed problems with three of Ford’s newest models — the Explorer, Fiesta and Focus.
“We have often found that new or revamped models have more problems in their first year than in subsequent model years. Ford’s problems illustrate why we recommend to our subscribers to hold off buying a first-year model,” David Champion, director of Consumer Reports’ automotive test center, said in a statement.
Consumer Reports said Ford continues to struggle with its MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch infotainment system as well as with its new PowerShift dual-clutch six-speed transmission on the Fiesta and Focus.
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Chrysler’s rankings, meanwhile, improved for three of its brands.
Jeep moved up seven spots to 13th, making it the most reliable domestic brand, Consumer Reports said.
The Chrysler and Dodge brands moved up 12 and three positions in ranking, respectively.
General Motors’ reliability slipped this year, the magazine said, with the ratings of some Buick and Cadillac models dropping.
The Buick LaCrosse, an all-wheel-drive version of the Buick Enclave, and the Cadillac SRX are no longer recommended, the magazine said.
On the bright side, the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car ranked as GM’s most reliable car.
Consumer Reports’ survey results are based on responses on 1.3 million vehicles owned or leased by subscribers to Consumer Reports or its website.
The magazine uses the results to predict reliability for new 2012 models.
Asian brands continue to dominate the survey, and claimed nine of the top 10 spots this year.
Scion finished first, followed by Lexus, Acura, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Infiniti, Subaru and Nissan.
Volvo is ranked 10th and is the only non-Asian brand in the top 10.
“European models continue to be a blend of reliable and not so reliable vehicles,” Consumer Reports said in a statement. “Overall, European vehicles’ reliability is slightly below that of domestic models.”