CarMD Study Ranks Top 10 Manufacturers and Vehicle Health Index

Just the Facts:
  • Toyota is the highest ranked automaker for the second year in a row. The Toyota Corolla is the highest ranked vehicle.
  • BMW, has the highest repair costs, but has a very low repair incidence rate.
  • General Motors and Ford fell from the top five to occupy the 8th and 9th positions respectively.

IRVINE, California — CarMD, a company that sells diagnostic code readers and maintains a database of vehicle trouble codes, released the results of its second annual Vehicle Health Index: 2012 Manufacturer & Vehicle Rankings.

Vehicles with the fewest percentage of repair incidents combined with the lowest cost per repair, per number of registered vehicles on the road, were calculated to determine the manufacturer rankings.

Toyota was ranked the highest for the second year in a row, followed by Hyundai, BMW, Honda, Volkswagen, Nissan, Kia, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

BMW failed to make the list last year, but jumped to the 3rd position in 2012. The German automaker had the highest average repair costs ($502.48), but made the list due to its low repair incidence rate (1.38 percent).

Volkswagen was one of the most improved brands. It jumped from 9th place in 2011 to 5th in 2012. This improvement reflects a general trend of increased reliability among all automakers.

General Motors and Ford fell from the top five last year, dropping to 8th and 9th, with Chrysler rounding out the top 10. These drops were attributed to an increased average among repair costs in GM and Ford vehicles.

"Sourced directly from CarMD's network of thousands of certified automotive technicians," said Art Jacobsen, vice president of CarMD, "This ranking of top manufacturers and vehicles provides an unbiased and unprecedented view into vehicle reliability, based on total vehicle population and real-life repairs."

The top 10 most reliable vehicles were also ranked by CarMD. The 2010 Toyota Corolla was ranked as the most reliable vehicle. The rankings, however, do not mirror the brands that appear in the top 10. For example, while BMW was ranked 3rd among the brands, no BMW model made it to the top 10 vehicles.

Subaru has two models in the top 10, the 2010 Subaru Forester and Outback, but also does not appear in the top 10 brands.

While Ford placed 9th in the rankings, the 2008 Ford Taurus is the second most reliable vehicle according to CarMD.

"Thanks to onboard diagnostic technology that optimizes vehicle performance, cars are getting more and more reliable with every succeeding generation," said Jacobsen.

Edmunds says: Reliability among all brands is getting better every year, but repair costs are rising too.

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