CarMD® Releases Second Annual Vehicle Health Index™ Manufacturer & Vehicle
Rankings, Unveils Year-Over-Year Comparison of Top Makes and Models on the
Offsetting surge in repair costs, data shows automotive manufacturers continue
to improve reliability
IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 13, 2012
IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --CarMD.com Corporation, a leading
provider of automotive information and products, today released the second
annual CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ Manufacturer & Vehicle Rankings and Lists,
providing the industry and consumers with the first year-over-year comparison
of makes and models with the lowest combined check engine repair incidents and
costs. Based on more than 163,000 specific repairs performed from Sept. 1,
2011 to Sept. 1, 2012, the Index encompasses approximately 136 million model
year 2002 to 2012 vehicles. The CarMD Index ranks the top 10 manufacturers,
top 100 vehicles, top three vehicles by category and most prevalent repairs by
make. Current and archived indices are available at http://corp.carmd.com.
"Sourced directly from CarMD's network of thousands of certified automotive
technicians, 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," said Art Jacobsen, vice president,
CarMD. "Unlike any other ranking or award, CarMD's Index transcends the new
car 'honeymoon' period to help car shoppers get a true picture of what to
expect as vehicles age."
Drivers can now see a list of common problems and repair costs by year, make,
model and mileage with the free online CarMD® Vehicle Health ScoreCard™ tool,
available at www.carmd.com/ScoreCard.
Top Ranked Manufacturers
According to the 2012 CarMD Vehicle Health Index, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.,
Inc., is the no. 1-ranked manufacturer in the U.S. for the second consecutive
year. Toyota earns the top spot with the lowest Index rating of 0.58, which is
an improvement from its 0.67 rating in 2011 (the lower the rating score, the
better the overall ranking). Rounding out the top five vehicle manufacturers
of 2012 are no. 2 Hyundai Motor America, no. 3 BMW USA, no. 4 Honda Motor Co.,
Inc. and no. 5 Volkswagen of America, Inc.
OverallCarMD Repair Cost Year-Over-Year Comparison
Rank Manufacturer (↑=improvement, ↓= decline)
2012 Index Rating (Parts &
1. Toyota 0.58 $490.72 ↑ rating / no change in
2. Hyundai 0.67 $271.86 ↑ rating / no change in
3. BMW 0.84 $502.48 New to Top 10
4. Honda 0.98 $466.77 ↑ rating / dropped from no.
3 in 2011
5. Volkswagen 0.99 $392.00 ↑ rating / improved from
no. 9 in 2011
6. Nissan 1.00 $366.53 ↑ rating / improved from
no. 7 in 2011
7. Kia 1.04 $320.08 ↑ rating / improved from
no. 8 in 2011
8. General Motors 1.12 $290.50 ↓ rating / dropped from no.
5 in 2011
9. Ford 1.17 $340.96 ↓ rating / dropped from no.
4 in 2011
10. Chrysler 1.23 $287.93 ↑ rating / no change in
(Top 10 vehicle manufacturers based on model year 2002-2012 vehicles needing
repairs between Sept. 1, 2011 and Sept. 1, 2012, and determined by the
manufacturers whose vehicles had the fewest percentage of repair incidents
combined with the lowest cost per repair, per number of registered vehicles on
the road. Sources: CarMD.com Corp., with vehicle population data provided by
This year's Index shows that by and large today's manufacturers continue to
improve their overall vehicle reliability demonstrated by improvements in
rating scores, with GM and Ford as exceptions. Toyota and Hyundai each held
their spots as the top two-ranked manufacturers, with Toyota's Index score
improving, helped by lower repair incidents. With the lowest average repair
cost among the top 10 manufacturers, Hyundai improved its score over last year
from 0.85 to 0.67 – achieving the exact score that earned Toyota the no. 1
spot in 2011. Since last year, domestic manufacturers dropped out of the top
five, with Ford moving from no. 4 to no. 9 and GM dropping from no. 5 to no.
8. Both GM and Ford experienced a slight drop in repair incidents, but an
increase in average repair costs. GM's average cost for check engine-related
repairs rose 18 percent from $245.27 in 2011 to $290.50 in 2012. Ford's
average repair costs increased 42 percent from $240.68 to $340.96.
Top Ranked Vehicles
Sourcing the nation's largest database of check engine-related problems and
repairs, the CarMD Index ranks and rates the reliability of a decade span of
makes and models, offering a unique resource for consumers when making new and
pre-owned car and truck purchases. The top 100 most reliable vehicles
represent the best 5 percent of vehicles from nearly 3,000 different
registered vehicle types on the road today, with the complete list available
"Thanks to on-board diagnostic technology that optimizes vehicle performance,
cars are getting more and more reliable with every succeeding generation,"
said Jacobsen. "This technology and related data mean manufacturers are more
adept at building reliable vehicles, and with diagnosing and repairing things
that do go wrong. The days of avoiding a vehicle or brand because of lesser
reliability or stigma are past. The worst car on the list today is still more
reliable than virtually any vehicle made 20 years ago."
No. 1-ranked manufacturer Toyota accounts for two of the top 10 and 18 of the
top 100 vehicles (16 Toyota and two Lexus vehicles). The no. 1- ranked 2010
Toyota Corolla has the lowest combined repair incidents and lowest average
repair costs per number of registered vehicles with the best CarMD Index
rating of 0.080. Ford has a personal best 15 vehicles in the top 100, led by
the no. 2-ranked 2008 Ford Taurus. Subaru has 11 vehicles in the top 100,
including the no. 6-ranked 2010 Subaru Forester and the no. 10-ranked 2010
Outback. Chevrolet ranks fourth among manufacturers with the most vehicles in
the top 100, with nine, led by the 2011 Chevy Impala (no. 9). Rounding out the
brands with the most vehicles in the top 100 is Honda with six overall,
including two in the top 10: the 2009 Honda Pilot (no. 4) and 2009 Accord (no.
This Index also ranks the top three vehicles by category: Compact, Minivan,
Sedan, Full-Sized SUV, Wagon/Crossover SUV, Truck and Luxury. This year marks
the first time that a manufacturer earned all three of the top spots in their
respective category, and it happened not once – but twice. Subaru swept the
Wagon/Crossover SUV category with its 2010 Forester, 2010 Outback and 2011
Forester. Ford earned all three top spots in the Truck category with its 2008
Ranger, 2009 F150 and 2008 F150.
Common Repairs by Brand/Make
Different vehicle makes often have a unique set of problems and repairs. The
CarMD Index points out common issues and associated repair costs by
manufacturer, providing a helpful resource for vehicle owners as they budget
to maintain and repair their vehicles. For instance "Replace Oxygen Sensor"
accounted for 28 percent of Mini repairs in 2012. Earlier this year, the CarMD
Vehicle Health Index revealed that the no. 1 most common repair on vehicles in
the U.S. is "replace oxygen sensor." O2 sensors measure the amount of unburned
oxygen in the exhaust and tell a car's computer when there is either too much,
or not enough fuel as compared with oxygen for ideal operation. If a faulty O2
sensor is not repaired, the car's fuel economy can drop by as much as 40
percent. Other examples: Loose or damaged gas caps account for 21 percent of
Scion repairs; "replace Ignition Control Module" accounted for 26 percent of
Saab repairs; and Subaru vehicles tended to require the replacement of their
catalytic converter(s) (22 percent).
About The CarMD Vehicle Health Index
The data for the 2012 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ Manufacturer & Vehicle
Reliability Rankings was procured from CarMD's network of thousands of
certified automotive technicians and database of more than 3 million verified
repairs. The November 2012 Index statistically analyzes repairs that apply to
roughly 136 million model year 2002 to 2012 vehicles, taking place in the U.S.
from Sept. 1, 2011 through Sept. 1, 2012. In determining the top 10
manufacturers, CarMD included those whose makes and models account for at
least 1% of the U.S. vehicle population according to R.L. Polk data, and 1% of
CarMD's data. Brands were grouped under their parent manufacturer (i.e. Lexus
and Scion under Toyota; Acura under Honda; Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Hummer,
Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn under GM; Infiniti with Nissan, etc.) For more
information, including the complete Index, methodology and archived data,
Media Contacts: Kristin Brocoff Jessica Beffa
CarMD.com Corp. Thatcher+Co.
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