German Vehicle Reliability Improves

By Michael Karesh

If German cars had a stellar reputation for reliability, Lexus would not be where it is today. TrueDelta’s latest Car Reliability Survey results, based on owner experiences through the end of March 2010, provide some evidence that a corner has been turned, but other evidence that work remains to be done.

Two years ago the current Mercedes C-Class had a relatively trouble-free launch, and in the latest results the 2008 is better than average. Nearly three-quarters of owners haven’t had a single repair in the past year.

The redesigned-for-2010 Mercedes E-Class appears poised to go down the same path. TrueDelta’s first reliability stat for the car, 56 repair trips per 100 cars per year, is very close to the average for all 2010 cars. For an all-new car with above-average complexity this is quite good. It’s also far better than the record compiled by the make’s SUVs.

Initial stats for the new MkVI Volkswagen Golf, GTI, and Jetta SportWagen are mixed. Gas-powered 2010s barely managed an “about average” score (74, lower is better) while the diesel-powered TDIs, plagued by faulty O2 sensors, scored considerably worse than the average (143). Both scores are considerably worse than those for the 2008 and 2009 model year cars.

TrueDelta also has its first stats for the 2010 Ford Taurus. With a reported repair frequency of 73 repair trips per 100 cars per year, the redesigned sedan has, like the gas MkVI VWs, barely managed an “about average” score. The related Ford Flex and Lincoln MKS had similar scores a year ago, and have since improved. The second model year of the Flex scores a “better than average” 25.

In February TrueDelta reported a “worse than average” initial reliability statistic for the new 2010 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. Though only three months have passed, this score has improved dramatically from 94 to an “about average” 48. This suggests that GM quickly identified early glitches and rapidly implemented fixes for them.

Will the new VWs improve like the Equinox and Terrain have? With prompt quarterly updates, TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey will continue to track these and hundreds of other cars well ahead of other sources. Click here for TrueDelta’s results.  For participants in TrueDelta’s vehicle-dependability research, full results are available for free.  Guests can receive limited results for free.

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta, a vehicle reliability and pricing resource found at

Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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