Japanese Cars “Most Reliable” Say What Car? and Warranty Direct

Posted by Stephen On Friday, July 27th, 2012

Honda gets towed

You’ve probably figured out that we like Japanese cars here at Integrity Exports. After all, we provide access to 120 used car auctions in Japan where you can buy pretty much any make and model of Japanese car you want.

So I was pleased (but not very surprised) to see this story on the BBC news website. To say the Japanese brands dominate when it comes to quality is an understatement. They pretty much own all the top spots:

  1. Honda                      10%
  2. Toyota                      17%
  3. Lexus                       18%
  4. Suzuki                      19%
  5. Subaru                     20%
  6. Hyundai                  21%
  7. Mazda                      21%
  8. Mitsubishi               21%
  9. Chevrolet                22%
  10. Nissan                     25%

The percentage you see after each brand? That’s the failure rate. This What Car? magazine / Warranty Direct survey is carried out annually using a reference pool of 50,000 vehicles of 3 to 10 years old. Warranty Direct, as it’s name suggests, has access to some pretty accurate information about breakdowns and other warranty claims.

Honda is at the top again (for the 7th consecutive year) with a 10% rate. That means that a Honda car has a 10% chance of breaking down in any particular year.

The list is dominated by the Japanese, with only Hyundai and Chevrolet getting a look in at 6th and 9th places respectively.

Chevrolet? Yes, Chevrolet. But not the Chevy of yore — monstrous steel barges with overgrown V8s. No, this is the modern Chevy. That is to say, mainly compact cars developed and built in, that’s right, Korea and Japan. So even Chevrolet does not break the Japanese / Korean stranglehold on the “most reliable” title.

The bottom of the chart? Interestingly (and disturbingly, if you embrace that ludicrous notion that money could buy you quality) it’s a lot of premium brands, such as Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes. Perhaps Lexus would be a better buy? They’re at number 3 with a failure rate of 18%.

Something to think about when buying your next used car.

Sources: The Week, What Car?

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