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Don't Take Consumer Reports Vehicle Reliability Scores Too Seriously Says Shopautoweek


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DETROIT--November 7, 2012-In the wake of the Consumer Reports Reliability Survey downgrading several technologically advanced vehicles, shopautoweek.com advises shoppers not to hold too much stock in the results.

“For example, the MyFord Touch voice-activated infotainment system on Ford vehicles is a mixed bag. It's new, confusing -- some parts of it are brilliant while other parts are more trouble than they are worth, but that doesn't make the vehicle unreliable.”

"The magazine confuses customer satisfaction with vehicle reliability," said Andrew Stoy, digital editor for shopautoweek.com. "The survey reports issues Consumer Reports readers have had with their vehicles, but it doesn't separate minor vehicle technology gripes from serious mechanical breakdowns."

In many cases, Consumer Reports' "Worst Model" listing is the newest or the most complex vehicle in a manufacturer's lineup, while the "Best Model" tends to be an older, more basic model.

"All the add-ons and new technology in a premium car can be confusing," said Stoy. "For example, the MyFord Touch voice-activated infotainment system on Ford vehicles is a mixed bag. It's new, confusing -- some parts of it are brilliant while other parts are more trouble than they are worth, but that doesn't make the vehicle unreliable."

Ford's new PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission feels different from most other automatic transmissions and was also considered a reliability problem by Consumer Reports.

"There isn't actually anything wrong with PowerShift, but because most consumers are unfamiliar with the feel of a dual-clutch transmission, Ford's reliability was downgraded," Stoy said. "The confusion between reliability and missed consumer expectations in a survey of this magnitude is a problem for car shoppers and automotive brands alike. The truth is, cars have come a long way and no matter what brand you purchase today, your car will likely be reliable."