Ford Stumbles in Reliability Survey

Bill McGuire
ABC News
Ford Stumbles in Reliability Survey (ABC News)

In a surprising about-face, Ford Motor Co. dropped to nearly last place in Consumer Reports auto reliability survey released today.

"Ford's bumpy road can be seen in the numbers. Sixty percent of Ford-branded models and half of Lincolns were below average in predicted reliability, and none placed above average," said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports said in a statement.

Just two years ago, more than 90 percent of Ford's vehicles rated average or better in the survey. The big drop was related to new models including the Explorer, Focus and Fiesta which had more problems than normal.

Three redesigned models with good ratings-Escape, Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ-were dropped from the survey because they were too new to have reliable data, the magazine said. So who's on top this year? Toyota and its 16 of its Scion, Toyota, and Lexus brands earned the highest rating. Its Toyota Prius C got the top score and its new hatchback Prius, the larger Prius V and Prius plug-in were rated above average.

Models from Mazda, Subaru, Honda, and Acura rounded out the top of the list. The findings are from Consumer Reports 2012 Annual Auto Survey, based on subscribers' reported experiences with 1.2 million vehicles. US automakers didn't fare as well as in years past with Ford's stumble. "Cadillac is the top U.S. brand, having moved up 14 spots this year.

"Cadillac is the top U.S. brand, having moved up 14 spots this year. Its CTS coupe was the most reliable domestic car. A number of other General Motors nameplates-Buick, Chevrolet, GMC-also moved up in the ranking. The Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car continues to have above-average reliability, and the compact Chevrolet Cruze, dismal in its first year, improved to average," the magazine said.

The full report can be found online at