Ford falls in Consumer Reports' reliability survey

Ford has been marred with some pretty major issues lately, the latest being a new preliminary investigation by the NHTSA over reports of 2000 to 2003 Taurus and Mercury Sables experiencing sticking throttles. This investigation follows one initiated earlier this year into reports of sticky throttles in 2001 through 2006 Taurus and Sables. Now the company has taken another blow, falling from its high position in Consumer Reports' reliability rankings to the bottom rungs of the proverbial ladder.

Three years ago, Ford was the only domestic automaker reported by Consumer Reports as having "world class reliability." This no doubt makes it more painful for Ford in its drop to 27th position, outranking only Tata's Jaguar. Lincoln came in at 26th. Despite the recent problems with throttles, the majority of the negative feedback that harmed the company's ranking revolved around problems with MyFord Touch/MyLincoln Touch and the Sync system, which allows drivers to go hands-free. Also cited were issues with poor shifting.

Said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of auto testing: "Without MyFord Touch they would do a lot better. But they did have other issues, growing pains with new models." According to a Ford spokesman, changes have been implemented with MyFord Touch and the Powershift transmission that reflect positively in customer surveys, but that were not reflected in the Consumer Reports' findings.

Japanese manufacturers ended up dominating this year's survey, while no domestic models made it into the top ten. Chrysler also had a bad year, with Jeep falling six places to 19th. Said Chrysler quality chief Doug Betts, "We do know that our warranty claim data was 25% better for 2012 model year than 2011 model year, so we had expected this survey to show improvement."

[via Detroit Free Press]