Back in April I reported on the first part of the 2013 CarMD Vehicle Health Index which centered on the types of failures that cause check engine lights to deploy. The information released by CarMD in November zero’s in on the types of vehicles involved and is called their Manufacturer and Vehicle Rankings.
Methodology- For a month in the fall of 2013 analysts at CarMD went through over 152,000 repairs involving check engine lights which were uploaded to the company by their network of ASE certified technicians. Unlike the report released earlier this year, special attention was paid to the offending car brands and models. The result was the 2013 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ Manufacturer & Vehicle Rankings. The complete index formulation procedure is available.
Hyundai # 1- While only two Hyundai models (2010 Elantra and 2010 Santa Fe) appear on CarMD’s top three models by class and the brand’s overall rating actually rose from .67 to .80 (lower is better), Hyundai assumed the number one position by default as Toyota’s rating worsened. Toyota’s ranking was adversely affected by its above average repair costs. Three of Toyota’s models still placed in the top four rankings by model including the number one 2012 Toyota Camry.
Repair costs- Average repair costs may strengthen the idea that General Motors is back, since the Detroit based car maker’s models generated an average repair cost of just over $300, which was the lowest cited by CarMD. However, GM’s incidence of check engine light deployment (28.75%) kept the reborn manufacturer form seriously challenging number one Hyundai. When the best rated 100 vehicles are considered, the highest average repair costs were registered by the 2010 Ford Edge ($896) and the lowest by the 2010 Nissan Murano ($21.40).
Common failure by manufacturer- It could be called the “Achilles Heel” affect. It is the propensity for the components of specific makes and models to repeatedly fail. This is no doubt the result of engineering shortfalls and is the reason there are Technical Service Bulletins and Recalls. CarMD findings reflect this phenomenon. For example, Toyota’s number one reported failure was the catalytic converter with a total cost of $1305.72 while Hyundai’s was the Oxygen Sensor costing $241.89. This, of course, is a major part of the reason Toyota was dethroned by Hyundai.
Using this data- Think of a vehicle’s repair history as the big picture and the information that is provided by CarMD as a snapshot and there are number of reasons you should this. Remember that this information is year, make and model specific, so don’t expect your 2012 Ford Edge to destroy your budget because the 2010 model had issues. The car makers are pretty good at upgrading parts to resolve problems.
It is also very important to understand that this study only considers check engine light related failures. There are plenty of needed repairs, many, of which, are quite expensive, that will not trigger the check engine light. Some of these are fluid leaks, steering and suspension problems and in most cases brake issues. So use this information as only one tool as you consider when to buy or dispose of a vehicle.
2013 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ Manufacturer & Vehicle Rankings