How reliable is your car? Here’s the breakdown
How does Honda do it? Is there some magic reliability bullet that it fires into its cars? No, says Adrian Cole from Honda Ireland. It’s more to do with Honda’s corporate history. “Honda is an engineering company that also makes cars. Whereas it manufactures in excess of four million cars globally, it also manufactures a vast array of other automotive/ technological products totalling up over 25 million units. This creates a massive knowledge base or breath of experience within its RD division that can be leveraged to promote higher levels of reliability. Relative to others, Honda spends a higher proportion of revenue on RD; 6.5 per cent against an industry average of 3-4 per cent. The culture within the RD division promotes constant re-assessment and review resulting in a lengthy product testing regime.”
German brand lagging
Late last year, Warranty Direct, in association with UK car magazine What Car, revealed the list of brands that are the most reliable, and not surprisingly that list was also topped by a Japanese car maker, Honda again, with Toyota, Lexus, Suzuki and Subaru coming close behind. Once again, the German brands didn’t do so well, with Porsche, Opel, Audi, Mercedes and BMW all coming in the bottom half of the reliability index.
Responding to the survey, a spokesperson for Audi Ireland said: “The survey is based in the UK so isn’t reflective of our own market, where less than 0.3 per cent of Audi vehicles sold have had an engine failure that we are aware of. The survey’s statement also provided insufficient detail as to what the nature of these failures might be. We continuously monitor the market for failures and have a robust reporting mechanism through our authorised network that feeds into the development of future products.”
What Car’s editor in chief, Chas Hallett, commenting on the figures, said that “reliability is so important to motorists, especially when times are tough. Japanese car makers really do deliver on reliability and Honda is exceptionally good at this.
“What will be surprising to many is the fact that several of the more desirable brands did not fare so well regarding reliability, and the cost of their repairs are high. They need to do better.”
They will especially need to do better as Irish car buyers are now holding on to their cars for longer. During the boom years, many of us changed our cars frequently, sometimes as often as every year, meaning that build quality and reliability issues often didn’t have time to come to the surface. Now though, according to motor industry watchers Cartell.ie, Irish car owners are keeping their cars for longer, and the average age of the national fleet has crept up to eight-and-a-quarter years.