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Motor Mouth articles 2013

German reliability – is it a myth?

401 German reliability a myth

IS German reliability a myth? You might get the impression that their famed build quality is not quite all it’s cracked up to be if you study a few statistics.

A new report from Warranty Direct, the UK’s leading provider of direct consumer warranties, reveals that Audi, BMW and Volkswagen have some of the least reliable engines in their cars.

A study of data from 50,000 current policies showed that the only engines to have failed more often than Audis in the past year were those from the now-defunct MG Rover group, which comes as absolutely no surprise whatsoever to anyone who had the misfortune to own one.

The MINI, owned by BMW, finished third from bottom in the table, while BMW and Volkswagen featured seventh and ninth from bottom respectively. Only Mercedes-Benz upheld some German pride by coming third from top.

Other manufacturers among the worst 10 were Saab, Vauxhall, Peugeot, Renault and Mitsubishi.

At the good end of the table, Japan as usual took the plaudits as Honda and Toyota proved to be the manufacturers with the most reliable power units. After Mercedes, the other top performers were Volvo, Jaguar, Lexus, Fiat, Ford, Nissan and Land-Rover.

Among Warranty Direct’s customers, one in 13 MG Rover motors failed in the past year, while one in 27 Audi owners had issues with theirs. But just one in every 345 Honda owners experienced an engine problem.

Engine repairs tend to be among the most expensive to hit a motorist and the study also highlighted huge potential costs. An engine failure on a Range Rover Vogue recently led to Warranty Direct’s highest single claim – £12,998 – while one dealer quoted £14,853 to mend an engine on a Range Rover Sport after it failed catastrophically.

Warranty Direct managing director Duncan McClure Fisher said: “Engine failures are the biggest fear for any motorist as they’re the ones that can lead to the most astronomical costs because of the parts and hours of labour required to fix them.

“The number of failures may be low compared to areas such as axle and suspension damage but engine repairs almost always result in costs reaching the thousands for motorists who aren’t covered by a warranty.”

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