Most coverage of Consumer Reports' annual car reliability survey centered on a slight decline in Toyota's rankings.
But the survey released last week also had good news for Ford Motor Co.: 41 of 44 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models scored average reliability or better. Consumer Reports won't give its coveted "recommended" check mark to vehicles that score below average.
Ford Motor's performance isn't a fluke, says David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center.
"What we've seen from Ford is a very steady, gradual increase in reliability," Champion told members of the Automotive Press Association at a briefing last week in Detroit. "That's been going on for the past five years."
Despite Ford's gains, Japanese brands still dominate the predicted-reliability ratings: The top five brands, in order, were: Honda, Acura, Scion, Subaru and Toyota.
Buick was the top-ranked domestic brand at No. 10. Mercury ranked 11th, Ford 13th and Lincoln 14th. The cellar-dweller was Land Rover, ranked 36th.