Certain Fords, Hondas and Volkswagens were the most dependable vehicles covered by their contracts, according to a study by the extended service contract administrator Warrantech.
Based on claims history, Warrantech said the following vehicles were the most reliable for their categories in 2009:
• Asian brands: Honda Pilot and CR-V crossovers and Civic small car.
• Domestics: Ford Ranger and F-150 pickups and Escape crossover.
• European brands: Volkswagen Beetle and Jetta and Passat sedans.
The results included several model years, said Jeanine Folz, senior vice president of insurance services at Warrantech, of Bedford, Texas.
"The more reliable vehicles require less insurance reserves. They break down less frequently, and when they do break down, they cost less to repair."
Warrantech declined to cite a specific example of the cost savings at wholesale or retail, citing proprietary data. Besides, dealerships set retail prices for the service contracts, and there are other inputs to pricing besides reliability, Folz said.