Think German cars are reliable? Think Again!

Posted on: Jan 21, 2013 - 9:10am IST

Americans do big engines, Italians do exquisite designs, Chinese do fake copies and the Germans, well, they make reliable cars.

Mercedes, Audi, BMW, VW emblems

‘German Engineering’ is perceived as a by-word for quality and precision engineering. Well, the perception may be a bit skewed.

A recent study was published by Warranty Direct, UK’s leading provider of direct consumer warranties, rating a list of manufacturers with the most reliable engines. The study rates major German manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Volkswagen in the bottom 10 out of a total 36 makers.

Unpredictably, the top honors were taken by the Japanese manufacturers. Honda and Toyota took the first and second place while Mercedes outperformed its fellow Germans by taking third place.

Audi performed very poorly in the study with the second worst failure rate after MG Rover. Arch rival BMW came seventh from bottom and Volkswagen came ninth from bottom.

The engine is the most complicated part of any automobile. Thus, unreliable engines can shoot your maintenance bills through the roof.

By the looks of things, Japanese philosophy of simple engineering is triumphant over the Germans’ complicated counterpart.

[Source: , Image:]

Next would you like to read more about the or more about statistics?

8 thoughts on “Think German cars are reliable? Think Again!

  1. molty says:

    European cars are unreliable, no two ways about it they are good on design but because they over engineer their products, they become unreliable essentially in countries like India but not in Europe because of the glazed infrastructure European countries have which demand less from the cars & hence all these companies seem to have no problem there, but when it comes to countries like India european cars are put to a real test & inadvertently they fail, well on most counts.

  2. IshN says:

    German cars hav solid built but not reliable engines … Infact I hav myself seen a new vw passat 2012 model just barely done 3000 km and stranded in middle of road …. Skoda octavia owned by vw had similar prob …. Volkswagen polo in India has issues with Diesel engines as they r noisy and hav turbo lag … It’s just brand image ….. Japanese cars r much reliable …. I hav been driving Honda civic 2007 model and till today it’s perfect and awsum refined car

  3. Raghu says:

    Seriously guys???

    German cars were never reliable ever. They were awesomely solid.

    Japanese cars are the most reliable. Sometimes they are bland but they are reliable.

    Reliability is the only reason why Lexus, Acura and Infiniti started eating into the sales of German luxury cars.

  4. vishal says:

    I have two issues with this report:

    1. Why is engine reliability the only factor considered while measuring a vehicle’s reliability?

    2. This is simply consumer perceptions of various brands and may or may not match laboratory tests or empirical findings on the same subject.

    That being the case, the above results are at best a reflection of how well a brand can leverage “reliability”.

  5. Ganesh says:

    Without a doubt European cars a re not very reliable and we dont need nay research to re-assure the same!

  6. during the IInd world war hitler’s army had the sposphicated weapons but the russians had simple but reliable ones …
    The rest is history…

  7. sandy says:

    And I found this “” and this “”. To add some more confusion.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author
Kaustubh Shinde

They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store.Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!