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Reliability woes for older German cars - News

GERMAN car reliability may not be as good as many believe according to Warranty Direct, who have found that older examples of Audi, BMW and Volkswagen models have some of the least reliable engines.

The firm studied data from 50,000 live consumer warranty policies which 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, while the MINI finished a disappointing third from bottom. BMW and Volkswagen featured seventh and ninth from bottom respectively.  

At the top end of the table, Japanese makers took the plaudits with Honda and Toyota proving to be the manufacturers with the most reliable power units, while Mercedes-Benz restored some German honour by proving to have the third most reliable engines.

Engine repairs can be some of the most expensive to hit a driver and, amongst 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. At the opposite end of the scale, just one in every 345 Honda owners had a problem with their power unit.

The study of engine repairs also highlighted huge potential costs for motorists. An engine failure on a Range Rover Vogue recently led to Warranty Direct’s highest ever claim - £12,998.46 - while one dealer quoted £14,853.60 to repair an engine on a Range Rover Sport after it failed catastrophically.

Warranty Direct Managing Director Duncan McClure Fisher said of the study: “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.”

Author: David Whinyates
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