CarMD® 2015 Vehicle Health Index™ Lists Hyundai as Manufacturer with Combined Fewest Check Engine Repairs, Lowest Costs

Toyota Corolla Tops list of Most Reliable Vehicles, Electric Cars Appear on Top 100 List for First Time

Dec 09, 2015, 00:15 ET from

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Corporation today released its 2015 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ Manufacturer & Vehicle Reliability Rankings of manufacturers and vehicles with the lowest combined check engine repair incidents and costs. The Index ranks the top 10 manufacturers, top 100 vehicles, top three vehicles by vehicle category and common repairs by vehicle make. This year's Index is based on more than 251,000 repairs recommended for model year 1996 to 2015 vehicles in the United States from Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2015. Current and archived indices are available at  

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"Unlike other industry reports and rankings that rely on subjective survey data, CarMD's Index is the only annual ranking that bases its findings on actual in-use vehicle failures and associated car repair costs," said Ieon C. Chen, CEO, CarMD.  "Car maintenance and repairs are a fact of life, but this data can be used in tandem with other tools and information to help car shoppers make informed decisions about the vehicles they are considering."  Chen adds that tools like the newly released CarMD® Mobile product provide insight into past, present and future vehicle health, and can help consumers plan ahead in order to reduce overall cost of ownership.

Top-Ranked Manufacturers
Returning to the top spot after a one-year hiatus, Hyundai ranks no. 1, edging out Toyota (no. 2). Rounding out the top 10 vehicle manufacturers of 2015 are no. 3 Honda, no. 4 Ford, no. 5 Chrysler, no. 6 Kia, no. 7 General Motors, no. 8 Mazda and no. 9 Nissan. Volkswagen ranks no. 10, just above BMW, which dropped off the list this year.



Average Repair Cost
(Parts & Labor)

Overall  CarMD
2015 Index Rating*

Year-Over-Year Comparison





Up from no. 2





Up from no. 3





Down from no. 1





Up from no. 5





Up from no. 6





Up from no. 7


General Motors



Down from no. 4





Up from no. 9





Down from no. 8





New to list

*The lower the Index score, the higher the reliability ranking. Top 10 vehicle manufacturers based on model year 1996-2015 vehicles needing repairs between Oct. 1, 2014 and Sept.30, 2015, and determined by the manufacturers whose vehicles had the fewest percentage of CarMD repair incidents combined with the lowest cost per repair, per number of registered vehicles on the road. Sources: Corp., with vehicle population data provided by R.L. Polk.

Hyundai, which moved from no. 2 in 2014 to this year's top ranking, has a lower than average repair cost and very low repair frequency, meaning Hyundai owners had fewer trips to the repair shop as compared with other manufacturers. Improving in rank this year are Toyota, Chrysler, Kia, Mazda and Volkswagen. Manufacturers that saw a drop in reliability ranking, according to CarMD's data, are Honda, Ford, General Motors and Nissan. GM had the largest drop from no. 4 in 2014 to no. 7 this year. However, GM boasts the two oldest vehicles on the top 100 list – the 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue (no. 62) and the 2005 Chevrolet SSR (no. 81), demonstrating that as vehicles age they can still be reliable.

Ford had the lowest average repair cost among the top manufacturers ($309), which is more than 20 percent less than the average cost to repair a check engine light-related problem in the U.S. The manufacturer with the highest overall repair cost was Nissan ($430) whose most common repair was "replace catalytic converter."

Top Ranked Vehicles
For the fifth consecutive year, the top-scoring vehicle is a Toyota, with the 2015 Corolla ranked as most reliable overall. Toyota has the most vehicles on the top 100 list with 18 overall comprised of six cars, six hybrids, four SUVs and two trucks. This marks the first year that any electric vehicle made CarMD's list of 100 most reliable vehicles. Three electric vehicles are on the list, including the 2013 Ford C-Max (no. 33), 2014 Nissan Leaf (no. 50) and 2014 Ford C-Max (no. 82). Not all electric-only vehicles have on-board diagnostic (OBD) connectors, but CarMD reports on those that do. While electric vehicles do not have emissions codes to retrieve, they can still have transmission and electrical codes, and related repairs. It is important to remember that even the 99th or 100th ranked vehicle on the list is a significant achievement, as this puts it in the top 2 percent of all vehicles being scored.

The CarMD Index also ranks the top three vehicles by category: Compact, Minivan, Sedan, Full-Sized SUV, Wagon/Crossover, Truck, Luxury and Hybrid, as well as Compact SUV and Electric – two categories that were added this year. Toyota swept this year's Hybrid category with its 2014, 2012 and 2013 Prius. Mercedes-Benz earned two of the top spots in the Luxury category with its 2011 C and E class vehicles, topped only by the 2013 Lexus ES.  Ford's C-Max ranked no. 1 and no. 3 in the Electric vehicle category with the 2014 Nissan Leaf preventing a sweep.

Common Repairs by Brand/Make
Different vehicle makes tend to have a unique set of problems. The CarMD Vehicle Health Index reveals common problems and repairs by brand, providing a resource for vehicle owners as they maintain and repair their vehicles. For instance, "replace oxygen sensor" accounted for 15 percent of Mitsubishi repairs over the past year. Earlier this year, CarMD revealed that the most common repair on vehicles in the U.S. is "replace O2 sensor," accounting for 7 percent of all check engine repairs last year. If a faulty O2 sensor is not fixed, the car's gas mileage can drop by as much as 40 percent. Other examples: "replace ignition coil" accounted for 33 percent of Lincoln's and "replace mass air flow sensor" comprised 19 percent of Porsche's check engine light-related trips to the repair shop.

The data for the 2015 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ Manufacturer & Vehicle Reliability Rankings was procured from CarMD's database of verified repair needs. The 2015 Index analyzed repairs that apply to roughly 192 million 1996 to 2015 model vehicles with OBD2 technology, recommended in the U.S. from Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 30, 2015. Scores are not necessarily indicative of future vehicle reliability as maintenance, upkeep  and new recalls can affect a vehicle's health and reliability. This year, CarMD expanded its coverage to include 1996-2015 vehicles, to ensure all vehicles with on-board diagnostics were included, and because average vehicle age is now more than 11 years old.

About CarMD
Based in Irvine, Calif., CarMD is a leading provider of on-board diagnostic (OBD2)-related data, third-party software and services, and products designed to lower the cost of vehicle ownership. CarMD's nationwide network of technicians has built the most comprehensive database of verified OBD2-related repairs and associated cost from which it draws the Vehicle Health Index™, and supports its products and services. To see the full Index as well as archived Index reports, visit For information on CarMD's products and services, visit

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Kristin Brocoff