It always happens as the Spring flowers bloom and the weather gets warmer. Consumers start to get the itch to go car-shopping, to get behind a hot new set of wheels and head out on the open highway. And with their burning desire comes their repeated calls to the 1-800 LEMON LAW hotline, asking that age-old question “How can I prevent myself from buying a lemon?”
Alas, there is no answer to that question….any car can suffer a repetitive non-conformity. That being said, we do still feel research can be extremely beneficial when you are out on your shopping excursion. We urge you to always take a trip down the information superhighway before heading to the dealer, and one pit stop we always recommend is the annual Car Complaint Index, compiled annually by Consumer Advocate Jack Gillis and the good people at the Center for Auto Safety.
We have been promoting Mr. Gillis’ efforts for years because we were always being asked which cars receive the most complaints. Mr. Gillis and his team take a look at the thousands of complaints filed each year with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. They then create a ratio looking at the number of complaints filed to the number of cars sold.
Now it’s important to note that these complaints are subjective, based solely on the opinion of drivers, and therefore the index should not be the end-all, be-all when deciding what car to buy. But, if you find that the car is on the index, and you notice similar complaints on automotive forums and in consumer magazines, that could be a red flag.
So, what cars on this year’s list? Click here to connect to the 2010 Car Complaint Index and if you’d like to read some of the complaints, be sure to visit NHTSA’s complaint database. Lastly, Jack Gillis’ Ultimate Car Book is always an awesome read, especially if you are getting ready to buy. To buy a copy, click here.