Hyundai, Toyota, Volkswagen and Dodge Top 2013 Car Complaint Index

April 16, 2013
By: Robert Silverman

The complaints are in and the index are out!  It’s the 2013 Car Complaint Index which looks at which cars receive the most complaints per sales.  These complaints are filed by consumers to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration mostly through NHTSA’s website

While this list is a great tool for any car buyer, it should not be the end-all, be-all as the complaints are subjective and any consumer can file a complaint for any reason.  That being said, if the car you are considering is on the list, you should do your due diligence and review the complaints before signing on the dotted line.  If you see a trend in the complaints, you should investigate further.

Topping the list this year is Hyundai’s sporty three-door coupe, the Veloster. While some folks complain of transmission problems and difficulty steering, the majority of Hyundai Veloster drivers complain of their panoramic sunroof cracking.  Hyundai then issued a massive recall to address the shattering sunroof issue, affecting over 11,000 vehicles.

Next up is a constant presence on the Car Complaint Index, the Toyota Prius, by far the Country’s most popular hybrid vehicle.  The main reason folks complain about the Prius is because of the way it lurches at acceleration, but in truth that is a characteristic of a hybrid vehicle.  A hybrid does not drive in the same manner as a traditional car so if you are considering a hybrid, take it for a good long test drive before you agree to the purchase.  As we always say, “try it before you buy it” to make sure this is the right car for you.

Third on the list, is our own lemon buggy, the Volkswagen Beetle.  The main complaint among Beetle drivers can be summed up on one word — windows.  Apparently, they go down but don’t come back up; many drivers say they drop in the window.  This can be very difficult for folks who lower their windows to pay a toll only to have the window stay down until they get to the shop.

In the fourth spot is the Dodge Journey which is well known for its brake defects. We have seen drivers make the “Journey” to their dealer every 10,000 miles to have pads and rotors replaced.  If you find that you are not getting a break when it comes to your Dodge Journey brakes, you may want to look into your State Lemon Law and Federal Warranty rights.

To view the entire Car Complaint Index, click here.

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