Skip to main content

15 Car Brands Notorious For Frequent Breakdowns

Reliability is a top priority for consumers when purchasing a car. However, not all car brands are created equal in dependability, and some producers have earned reputations for being more susceptible to mechanical breakdowns than others. Here are 15 automotive brands known to break down more frequently than their competitors. Fiat Fiat, the iconic Italian …
TanyaRozhnovskaya/Getty

Reliability is a top priority for consumers when purchasing a car. However, not all car brands are created equal in dependability, and some producers have earned reputations for being more susceptible to mechanical breakdowns than others. Here are 15 automotive brands known to break down more frequently than their competitors.

Fiat

Heduardo55 /Wikipedia

Fiat, the iconic Italian automaker, is reputable for producing stylish and compact automobiles that excel in urban environments. Yet, most Fiat cars recurringly experience electrical and transmission troubles, such as faulty wiring harnesses and sensor errors. Still, Fiat remains attractive to customers with its unique blend of style, affordability, and European flair.

Land Rover

DeFacto/Wikipedia

While offering advanced features and driving aids, the sophisticated electronic setups found in Land Rover models have been prone to snags. In addition, Land Rover’s intricate suspension setups designed to provide a comfortable ride have been prone to premature wear and failure, leading to costly repairs and a compromised driving experience.

Alfa Romeo

Mr.choppers/Wikipedia

Alfa Romeo’s cars offer admirable sleek lines, sporty profiles, and luxurious interiors. Customers have reported frequent breakdowns with several electronic parts, like infotainment accessories, sensors, and advanced driver-assistance features. Yet, Alfa Romeo keeps captivating fans by addressing these worries through improved quality control measures and ongoing research and development initiatives.

Jeep

Mr.choppers/Wikipedia

Jeeps have earned a reputation for frequent mechanical and electrical troubles alongside their off-road prowess. The complaints include transmission hitches, such as rough shifting and premature failures, and electrical glitches, like malfunctioning infotainment systems and power windows and door locks. Many Jeep owners are still willing to overlook soundness issues in favor of the brand’s legendary capability and heritage.

Chrysler

Kevauto /Wikipedia

Chrysler, a longstanding American automaker, has recently encountered significant transmission and recall troubles. One notable example is the widespread problem with the ZF nine-speed automatic transmission used in various Chrysler products, such as the Chrysler 200 and Jeep Cherokee. Chrysler’s recall struggle also extended to various safety concerns, ranging from faulty airbags to defective ignition switches.

Dodge

FilipoGarcìa /Wikipedia

Despite the popularity of their cars, Dodge products are notorious for transmission failures, notably in editions with automatic transmissions. Furthermore, Dodge has recalled several samples, addressing defects such as damaged airbags, defective fuel pumps, and malfunctioning electronic components. Still, Dodge continues to innovate and refine its lineup, introducing new technologies and performance enhancements to attract consumers.

MINI

Alexander-93/Wikipedia

Despite MINI’s charming exterior, users have experienced defects ranging from malfunctioning infotainment screens and power windows to more severe electrical errors. Its fun driving dynamics continue to attract enthusiasts, but the brand’s reliability track record underscores the importance of thorough research before purchasing. MINI has, nonetheless, made efforts to address faults in recent editions with improvements in quality control.

Smart

Alexander-93 /Wikipedia

Smart vehicles have faced persistent issues, with customers reporting engine failures, comprising significant malfunctions attributed to overheating and oil leaks. Additionally, transmission problems have been a regular complaint, with rough shifting, slipping gears, and complete transmission breakdown being the most common. Nonetheless, Smart continues to impress fans with its compact size and environmentally conscious image.

Jaguar

Hilda Barrie/Facebook

While driving a Jaguar can evoke a sense of sophistication, it’s not uncommon to encounter electrical flaws like glitchy infotainment gadgets and faulty sensors. Also, a few versions have engine problems, such as oil leaks and overheating. Jaguar has tried to fix these hitches in newer releases, but potential buyers often have to weigh the appeal of luxury against their safety.

Volvo

Ljmdbw /Wikipedia

Volvo has consistently prioritized safety in its vehicle designs, earning high marks from industry experts and consumers. However, electrical glitches have been a common complaint among Volvo owners, ranging from issues with innovative accessories to flaws in essential vehicle components. In addition, Volvo has also faced criticism for transmission hitches in some of its editions.

Mercedes-Benz

Alexander Migl /Wikipedia

Though Mercedes-Benz is famous for its advanced technology and powerful performance, it has sometimes failed in its electrical systems and has had problematic transmissions. These hiccups notwithstanding, Mercedes-Benz continues to innovate and refine its vehicles. The company has implemented many initiatives to fix the prevailing concerns, including rigorous quality control measures and enhanced testing protocols during manufacturing.

BMW

Alexander Migl /Wikipedia

BMW, renowned for its blend of luxury and sportiness, has built a reputation for longevity and exceptional performance. Yet, it hasn’t been without its setbacks. One common issue users report is oil leaks, which can be caused by gasket leakages or worn seals. Additionally, BMWs have suffered electronic malfunctions, including defects in critical components like the engine management system. BMW, however, offers comprehensive warranty coverage and service programs to provide peace of mind for owners.

Audi

Alexander-93l /Wikipedia

Audi’s pursuit of advancement hasn’t come without its challenges. It has experienced several electrical and mechanical problems, including critical engine and transmission malfunctions. Additionally, the complex electronic systems found in Audis have sometimes been prone to glitches. Audi’s extensive dealer network and attentive customer service regularly help mitigate the impact of reliability concerns by promptly assisting drivers.

Volkswagen

Vauxford /Wikipedia

With a commitment to quality improvement and rigorous testing processes, Volkswagen has worked to address past drawbacks and deliver more dependable automobiles. Despite these efforts, a few versions still face transmission and electronic challenges. Whereas the challenges may not be pervasive across all models, they have contributed to the brand’s reputation for faultiness in certain vehicle lines.

Subaru

Alexander-93 /Facebook

Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system has made its vehicles particularly popular in regions with rough terrain. Nevertheless, some models have had faults with head gaskets and oil seals. Subaru has taken steps to address these flaws in newer versions, yet many users are still concerned. Head gasket replacements are costly, and oil leaks may require ongoing maintenance.