CarMD Vehicle Health Index Released

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Dec. 18, 2019— Corp. today released its 2019 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index Make and Model Reliability Rankings.

The Index analyzes check engine repair and cost data to rank the 10 brands/makes and 100 vehicles least likely to have a check engine light on; 10 brands/makes and 100 vehicles with the lowest average repair costs; and top three vehicles by category. To compile this index CarMD analyzed data from over 14.4 million model year 1996 to 2019 vehicles reporting check engine health from Oct. 1, 2018 – Sept.  30, 2019.

CarMD data finds that Mercedes was the brand least likely to need check engine repairs over the past year, edging out Mitsubishi and Buick, which rank no. 2 and no. 3 respectively. Kia, which ranked second last year, is now the brand with the lowest average repair cost ($321), followed by Mazda ($332) which ranked first last year and Hyundai ($333).

10 Brands with the Lowest Average Repair Costs 

When factoring in all of the repairs needed on the various models and years under each automaker, CarMD found the 10 vehicle brands with the lowest average check engine light-related repair costs in 2019 were:    

  1. Kia  ($321)
  2. Mazda ($332)
  3. Hyundai ($333)
  4. Chrysler ($337)
  5. Dodge ($349)
  6. Chevrolet  ($366)
  7. GMC ($375)
  8. Volkswagen ($379)
  9. Ford ($385)
  10. Buick ($420)

10 Most Reliable Vehicles

Any given brand can have a mix of reliable vehicles along with some that have more frequent issues. And vehicle reliability can vary by model year, particularly when a substantial model change has occurred. For this reason, the CarMD Vehicle Health Index drills down to rank vehicles by year, make and model. The following 10 vehicles had the lowest check engine light-related repair frequency, resulting in fewer trips to the repair shop, parts store or dealership this past year:

  1. 2017 Honda CR-V
  2. 2017 Subaru Outback
  3. 2016 Lexus NX
  4. 2017 Subaru Legacy
  5. 2017 Honda Civic
  6. 2017 Honda HR-V
  7. 2015 Lexus NX
  8. 2016 Subaru Forester
  9. 2015 Acura MDX
  10. 2015 Acura RDX

One of the most common repairs on the most affordable vehicles to fix is to inspect or replace a loose, damage or missing gas cap. Other frequent fixes include to reprogram the powertrain control module; replace ignition coil(s), spark plug(s) and oxygen sensor. Many common repairs can be avoided by following a proper maintenance program.

The full detailed report with year-over-year scores and top 100 vehicle rankings is available at

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