This Is the Least Trusted Car Company in the U.S., Data Shows


We rely on our vehicles to get us to work, get our children to school, run errands, and provide transportation for just about every mundane and monumental event in our lives, which means nothing can throw a wrench into your day like unexpected car trouble. To steer you in the right direction, we at Best Life consulted the recently released American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Automobile Study for 2020-2021 to find out which car company consumers say should not be trusted.

The ACSI Automobile Study is based on interviews with 4,888 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between July 6, 2020 and June 28, 2021. Customers were asked to evaluate their recent experiences with cars made by the largest automotive manufacturers in the country. In the end, the study scored 27 car brands on a scale of 100 based on consumer responses. The benchmark for automobile companies was a score of 78, according to the ACSI, so, we’ve plucked out the lowest-performing brands that didn’t hit that number. Before you make your next car purchase, read on to discover the least trusted car company among people in the U.S.

RELATED: This Is the Most Unreliable Car in the U.S., Owners Say.

Buick dealership
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

ACSI score (out of 100): 77

Buick is an old stalwart owned by one of the original big three car manufacturers, General Motors (GM). And while the company has had some trouble over the years keeping up with the times, its ACSI score improved one point from last year. Plus, its 2021 Buick Enclave was recently rated the the second-best luxury large sport utility vehicle by Consumer Reports.

Cadillac dealership
dennizn / Shutterstock.com

ACSI score (out of 100): 77

Another GM brand, Cadillac has a reputation for producing sturdy, dependable, and stylish vehicles. However, that has not necessarily been the case in recent years, as the company’s ACSI score dropped three points from last year.

Specifically, Cadillac’s SRX model has caused owners countless headaches, according to several reviews on Consumer Affairs. “I bought a used Cadillac SRX in January of 2019 and it was the worst mistake,” one verified reviewer wrote in 2020. “I have had to spend over $4,000 in repairs within the first year and Cadillac has been of NO HELP at all. In fact, they gave me overinflated prices for the repairs and [an] incorrect assessment of the issue.”

RELATED: This Is the Most Popular New Car in the U.S., According to Data.

Kia dealership
Shutterstock

ACSI score (out of 100): 77

While Kia received the exact same score this year as it did in 2020, and it’s hardly the least trusted on this list, consumers in general seem to be underwhelmed by the brand’s vehicles.

“Never buy a Kia,” one owner advised on Consumer Affairs. “And if you do expect no help from them on recall parts. I’ve spoken to at least 10 people. Half say one thing. Half say another.”

Volkswagen Cars and SUV Dealership
jetcityimage / iStock

ACSI score (out of 100): 77

Volkswagen may have dropped a point from last year’s ACSI rating, but the company is in the process of a major shift, which includes a huge push in the production of electric and even autonomous vehicles in the coming years. According to CNN Business, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess “wants electric cars to make up half of the Volkswagen Group’s sales in 2030, and 100 percent of its sales in major markets should be zero-emission by 2040.”

“There’s a lot of business potential and it’s still a long way to go,” Diess told CNN Business in reference to autonomous vehicles. “Our first fleets probably will come to market in 2025, and the first private cars driving autonomously also in 2025 or 2026.”

Volvo logo on front grill
Shutterstock

ACSI score (out of 100): 77

Traditionally, Volvo has been known as a dependable car brand, but that reputation is by no means written in stone for the company that dropped one point from last year’s survey.

“I messed up by believing the hype behind Volvo,” one verified reviewer wrote on Consumer Affairs in 2020. “I messed up [by] paying for a preowned Volvo just out of warranty. I messed up by trusting Volvo would be a car that would make it past 50,000 or 80,000 or 100,000 miles without multiple expensive major car issues. Don’t be fooled like me.”

Acura dealership
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

ACSI score (out of 100): 76

Acura also only dropped a point from last year’s ACSI score, and the company has an overall rating of four out of five stars on Consumer Affairs, but there are numerous online complaints about the quality of customer service and maintenance for the Honda-owned car brand.

“Acura does not stand by their product or do the right thing by the customer,” an angry verified reviewer wrote on Consumer Affairs earlier this year. “The top people making decisions at this organization are ruthless and have no loyalty to their customers.”

A Chevrolet dealership in Warren, Michigan. Founded in 1911, Chevrolet is a subsidiary of General Motors and manufactures a variety of cars and trucks.
iStock

ACSI score (out of 100): 76

Chevy’s ACSI score stayed the exact same as last year, so while its reputation with consumers didn’t get significantly worse, it most certainly did not get better—especially considering a recent recall of its Chevy Bolt model for having the potential to catch on fire.

“I purchased a new Chevrolet for reliability and to transport my family. I’ve had it for two months and 2,000 miles and it’s been nothing but a nightmare and headache,” one Chevy owner lamented on Consumer Affairs. “It’s been at a dealership three different times for multiple days at a time and I’ve been given no loaner. So, now instead of me being able to provide transportation for my family back and forth to school I’m unable to do that … I chose a new GM vehicle over your competitors and it’s been the biggest mistake of my life.”

RELATED: This Is the Deadliest Car in the U.S., According to Data.

Jeep dealership
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

ACSI score (out of 100): 76

Judging by one consumer’s laundry list of complaints, it’s no wonder Jeep’s ASCI score didn’t improve from last year, holding steady at a 76.

“I bought this car brand new and have now had it for two years. It has been the worst car I have ever had in my life,” the verified reviewer wrote on Consumer Affairs. “The windshield is a magnet for chips and you can tell that it is bad quality. I have had two chips and one crack already driving on paved roads. The paint is also cheap as it chips very easily with normal driving. And the biggest issue other than all the recalls, is that my car takes the most expensive oil, which is full synthetic, and for some reason it is empty at 3,000 miles.”

Lincoln dealership sign
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

ACSI score (out of 100): 76

Lincoln’s ACSI score dropped one point from last year, which may have had something to do with the fact that its 2020 Aviator SUV was named the most unreliable new car by Consumer Reports.

“I’ve had this car into the dealership four separate times for unrelated reliability issues totaling over three weeks of lost usage,” one dissatisfied owner wrote on Cars.com. “I am very disappointed in Lincoln quality and will not buy another one like it.”

Infiniti dealership
JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

ACSI score (out of 100): 75

Infiniti’s score was down four points from the 2020 ACSI study, but that’s not the only decline it’s seeing. According to Business Insider, Infiniti has seen sales drop by 50 percent since 2017, and last year, the brand only sold 79,000 vehicles in America.

Infiniti also recently announced it was recalling 3,569 of its 2021 Q50, Q60, and QX80 vehicles due to a software issue that prevents the rearview camera from displaying, Consumer Affairs recently reported.

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Mitsubishi vehicles at dealership
MDart10 / Shutterstock.com

ACSI score (out of 100): 71

Mitsubishi’s new 2022 Outlander Sport and Eclipse Cross models have received high marks in the 2021 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, but the brand’s 2021 ACSI score still dropped six whole points from last year.

“For a company all about their warranty, they really fight not to cover it,” one Mitsubishi owner complained on Consumer Affairs. “Never buying Mitsubishi again seeing as my 3-year-old car is now my junker.”

Chrysler dealership
FotograFFF / Shutterstock.com

ACSI score (out of 100): 70

Chrysler has been a struggling brand for years, and things aren’t looking great for the car company that recently went through a merger and is now owned by automaker Stellantis. In fact, The Drive recently reported that Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said Chrysler will have a decade to prove its value, or otherwise potentially disappear for good. And the company has a long road ahead of it, as it ranked lowest in this year’s ACSI survey, as well as in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, CNBC recently reported.

RELATED: This Popular Car Is Being Discontinued.



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