Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Auto Reliability: Who Makes The "Better" Cars?

Later today we'll find out if the time, money and effort the Big 3 have put into building more reliable cars and trucks has paid off. Consumer Reports releases its 2008 auto reliability survey and the question for many is: Are the Big 3 finally getting their act together?

For years, the CR survey (this year almost a million people took part) has been dominated by Asian automakers. Their models routinely trounced the Big 3 in everything from how the engines worked to the functionality of interior features. But as the Big 3 have focused more energy on improving quality, we're still waiting to see it pay off with better scores in reliability surveys like this one.

I often hear from other bloggers and readers who say, "Detroit still builds a poor car." It's a blanket statement that I don't completely buy. The Big 3 ARE getting better, but it takes time and even if they do measure up with their foreign rivals, there is still a perception of poor quality.

While we wait for the results let me know if YOUR perception of the quality of domestic autos has changed or improved in the last year. If so, why? Write to me at

I'll have some of your comments later today, along with the results.

Questions?  Comments?