We’ve been discussing the 2008 cars that made their way to the top of the Center for Auto Safety’s Car Complaint Index. We’ve wound our way through Volkswagens, Jeeps, and even a Lexus.
Today, we’re covering the vehicles that had the highest ratio of complaints (to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to the number of cars sold.
Coming in second on the list of most complaints… the Dodge Nitro.
One consumer who had leased a Nitro had a nightmarish tale to tell the NHSTA. He wrote, “My wife routinely started the Nitro, put her foot on the brake (and not the gas), and engaged the gear from Park to Reverse. Within a split second, the car made an unusually loud noise and the car burst backward, taking out the right side of our gate and a portion of the fence adjacent to the gate…. She applied the brake, but the brake was not able to engage as the transmission had torqued the engine so hard that it forced her into the side of the house and the rear bumper rammed into a brick pillar supporting the roof of the front porch.”
The 2008 Nitro had six Technical Service Bulletins issued that reported problems with, among other items, the power train, the air bags, and the engine electronics.
And topping the list… The vehicle with the dubious honor of ranking first on the Complaint Index is… The Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Many of the 2008 Cruiser’s complaints revolve around the windshield chipping and cracking, but owners of the 2007 Cruiser have lodged dozens of complaints with the NHTSA. Several complaints involved faulty parking brakes, service brakes, engine failures, and air bag failures. The 2007 model was also subjected to three recalls: ABS control module software that could cause the rear brakes to lock; TIPM software that might stall the vehicle; and ABS software that could cause a delay in braking, potentially resulting in a crash.
If you weren’t a believer before, the complaints lodged about all of the vehicles on this Complaint Index should motivate you to check the NHTSA website for complaints, Technical Service Bulletins, and recalls both before and after you buy a car.