New stats: Nada-odds and Lemon-odds
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
When buying a car, you probably wonder: what are the odds it will turn out to be a lemon? Does it have a shot at requiring no repairs at all?
Traditional sources of car reliability information have never answered these questions. They’ve only provided vague dot ratings that indicate how a car compares to the average for all cars. Even TrueDelta, which has been providing car models’ average repair frequencies, and not just dots, has not been directly answering these questions. Instead, you’ve had to infer your odds of getting a lemon from the average repair frequency.
With the latest update to TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey results, released today, this will no longer be necessary. This update includes two new statistics: “Nada-odds” and “Lemon-odds.” From a car model’s Nada-odds, you can learn how many cars out of a hundred required no repairs at all—nada—in the past year. And from its Lemon-odds you can learn how many out of a hundred had to go to the repair shop three or more times in the past year.
It turns out that the odds of getting a problem-free car are higher than you probably suspect, while the odds of getting a lemon are probably much lower. Many of the 2007, 2008, and 2009 models included in these results had a three-in-four chance—or better—of requiring no repairs at all, not even a minor one, in the past year.
And the Lemon-odds? With many fairly new cars your chances of a lemon are under one in a hundred, and under one-in-twenty is the norm. Only with the least reliable cars are your odds worse than one-in-ten. The horror stories are real, just a lot less common than many people think.
These new stats require more data on more cars. So this initial set of results covers only 100 models, 36 of which are only visible to members. As the number of participants grows, we’ll be able to provide these stats for more and more models.