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Q: Is this a reliable car from what you've encountered? Common repairs?

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Common issues with car?

My car has 97000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: The National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis...

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, www.nhtsa.gov) maintains a database of consumer complaints, official recalls and factory service bulletins for all makes and models. I encourage you to go to that website and enter your vehicle’s year, make and model and review the existing reports which will give you an excellent idea of what has been experienced by other owners insofar as faults in your particular vehicle. I would post the text of the reports here, but they are detailed so it will be more practical for you to view them online (it is free). Briefly, though, based on data in the NHTSA database, no recalls are reported for your vehicle which is a pleasant surprise. Very few consumer complaints are reported, 26 reports to be exact, however that very low number is undoubtedly partly due to the uniqueness (i.e., low production run) of the vehicle. A typical search we might do on a common production vehicle, where you might have upwards of 250,000 units produced per year, will typically generate 100’s if not close to a 1,000 complaints in exceptional cases. Were your vehicle a common production vehicle, I can tell you that 26 complaints would essentially, in practical terms, mean the vehicle is perfect.

But, again, we are talking about a relatively unique vehicle so 26 reports cannot be interpreted as "zero". And, of "some" concern, a few of the complaints involve fire damage (not typical in my experience looking at vehicle complaint histories) and others involve malfunctions of some of the rather complex engine management systems in the vehicle (again, inasmuch as you own the vehicle, if you read the complaint text on-line, you will be able to appreciate the substance), a category of complaint which I would consider typical of modern vehicles. At this time we cannot provide you with specific statistical data as to the "incidence" (frequency) of any of the complaint issues in the vehicle population (i.e., your model year). However, if after reviewing the NHTSA database (those 26 entries) you need further information, by all means don’t hesitate to re-contact us and we will research this issue further.

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