Special Report

The Biggest Complaint About America's Most Popular Cars

Grant Suneson

By and large, Americans are fond of their cars. According to a 2019 survey from Cars.com, 73% of U.S. drivers say they love their vehicles a lot. At least in some cars, however, defects are bound to emerge.

Cars are incredibly complex pieces of machinery, and with additional features like smart navigation systems and driver assistance technology being added with each passing model year, the number of potential mistakes or oversights during manufacturing keeps growing. Even if drivers absolutely love their vehicle and take impeccable care of it, they are bound to have at least one or two issues with it at some point.

Many things can go awry in a vehicle. The most commonly cited complaints, at least among the cars on this list, relate to the engine, transmission, electronics, brakes, fuel system, and steering.

To determine the biggest complaint about every popular car in the U.S. market, 24/7 Wall St. determined the most frequent type of complaint Americans filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the 2019 model years of the top 20 selling cars in the country. The cars on this list are ranked in order of 2019 sales.

The 2019 Ford Escape has the fewest registered complaints among the cars on this list, with just 18. The 2019 Jeep Cherokee, on the other hand, has over 300 complaints — many for the same issue. Hugely popular cars that happen to have a significant flaw can lead to headaches for automakers — especially if they need to issue a recall. Some serious defects have affected thousands of drivers and put many in harm’s way. These are the deadliest cars of all time.

Complaints can be minor — like a door that sticks or an interior light that flickers off. Other times, cars can have major issues that need to be addressed by costly repairs or make the car completely undrivable. When shopping for cars, drivers often look for a vehicle that has proved itself as one that can continue to function for many years and hundreds of thousands of miles. These are the cars Americans drive the most.

Click here to see the biggest complaints about every popular American car.
Click here to see our methodology.