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Surprises in Latest Consumer Reports Ratings

The conventional wisdom is, if you want a safe, reliable car, you buy from a Japanese car maker. According to the latest Consumer Reports reliability ratings, conventional wisdom isn't as smart as it used to be.

The Toyota Camry's crash test scores kept Consumer Reports from recommending it. (Toyota North America)

The New York Times writes, "After results of Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability ratings were released on Monday, there appeared to be a crack in the dominance of Japanese brands over automotive reliability. Two of America’s most popular cars, the V-6-equipped Honda Accord and the Nissan Altima, no longer have the consumer advocacy publication’s coveted ‘Recommended’ rating, according to the report.”

In an article on Japanese cars that scored too poorly for Consumer Reports to recommend, Consumer Reports writes, "Sure, there are many virtuous Japanese cars, but not all models live up to the perceived standard." The publication highlights the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa sedan, Nissan Sentra, Honda Crosstour and Acura RLX as five Japanese models with poor scores in its tests.

Some models earned decent scores in Consumer Reports testing, but were not recommended by the publication because of their poor crash test scores. The Los Angeles Times writes, "The magazine dumped some of its favorite vehicles — Toyota's Camry, RAV4 and Prius V — from its list of recommended cars because they scored poorly in an insurance industry crash test."

However, the Consumer Reports ratings weren't all bad news for Japanese car makers. Despite having several models not recommended because of crash test scores, Toyota and its Lexus luxury brand took the two top spots in the reliability ratings. Acura, Audi, Infiniti, Volvo, GMC and Subaru were also top-ranked brands for reliability. The 2014 Subaru Forester earned the highest predicted reliability rating for a single vehicle, reports the Chicago Tribune.

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