The German car club ADAC has published its annual car breakdown statistics. It compiles it according to how often their owners have to call for the help of the so-called yellow angels, ie assistance services. Last year's statistics show a major impact of the coronavirus pandemic. While assistance went to 3.8 million failures in 2019, last year it had only 3.4 million.
In addition, alternating lockdowns and movement restrictions have clearly shown which part of modern cars suffers the most when they are not used for a long time. Interventions with cars with a discharged battery are traditionally the most common, but last year their share increased a bit more.
According to the ADAC, the increase in battery problems was particularly noticeable between March and July, and subsequently from November. Overall, the share of interventions due to a discharged battery rose from 41.8 percent in 2019 to 46.3. So they make up almost half of all exits. On the contrary, the number of tire defects was reduced, and the fact that cars drove less was positive.
Battery defects are typical of some specific models. ADAC technician Markus Sippl cites the Nissan Qashqai crossover as an example. It's about the size of the battery, its management, and, of course, how the owners of the car use it, but Qashqai is especially prone to battery failure," says Sippl. According to him, the Toyota Yaris has long been the opposite case.
According to Sipple, the statistical failure rate usually increases linearly until about the age of fifteen and then improves, because the Germans are starting to take better care of similar older cars and problematic specimens are being disposed of.
This year, ADAC also focused on the most common causes of trips to electric cars. And the cause of these is also the battery, not the large traction, but as with conventional internal combustion cars, the classic 12V. Even in the case of electric cars, it drives various additional systems, such as navigation, radio, lighting, etc. In addition, it also serves to throw the high-voltage system, so without it, the car will not start.
However, because the 12V battery of electric cars does not have to spin the engine and overall such a capacity is not required, it tends to be smaller, and therefore it is easier to discharge when the owner leaves the door open and the interior light is on overnight. The fault with 12V batteries is therefore even approximately 54 percent in the case of electric cars, eight percent more than in internal combustion cars.
On the other hand, specific components of electric vehicles are the cause of trips only exceptionally: a large battery, electric motor or on-board charger were the cause of only 4.4 percent of trips to electric cars.
The result of the statistics is also a ranking of the most problematic cars, also broken down by year of production. See the worst twenty in the gallery. From the statistics, it is logically impossible to infer the reliability of the car as such, because across the years of production are the most common problem of battery failure, but even so, you can find models in the gallery, whose poor results are repeated.
The results of individual models also cannot be generalized to all generations. For example, the Kie Cee'd have improved significantly in recent years, as has the Sportage of the same brand or the Hyundai i20 and Mercedes E-Class. Traditionally, the best models in the statistics, which include 109 types from 25 brands, include Audi, BMW, and Toyota cars. ADAC also rates well the Fiat Punto, Dacia Sandero, VW Polo, Škoda Fabia and Seat Ibiza.