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Complicated electrics making cars less reliable

Figures reveal the price of increasingly complicated cars is a rise in electrical faults and breakdowns.

It seems the old adage that says the more a car can do, the more that can go wrong is just as true for the modern-day motor. Figures compiled by Warranty Direct from 50,000 insurance policies found the number of electrical faults in cars had increased from 5,300 cases in 2008 to 11,500 in 2013.

The data revealed nearly one in four drivers will have to endure some sort of electrical fault over a year, as opposed one in ten in 2008. Luxury cars with the most high-tech gadgetry, such as Bentleys, were found to be the most likely to experience a fault.

In addition, the data revealed repair bills had increased by one third over the past five years, from an average of £229 to £291. In a Bentley the average electrical repair cost was £670, for a Porsche it was £757, while a Suzuki worked out at £244.

Renault came out top in the ten least reliable manufacturers for electrics, with Bentley in second, Porsche in third and Saab in fourth. Bottom of the list was BMW, with Seat and Citroen just above in ninth and eighth place, respectively.

Subaru was found to be the most reliable for electrics, with one in seven cars developing a fault. Mitsubishi, Daihatsu and Suzuki came in second, third and fourth, respectively. Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo managed eighth place above Nissan.

The Chrysler Sebring was the car most likely to break down, in terms of specific models, followed by the Hyundai Matrix and Mercedes E-Class. On the flipside, the Mazda 5, VW Passat, Honda S2000 and Toyota Prius recorded no claims.

“As automotive technology continues to advance, cars get more and more complex,” Warranty Direct managing director David Gerrans commented. “Nowhere is that more so than in the field of computer technology and other electronics.”

“But while these advances can undoubtedly improve the performance and safety of cars, they also have a knock-on effect on how often they fail and how much it costs to repair them,” he added.

Are cars becoming too complicated for their own good?

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