Consumer Reports ranks appliance brands for reliability

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Since buying a refrigerator, washing machine or other major appliance can be a big investment, Consumer Reports has released its first report ranking appliance brands for predicted reliability.

"This is the first year that we looked at average predicted reliability to compare brands based on how reliable they are across a range of major appliances," said Sarah Morrow, of Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports looked at refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges, cooktops, wall ovens, over-the-range microwaves, clothes washers and dryers. Researchers gathered data from members about 24 brands and more than 381,000 appliances purchased between 2008 and 2018.   

Consumer Reports found some brands are far more reliable than others. 

Speed Queen, which exclusively manufactures clothes washers and dryers, got the top ranking. 

"If you're looking to outfit your kitchen or laundry room with appliances from a single brand, you'll do well to consider Miele, LG, Thermador and Bosch," Morrow said. 

Click here to view the list of best appliances

As for brands that didn't do well, Viking ranked last among the 24 in the survey. None of its major appliances earned more than a "fair" rating for predicted reliability.

Based on the data, Consumer Reports suggested being careful when considering Electrolux, Samsung, Jenn-Air and Dacor. While they do have some products that scored at least "good"  for reliability, each had multiple appliance categories that earned a "poor" reliability rating.

None of those companies responded when asked if they had comment about the Consumer Reports findings.

Should you buy an extended warranty? Consumer Reports says to consider how likely the appliance is to break during the period the warranty covers and whether the warranty costs more than a repair. 

Consumer Reports' latest refrigerator survey found that, in general, the average cost of an extended warranty is equal to the average repair cost, about $160. Less than 1% of consumers in the survey got stuck with a repair bill of $500 or more.

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