If you are in the market for a new car, truck or sport utility vehicle and have decided that you prefer to purchase a brand-new car instead of a used car, you will need to assess the myriad of brands and models available to you. For many consumers, there can be a strong lure to own a vehicle that is not only newly manufactured but that might be among the first of its type.

Many manufacturers launch versions of vehicles they have marketed for years that they then reimagine in some material ways, calling them completely redesigned. Consumers might feel they get the best of both worlds in that they get a vehicle that may have had a good reputation, but they also get something that is new and innovative. However, a study released by Consumer Reports indicates that purchasing a redesigned vehicle may increase a consumer’s chance of having problems with that vehicle.

The survey evaluated six vehicles that had received reliability ratings of better than average or average in 2018 and were then launched as “redesigned” in 2019. After their redesign, all six saw their reliability ratings fall to average or even below average. The newness of so many key elements in a vehicle seems to increase the chance of problems.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give consumers in California an overview of how they should understand some of the terms used to promote vehicles by manufacturers so they know how to shop and evaluate which ones might be the most reliable for them.