Chevrolet Drops Real People Reliability Ad After Challenged By Ford, Honda, Toyota

Chevrolet has agreed to pull a TV ad from rotation in the United States which claimed the car manufacturer was more reliable than Honda, Toyota, and Ford.

Chevrolet started airing the advertisement, titled ‘Chevrolet Surprises Competitive Owners When It Comes To Reliability’, in early January during shows like 60 Minutes, the Golden Globes, and various NFL games. The advertisement is the latest in a long-line of “Real People” ads from Chevrolet.

To make the case for its vehicles being the most reliable, GM gathered owners of Honda, Toyota, and Ford vehicles and slowly revealed to them that their vehicles were not as reliable as they thought. The only problem is that the data used by Chevrolet to conclude its vehicles are more reliable than competitors is shaky, to say the least.

Don’t trust a survey sponsored by a carmaker…

Chevrolet sponsored a survey conducted by Ipsos to gather its data. The survey focused on owners of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles “versus competitive brands in the area of parts replaced or repaired in the past 12 months.”

A total of 840,979 surveys were mailed to owners of 2015 Model Year vehicles. Of these, 48,679 surveys were completed, covering a plethora of brands such as Acura, BMW, Chrysler, Fiat, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, and others.

The study defined reliability “as the percentage of vehicle owners who reported they have not repaired or replaced any vehicle components in the past 12 months (excluding fluids, filters and those related to accident/collision.)

While this may sound fair on paper, the Ipsos study only defined reliability by how many repairs a vehicle had within a 12 month period once the vehicle had reached three years old. Obviously, the repairs a vehicle undergoes over a 12 month period doesn’t accurately determine the reliability of it over its lifespan.

Upon learning of the advertisement, both Honda and Toyota challenged Chevrolet, forcing the carmaker to pull the ad from circulation.

“I can confirm that Honda did challenge Chevrolet’s ad, but that’s all we can say at this point,” Honda spokeswoman Jessica Paul told The Detroit Free Press.

In an email provided to Jalopnik, Toyota said it did the same. “Toyota contacted Chevrolet to challenge the claim last week, and Chevrolet agreed to pull the ad from rotation beginning this past Monday.”

Interestingly, Chevrolet is standing behind the claims it made in the commercial.

“Chevrolet stands by the reliability claim and the ad. The ad is part of a series of creative executions of our campaign that we have been using to promote the brand overall, the all-new Silverado, our crossovers and the most affordable vehicles in our lineup.

“We regularly make adjustments to our advertising and media strategy to support our business needs and it should be no surprise that our primary focus is on launching our all-new Silverado, therefore we will be debuting additional new Silverado creative in the coming week that will take the place of the reliability ad,” Chevrolet stated.


  • Bash

    See. Kia needs to do that as well. Just saying.

  • Six_Tymes

    Too funny, they didn’t like the fact that the ad was working

    • LJ

      How do you know it was working?

  • Merc1

    Typical GM, all BS.


  • dumblikeyou2

    Good riddance. Always thought the participants were liquored up a lil’ bit before those reveals.

  • charlotteharry57

    Even my sister, who knows very little about cars, laughed at this one. Oh GM , more shame on you.

  • Paul

    You can’t cherry pick things to get the desired result when everybody else is using different criteria, I’m glad they got called out on it even though I am a fan of GM.

  • TheToadPrince..~~ToadSquad

    u expect them to be real customers….nobody wants a throwback silverado..chevy failed on the new trucks.

  • LJ

    I called BS when I saw this commercial the other night and figured someone would challenge it.

    Actors are real people, btw.

  • assassingtr

    No one even took those commercials seriously. GM’s marketing people must be completely out of touch if they think people will respond to these BS commercials.

    • Merc1

      You’ll be surprised how clueless people are about cars, especially those who are partial to GM’s products.


  • brn

    Normally, the progressive commercials bug me to, but I love that one.

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