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2004 volkswagen golf consumer report

Of the 11 sedans with the lowest predicted reliability, according to the survey, 10 were from European brands including Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and BMW. Most Volkswagen models were rated far below average for reliability. The all-wheel drive Volkswagen Passat received the lowest reliability rating of any vehicle in the survey.

A spokesman for Volkswagen of America did not deny that the company's products have had problems.

"We are obviously aware of some of these issues," he said.

The company has been working to track and correct reliability problems, he said, adding that customers should see results in upcoming redesigned 2005 versions of several of its cars.

Of the 32 car models with the highest reliability ratings, 29 were from Japan-based manufacturers. Toyota, with 16, and Honda, with 7, had the most vehicles with top reliability ratings. South Korean automaker Hyundai's Sonata earned a top spot in the ratings this year, a first for that manufacturer.

The Toyota Prius and Honda Civic gas/electric hybrid cars both were both listed among the most reliable vehicles.

The only cars from an American manufacturer to earn top scores were the Buick Regal, which has been discontinued for 2005, and non-supercharged versions of the Pontiac Grand Prix.

Among SUVs, Japanese brands monopolized the top spots. The Toyota Land Cruiser and Mitsubishi Endeavor were among the most reliable, according to the survey