Chevy Pulls ‘Most Reliable’ TV Ads After Honda Questions Its Accuracy

Automaker stands by its “reliability claim” even as it removes commercial

Last Updated: January 17, 2019 @ 1:27 PM

Chevrolet has removed a TV commercial that says the automaker is “more reliable” than its competitors after Honda challenged the accuracy of the Detroit company’s ad.

“Chevrolet stands by the reliability claim and the ad remains in the brand’s toolbox but we have decided to take it out of the regular rotation at this time to launch new Silverado creative,” Chevrolet spokeswoman Afaf Farah said in a statement sent to TheWrap. “We have not altered our marketing campaign because of any concerns with the accuracy of our ad content.”

The 60-second spot, which began airing this month, made the case that buyers made the wrong car choice based on data from a survey about reliability. The ad shows Honda, Toyota and Ford owners expressing their shock and disappointment as covers of vehicles are removed to reveal that theirs were not the top choice.

But a problem came when a reporter from auto-focused website Jalopnik looked under the hood of the survey, conducted by market research firm Ipsos, the ad was referencing. It argued that the data Chevy used in its TV commercial was misleading at best.

“The survey was sent in 2018 to owners of 2015 model year cars, and the reporting of the ‘repairs in the past 12 months’ relates to those 2015 cars in their third year of service,” Jalopnik reported. “Fewer than 49,000 respondents completed them out of 840,000.”

Chevy’s competition noticed the ads and called out the automaker.

“It’s understandable that the ‘real people’ in the commercial would be surprised with Chevrolet’s claim of being the most reliable car brand. Because it’s not the case,” Mike Levine, the North American communications manager for Ford, wrote on his Twitter account. “They have agreed to take these false and misleading ads down and we’d like to see that happen immediately.”

The ads, which were previously posted on the company’s YouTube page, are no longer available.