Range Rovers are prone to breakdowns

ADAC breakdown statistics 2020: That's why batteries are the main problem

Vacation time is travel time. Even in the corona pandemic. If you want to arrive at your holiday destination by car without a breakdown, you should not only drive the right model, but also know the age of the starter battery.

A car breakdown is annoying. Nobody likes that. The good news: if you know which car model breaks down particularly often, the next time you buy a car you might look at models that you haven't had on your screen.

The ADAC breakdown statistics provide a good overview year after year. It shows which cars are both more reliable and more vulnerable. It also determines which car components are most frequently responsible for breakdowns.

Battery remains a weak point

Here the permanent problem child remains the battery. For a good 42 percent of the breakdowns recorded by the ADAC, it is the number one cause. The batteries are most often broken between the ages of five and six. This is hardly surprising because it corresponds to the average service life of a 12-volt on-board battery.

The reason for the susceptibility: From seat heating to air conditioning, there are countless power guzzlers in modern cars. This shortens the life of the batteries. If you don't want to get stuck with your car, you should therefore replace the old battery with a new one in good time as a precaution. This prevents breakdowns.

ADAC statistics: These were the most common causes of breakdowns in 2019. (Source: ADAC)

In second place, with 17 percent, are errors in engine management, such as problems with injection, ignition or sensors. Electrical problems arise in almost eleven percent of the most common causes of breakdowns. This includes the generator, starter, lighting and wiring.

Tops and flops of the car models

In the ADAC statistics for 2020, exactly 3,756,226 breakdowns in 2019 were recorded and evaluated. The good news: Of the 113 model series listed, only 18 are real flops - that is, cars that are considered unreliable. The bad news: Top, i.e. particularly reliable, are only 37 vehicle developments, says the ADAC. These are the numbers for the individual vehicle types:


Toyota Aygosmart forfour (2015-16)
VW Foxsmart fortwo (2015-16)

Fiat 500 (2014-15)

Toyota Aygo: It is the clear winner in the subcompact class. (Source: Sebastian Geisler / imago images)

Small car

Audi A1Hyundai i20 (2011-14)
Citroen C3Opel Meriva (2017)
Fiat Punto
Honda Jazz
Mazda CX-3
Mitsubishi Space Star
Peugeot 2008
Renault Captur
Suzuki Vitara
Toyota Yaris

Audi A1: In the ADAC breakdown statistics 2020, it is one of the top among small cars. (Source: Sebastian Geisler / imago images)

Lower middle class

Audi A3Ford C-MAX (2010)
Audi Q3Ford Kuga (2012)
BMW 1 SeriesHyundai i30 (2010)
BMW 2 Series (including Grand and Active Tourers)KIA Ceed (2011-13)
BMW X1KIA Sportage (2011) Nissan Qashqai (2016-17)
Hyundai TucsonPeugeot 308 (2010-12)
Mercedes A-ClassRenault Scénic (2014-15)
Mercedes B-ClassRenault Kangoo / Rapid (2015-17)
Mercedes CLA
Mercedes GLA
Mitsubishi ASX
Skoda Rapid
VW Beetle

In the middle class, BMW and Audi are driving ahead of the competition: the Audi A4, A5, Q5 and BMW 3, 4 and X3 models are almost entirely fail-safe. Among the mid-range vans, the Ford S-Max, Seat Alhambra and the widespread VW Sharan are frightening with a high breakdown frequency.

more on the subject

  • Subjects:
  • Automobile,
  • Technology,
  • Drives,
  • ADAC,
  • Battery,
  • Audi,
  • Car breakdown,
  • BMW,
  • Audi A4,
  • Ford S-Max,
  • Seat Alhambra,
  • VW Sharan,
  • battery pack