Jeep workers have something to be proud of

Jeep Liberty rolling off the assembly line / WNWO Newsfile

Jeep and its Toledo made vehicles are the top U.S. brands when it comes to auto reliability and quality. Japanese automakers continued to dominate Consumer Reports' annual survey but Chrysler's Jeep brand was number one for American car companies.

Jeep rose 7 spots to finish 13th. Chrysler moved up in Consumer Reports' ranking from 27th last year to 15th this year.

"They seem to be totally transfixed on getting it right," Consumer Reports David Champion said of Chrysler. "It was in many ways `Do or Die' for Chrysler".

Doug Betts, Chrysler's head of quality, said that for the past two years, Chrysler has been doing more rigorous tests on new models and finding and fixing problems before the cars reach showrooms.

"Maybe we didn't have all the environmental conditions or customer usages defined," he said.

The testing now simulates more extreme weather conditions and ways people use vehicles, Betts said.

Ford fell 10 spots and is now ranked 20th out of 28 major brands.

General Motors reliability also waned after edging up last year in the survey.