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by Tim Beissmann

Lexus has been named the top manufacturer for aftersales dealer service in the US for the fourth consecutive year, according to the results of the latest J.D. Power survey.

The luxury arm of Toyota maintained its unrivalled reputation for aftersales service, achieving a customer satisfaction score of 861, ahead of General Motors’ prestige marque, Cadillac (852), and Jaguar (849).

Acura and Porsche also performed above the average in the luxury brands category, while the big three Germans (Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW) all fell below the line. Land Rover was the worst performing luxury car marque with a score of 796.

Among mass-market brands, Mini that rated the best for aftersales dealer service for the second consecutive year. The BMW-owned small-car brand scored 809 points, putting it just ahead of GM’s three other brands, Buick (805), GMC (803) and Chevrolet (801). Hyundai, Ford, Volkswagen, Kia and Honda were all rated above average.

At the other end of the scale, Dodge, Suzuki, Smart and Jeep filled the bottom rungs, while Japanese manufacturers Nissan, Mazda, Toyota, Subaru and Mitsubishi also performed below average in terms of customer satisfaction in aftersales service and care.

The J.D. Power rankings are based on the responses of more than 84,000 owners and lessees of 2007 to 2011 model year vehicles. Dealerships were rated according to five measures: service quality, service initiation, service advisor, service facility, and vehicle pick-up.

The study recommended three specific actions dealers could take to improve their levels of customer satisfaction: offer online scheduling of service appointments, review inspection reports with all service customers, and implement complimentary maintenance programs.

Additionally, Lexus, Cadillac, Jaguar and Mini were named among J.D. Power’s 50 customer service champions for 2012, which includes brands from a wide range of consumer segments, like Apple, Boost Mobile and The Ritz-Carlton.