Lexus was the clear leader in the survey, which ranks brands according to the number of problems experienced by owners over the past 12 months, expressed as problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Lexus scored 86 PP100, ahead of second-placed Porsche on 98. The study is based on the responses of more than 31,000 original owners of 2009 model year vehicles after three years of ownership.
Toyota brand tied for third with Cadillac on 104, with youth-focused subdivision Scion (111) finishing just ahead of Mercedes-Benz (112) in fifth. Scion and Mini enjoyed the greatest year-on-year improvements – jumping 55 and 60 PP100 respectively.
Ford, Hyundai and Honda were other notable brands to rank ahead of the 132 PP100 industry average.
Chrysler Group was at the other end of the spectrum to Toyota. Its four core brands – Chrysler (192), Dodge (183), Jeep (179) and Ram (174) – filled the bottom four positions on the dependability rankings table. Jaguar, Volkswagen and Mazda were also in the bottom 10.
The 2012 PP100 average represents a 13 per cent improvement compared with 2011.
J.D. Power and Associates vice president of global automotive David Sargent says this year’s results are particularly impressive given the difficulties endured by industry when these vehicles were built in 2009.
“Despite facing immense challenges in 2009, automakers placed a keen focus on delivering outstanding levels of quality, which they understood would be essential to their long-term success,” Sargent said.
“Three years later, owners of these models are enjoying unprecedented levels of vehicle dependability and manufacturers are experiencing market recovery.”
Top ranked vehicles by segment:
- Sub-compact car – Toyota Yaris
- Compact car – Toyota Prius
- Compact sports car – Scion tC
- Midsize car – Ford Fusion
- Large car – Buick Lucerne
- Entry premium car – Lexus ES350/Lincoln MKZ
- Midsize premium car – Hyundai Genesis
- Compact MPV – Scion xB (Toyota Rukus)
- Compact crossover/SUV – Chevrolet Equinox
- Midsize crossover /SUV – Ford Explorer/Nissan Murano
- Midsize premium crossover/SUV – Lexus RX350
- Midsize pick-up – Nissan Frontier
- Minivan – Toyota Sienna
- Large Pick-up – Toyota Tundra
The Lexus LS was the highest-ranked vehicle of all nameplates in the survey, averaging just 72 PP100.
It was one of eight winners for Toyota Motor Corp. across the 14 segments. Ford Motor Company was the next best with three individual winners.
The study also made special mention of the Ford Mustang, GMC Yukon and the Porsche 911, which performed particularly well but were not awarded due to insufficient data from their low-volume segments.