Lexus Is the Most Dependable Car, MINI the Least

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The widely followed J.D. Power 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study lists Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), as having the most dependable cars based on the number of problems drivers had over three years of ownership. Toyota finished eighth in the survey, a powerful statement about the ongoing quality of the world’s largest car company. The J.D. Power rank is based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) measure.

At the bottom of the list was MINI, followed by Dodge and Land Rover. Chrysler brands did particularly poorly. Jeep was also near the bottom of the dependability list, and the Chrysler brand was well below average.

Commenting on the list, Power reported:

Lexus ranks highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates for a third consecutive year. The gap between Lexus and all other brands is substantial, with Lexus averaging 68 PP100 compared with second-ranked Mercedes-Benz at 104 PP100. Following Mercedes-Benz in the rankings are Cadillac (107), Acura (109) and Buick (112), respectively.

General Motors Company receives eight segment awards?more than any other automaker in 2014?for the Buick Lucerne; Cadillac DTS (tie); Cadillac Escalade; Chevrolet Camaro; Chevrolet Volt; GMC Sierra HD; GMC Sierra LD; and GMC Yukon. Toyota Motor Corporation garners seven awards for the Lexus ES; Lexus GS; Lexus LS (tie); Lexus RX; Scion xB; Toyota Camry; and Toyota Sienna. Honda Motor Company receives six model-level awards for the Acura RDX; Honda CR-V; Honda Crosstour; Honda Element; Honda Fit; and Honda Ridgeline. MINI receives one model-level award for the MINI Cooper.

Luxury brands did particularly well, with Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, General Motors Co.’s (NYSE: GM) Cadillac, Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE: F) Lincoln, Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s (NYSE: HMC) Acura, Porsche and Jaguar all rating above average. The ratings are a particular coup for Lincoln and Cadillac, which have struggled to catch German manufacturers. Cadillac has had success with its ATS and CTS models. So far. Lincoln continues to lag.

J.D. Power pointed out that dependability and sales are linked:

On average, 23 percent of consumers avoided brands that ranked in the lowest quartile of the 2013 VDS because of concerns about reliability. In contrast, only 9 percent of consumers cited that same reason for avoiding brands that ranked in the top quartile.

Methodology: The Vehicle Dependability Study is used extensively by manufacturers and suppliers worldwide to help them design and build better vehicles, which typically translates into higher resale values and customer loyalty. It also helps consumers make more-informed choices for both new- and used-vehicle purchases. The 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from more than 41,000 original owners of 2011 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded between October and December 2013.

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