Of the 31 automobile brands ranked in the 2018 U.S. vehicle dependability study conducted by J.D. Power, the Lexus brand from Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) topped the ranking for the seventh straight year. Porsche ranked second, and General Motors Co.’s (NYSE: GM) Buick brand ranked third.
The Lexus had a problem per 100 (PP100) score of 99, the only vehicle to score below 100. VW’s Porsche brand scored 100, and the Buick brand from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) scored 116, the lowest PP100 score among mass market brands.
The study was conducted from October through December of 2017 and surveyed more than 36,000 car owners of 2015 model year vehicles after three years of ownership. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles and the study included 177 specific problem symptoms grouped into eight major categories. A lower score is better.
Mazda’s Infiniti brand ranked fourth with a PP100 score of 120 followed by Kia (122) and Chevrolet (124). Rounding out the top 10 were Hyundai (124), BMW (127), Toyota (127) and, tied for tenth, Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE: F) Lincoln brand and Nissan (133).
Despite a rather dismal showing for all Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.’s (NYSE: FCAU) brands, the company’s Fiat posted the biggest year-over-year improvement of any brand: an improvement of 106 points to a PP100 score of 192.
The Ford brand scored 152, and the company’s SuperDuty pickups were rated best in their segment. The Expedition was ranked first in its segment.
Dave Sargent, vice president of Global Automotive at J.D. Power, noted the year-over-year improvement in the industry average score:
For the most part, automotive manufacturers continue to meet consumers’ vehicle dependability expectations. A 9% improvement is extremely impressive, and vehicle dependability is, without question, at its best level ever. For people looking for a new or used model, now is a good time to find that special vehicle.
The most frequently reported problems were related to in-vehicle technology such as the audio/communications/entertainment/navigation systems. Bluetooth connectivity and built-in voice recognition systems misinterpreting commands continue to be the biggest issues.
Visit the J.D. Power website to see the segment rankings and more details from the survey.