Cars and Drivers

The Worst Car Brand in America

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Car companies anxiously wait for the J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study every year. The 2024 edition is out. One of America’s most iconic brands took the bottom spot.

The study looks at factors after cars are owned for three years. The metrics cover 184 possible problems across nine categories:

  • Climate
  • Driving assistance
  • Driving experience
  • Exterior
  • Features/controls/displays
  • Infotainment
  • Interior
  • Powertrain
  • Seats

The study mirrors the results of the J.D. Power Initial Quality, which polls people after they have owned a car for 90 days. Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power, commented: “This can likely be attributed to the tumultuous time during which these vehicles were built, and owners are keeping their vehicles for much longer.” (These are the car brands Americans dislike the most.)

The scores are reported based on problem per 100 vehicles (PP100). The average score across all brands was 190. One trend that has not changed over the past several years is that people find infotainment and driver assistance features overly complex and likely to develop problems.

As has been the case for decades, Japanese models tend to do well and this year took the top two spots. Lexus (Toyota’s luxury brand) finished first with a 135 PP100. Toyota was second with 147. Among American manufacturers, Buick, a General Motors brand, scored 149.

The Worst Car Brand in America

The worst car brand
The worst car brand

At the bottom of the list, Chrysler scored 310, which was the worst by far. The brand with the second worst PP100 was Audi, one of Germany’s luxury cars, with a score of 275.

Chrysler was among the greatest brands in the history of the U.S. automotive industry. For decades it was the third of the Big Three, along with GM and Ford. Today, it is owned by Stellantis, an Italian-based manufacturer that also owns Opel, Peugeot, and Jeep. It once had a lineup of over a dozen models. Now it only sells the Pacific and Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid minivans. It just discontinued its only sedan, the 300.

According to J.D. Power, these are the five worst car brands in America:

  • Chrysler (310)
  • Audi (275)
  • Land Rover (268)
  • Volkswagen (267)
  • Lincoln (251)

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