Lexus is sitting atop J.D. Power's 2014 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study for the third consecutive year. The Japanese luxury brand is followed by Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Acura and Buick. Buick was in the top 10 in 2013, but for this year managed to break into the top 5 along with Cadillac. Toyota, Porsche and Lincoln dropped from the top 5 this year.
Lurking at the bottom 5 of the list are Mini, Dodge, Land Rover, Jeep and Hyundai. J.D. Power's 2014 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study was derived from October-December responses of 41,000 original owners of 2011 vehicles among 31 brands.
It looked at issues and problems experienced during the past 12 months. Dependability is gauged by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles – the lower the score, the higher the quality. Local brands continue to shrink the dependability gap that foreign brands have enjoyed for years.
For 2014, domestics scored an average of 138 problems, while foreign brands scored 130 for a difference of 8. The gap was 10 in 2013, 13 in 2012 and 18 in 2011 and 2010. Dave Sargent, J.D. Power's vice president of global automotive, remarked that GM is reaping the fruits of its move to cut the vehicles it engineers from seven brands in 2009 to four.
According to Sargent, it is easier to concentrate on a smaller number of vehicles. He told Automotive News that domestic automakers are "obsessed with quality and dependability right now.” He remarked that the perception that local’s quality is not as good as imports are holding back domestics. He added that that to overcome this, they have to fix the quality and fix the perception.