J.D. Power has officially released the 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study, an annual list of the most dependable brands in the auto industry. Once again coming on top is Lexus, the luxury arm of Toyota. This will be the sixth straight year that Lexus has taken the top spot on this list. Following Lexus is Porsche, the same position it was in last year.
Rounding out the top 5 are Toyota, followed by Buick and the Mercedes-Benz. Making its way to the top 10 are Hyundai (6), BMW (7), and Jaguar (10). However, this meant that some of those in the top 10 last have dropped further like GMC (14) and Lincoln (12). Acura dropped below the 20 rank to number 23 with Ram experiencing the biggest drop and now at number 28.
This meant though that Toyota retains the lead, taking two of the top three spots. In addition, Toyota also managed to get 10 segment awards, the most number by far since the study was first done. Other awardees include GM with four, and Honda, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen each getting one award.
The study conducted by J.D. power revealed that the industry average was 156 problems for every 100 vehicles, an increase from the figures of last year. New problems included those related to entertainment, communication, audio, and even navigation systems. In fact, problems in these areas comprised 22% of all the problems that were reported.
In terms of actual scores, both Lexus and Porsche had 110 problems per 100 vehicles. Toyota had 123 with Buick disclosing 126. On the other end of the spectrum, Infiniti had 203 problems, Jeep reported 209, and the highest was Fiat with the most problems at 298. A total of 31 brands were studied with 17 of them being above the industry average. While there were indeed only 14 brands that fell lower than the average, there were some surprises like Volkswagen and Subaru as these brands were generally at the top of this list in the past.
According to J.D. Power vice president of global automotive Dave Sargent, while things are indeed becoming better, it is balanced by the technology that is being fitted inside the models. Sargent continued by saying that many buyers today will do what they can to avoid models that are considered to rate poorly when it comes to dependability. This is why many automakers will continue to focus on quality, he added.
This will be the 28th year of this study and what J.D. Power focused on this time was to look at the different issues that were faced over the last year by owners of 2014 model-year cars. Indeed, J.D. Power found out that aside from brand loyalty, long-term quality played an important role in the purchase decisions of the customers.