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Auto Dependability Soars, J.D. Power Study Finds

Auto Dependability Soars, J.D. Power Study Finds

By Jeff Youngs, February 24, 2012
Automakers produced historically high levels of vehicle dependability in the latest U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, just released by J.D. Power and Associates. The results largely stem from the strong initial quality of 2009-model-year vehicles, an indication of the industry's manufacturing discipline given that they were produced during one of the toughest years ever experienced by the auto industry.

Toyota continued to lead the industry in J.D. Power's 2012 dependability study, garnering eight segment awards for its various brands, including Lexus and Scion -more than any other automaker. Ford received three model awards, and General Motors and Nissan Group each received two awards. The Hyundai Genesis also garnered an award.

Overall dependability in the study is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher long-term quality. Overall, Lexus was the most dependable nameplate (brand) after three years of new-vehicle ownership, with 86 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), followed by Porsche, with 98; Cadillac and Toyota, with 104; and Scion, with 111.

Overall, vehicle dependability in 2012 averaged 132 PP100, an improvement of 13 percent from the 2011 average of 151, which is the lowest problem rate since the inception of the study in 1990.

"Despite facing immense challenges in 2009, automakers placed a keen focus on delivering outstanding levels of quality, which they understood would be essential to their long-term success," said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive for J.D. Power. "This is good news both for owners-who are holding on to their vehicles for longer than ever-and manufacturers, since perception of quality and dependability is a critical factor in vehicle purchase decisions."

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