2012 Vehicle Dependability Study Results
Strong initial quality of 2009 model-year vehicles which were produced during one of the most challenging years for the automotive industry has translated into historically high levels of vehicle dependability in 2012, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS).
The study, which is based on responses from more than 31,000 original owners of 2009 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership, measures problems experienced during the previous 12 months by those original owners. Overall dependability is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
According to the study, the dependability of 3-year-old vehicles has improved by 19 PP100 from the 2011 dependability study, and averages 132 PP100 in 2012. This improvement is similar to the industry trend noted in the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Initial Quality StudySM (IQS). Further, vehicle reliability as measured in the VDS has improved at an average annual rate of 8% from 2009. In fact, overall long-term vehicle dependability is the strongest it has ever been, and the gap between initial quality and long-term dependability continues to close.
"Overall long-term vehicle dependability is the strongest it has ever been, and the gap between initial quality and long-term dependability continues to close."
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 at J.D. Power and Associates. Three years later, owners of these models are enjoying unprecedented levels of vehicle dependability and manufacturers are experiencing market recovery. This is good news both for owners who are holding onto their vehicles for longer than ever and manufacturers, since perception of quality and dependability is a critical factor in vehicle purchase decisions.