JD Power and Associates have released the results of their 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study, and the biggest news is that Lexus has been knocked out of the top spot.
JD Power compiled information from over 46,000 original owners of three-year-old (2006 model year) vehicles to measure performance on a "problems per 100 vehicles" metric. The 2009 study covers 202 total problems, broken into several categories. The study revealed that the number of problems per 100 vehicles for the overall industry has declined by 36 since last year, to an average of 170.
According to the study, Buick and Jaguar both jumped ahead of Lexus, tying for most dependable with 122 problems per 100 vehicles. Lexus was next with 126 problems per 100 vehicles, followed by Toyota (129), Mercury (134) and Infiniti (142). Last year, Lexus ranked first, Buick was sixth and Jaguar was ninth.
Of the 17 brands that scored above average, 11 were luxury or premium brands, including Audi, Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche. Ford and Honda saw all their brands ranked above average.
Chrysler's Dodge and Jeep brands, along with GM's Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, Saab, and Saturn brands, all ranked below the industry average. Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Mazda were all also below average, while Volkswagen and Suzuki ranked the worst of all brands, with problems per 100 scores of 260 and 263 respectively.
Toyota won the most individual segment awards, with the Camry Solara, Highlander, Prius, Sequoia and Tundra all winning their respective segments. Lexus followed with segment awards for the ES 330, GX 470, LS 430 and SC 430. Toyota's Scion brand also received a segment award for the xA subcompact. Seven Detroit three vehicles managed to nab segment awards: the Buick LaCrosse, Dodge Caravan, Ford Ranger, Lincoln Mark LT, Lincoln Zephyr (now called the MKZ) and Mercury Grand Marquis.
Source: JD Power and Associates