Lincoln has topped the long-dominant Lexus brand in J.D. Power’s 2011 Dependability Survey. The brand’s performance represents a 13-point improvement from 2010. Lexus follows Lincoln in the nameplate rankings, with Jaguar, Porsche and Toyota rounding out the top five nameplates. The Porsche 911 has the fewest problems in the industry, with just 68 problems per 100 vehicles.
According to the 2011 VDS, overall vehicle dependability has improved from 2010, with automakers reducing problem rates in most traditional areas such as interiors, engines, transmissions, steering and braking. But increased levels of technological sophistication are causing some new issues, according to the study.
Overall vehicle dependability averages 151 problems per 100 vehicles in the 2011 study, the lowest problem rate since the study’s inception in 1990, and represents an improvement from 170 problems per 100 vehicles in 2009. Between 2009 and 2011, annual improvement for the industry has averaged six percent, which is slightly lower than historical rates of improvement. Over the past decade, industry improvement has averaged eight percent a year. The decrease in improvement is largely attributable to problems with electronic features in vehicles, including audio, entertainment and navigation systems and new safety features, such as tire pressure monitoring systems.
The study measures problems experienced over the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old (2008 model year) vehicles, and includes 202 different potential problem areas across all areas of the vehicle. Overall dependability is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles. A lower score reflects higher quality.
Toyota and Lexus combined nabbed seven segment awards, the most of any automaker in 2011—for the Lexus RX, Scion xB, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Prius, Toyota Sienna, Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra. Ford followed with four awards for the Ford Fusion, Ford Mustang, Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln Navigator. General Motors and Honda received three awards each. The BMW X3, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Mercedes-Benz CLK also received individual awards
Source: J.D. Power and Associates