Lexus topped a U.S. vehicle dependability study of owners of 3-year-old cars and trucks released by J.D. Power and Associates.
According to the survey, model-year 2010 vehicles improved to record-high quality levels. Cars saw a 5 percent improvement in quality, falling to 126 problems per 100 vehicles from 132 last year, according to the study. Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus led with a score of 71 problems per 100 vehicles.
Vehicle reliability is important to automakers as fewer problems translates into more loyal customers. According to J.D. Power, 54 percent of owners who don’t experience any problems with their vehicles stay with that brand for their next purchase. The loyalty rate slips to 41 percent when three or more problems are being experienced.
Twenty-one of the 31 brands measured improved their scores in the survey, with U.S. domestic nameplates improving at a slightly greater rate than imports. Following Lexus, which led for a second year in a row, were Porsche (94 problems per 100 vehicles), Lincoln and Toyota (each at 112), Mercedes-Benz (115) and Buick (118). Rounding out the top 10 were Honda (119), Acura (120), Ram and Suzuki (122 each). Mazda and Chevrolet also scored lower than the industry average at 124 and 125, respectively.
The bottom five scoring brands in the survey were Volkswagen (174 problems per 100 vehicles), Jeep and Mitsubishi (each at 178), Dodge (190) and Land Rover (220).