US Vehicle Dependability Climbs For The First Time Since 2013

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus luxury brand ranked top in a dependability survey for the seventh consecutive year, major US market research firm J.D. Power and Associates said Wednesday.

The overall USA auto industry average improved to 142 problems per 100 vehicles in 2017, down 9 percent from 156 problems in 2016, according to the study. Thus, a lower score suggests a higher long-term quality level. Audio/Communications/Entertainment/Navigation was the most troublesome area in this year's study, with voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity causing the most problems for owners.

"For the most part, automotive manufacturers continue to meet consumer' vehicle dependability expectations", Sargent said in a statement.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is notorious for performing poorly in these types of studies and Chrysler was dead last with 211 problems per 100 vehicles.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Japanese luxury brand Lexus led the VDS overall while Buick was tops among mass market brands.

These are the 15 most reliable auto brands. (Nissan comes second in this metric, with a reduction of 37 PP100; Ford ranks third, with 31 fewer PP100 this year.) Infiniti has the largest improvement in rank position, moving from 29th in the 2017 VDS to fourth in this year's study. Kia placed fifth, its best performance in the annual tally. The focus of this year's study was vehicles from the 2015 model year. Dodge and Nissan also earn their best rankings ever. The Lexus CT, Lexus ES, Lexus GS, Lexus RX, Toyota Prius and Toyota Tacoma all earn category awards in the 2018 VDS.

General Motors models receive five segment awards for the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Traverse and Chevrolet Silverado. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Vanessa Coleman