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Lexus tops vehicle dependability study for seventh straight year

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 14, 2018

People browse through the Lexus exhibit during media previews at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 13, 2014. (Associated Press)
People browse through the Lexus exhibit during media previews at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 13, 2014. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

DETROIT – Lexus is the most dependable vehicle brand for the seventh consecutive year in J.D. Power’s annual survey.

Porsche, Buick, Infiniti and Kia round out the top five brands in the survey. The worst performers were Chrysler, Land Rover, Fiat, Jeep and Cadillac.

The survey measures problems that vehicle owners experience after three years of ownership. For this year’s survey, J.D. Power collected responses from 36,896 original owners of 2015 model year vehicles.

The overall dependability of vehicles increased this year for the first time since 2013, thanks to improving quality. J.D. Power said customers complain most frequently about problems with voice recognition technology and Bluetooth connectivity.

The survey also says:

Toyota Motor Corp., which owns the Lexus and Toyota brands, had six vehicles rank at the top of their segments, the most of any company. Winners include the Toyota Prius, which was the top compact car, and the Lexus RX, which was the top midsize SUV.

Older vehicles tend to do better in the rankings than new ones, since automakers have more time to work out kinks the longer a vehicle is on the market. The Audi Q3 small SUV was the only new-for-2015 vehicle to get a segment-level award.

Infiniti was the biggest climber in the rankings, moving from 29th in 2017 to fourth this year. Fiat, Nissan, Ford, Kia and Dodge also showed significant improvements.

The industry average score was 142 reported problems per 100 vehicles. Lexus had 99 reported problems while Chrysler had 211.

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