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Lexus, Porsche top US dependability survey

Top stuff: Legendary attention to detail has again paid dividends for Lexus which drew for top spot with Porsche in the annual US JD Power dependability survey.

Luxury brands Lexus and Porsche again top quality survey while FCA brings up rear


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23 Feb 2017

DESPITE an increase in quality problems reported by owners of their cars, Lexus, Porsche and Toyota have again led the way in the JD Power vehicle dependability study in the United States.

At the other end of the scale, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles again wore the dunce’s hat in the 2017 survey, with its brands Fiat, Jeep, Dodge and Ram all stacked at the bottom of the rankings in what amounts to miserable reading for FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

By comparison, rival General Motors scored above-average results for all of its major divisions, with Buick taking fourth place, just behind Toyota and ahead of an improved Mercedes-Benz.

The results are based on a survey of more than 35,000 vehicle owners after three years of ownership and covers 177 trouble spots in eight categories.

This year, Lexus and Porsche drew for top spot with 110 problems per 100 vehicles, or slightly more than one problem per car over the three-year survey period. This reflects a jump in problems for both brands, as Lexus scored 95 last year while Porsche came second with 97.

However, it was really business as usual for Toyota’s luxury brand which has topped the survey for six consecutive years.

Ranked third overall with 123 problems per 100 vehicles and moving up from fourth place last year, Toyota was the top-ranked mainstream brand, collecting seven out of 18 vehicle segment awards – by far the most of any brand.

Hyundai continued its rise from industry also-ran to star performer, rising from 19th place last year to sixth in the 2017 survey, sandwiched between luxury brands BMW and Mercedes-BenzFord improved its score by 21 problems per 100, to 183, but was still way below the industry average of 156. The Blue Oval came just 26th in the latest survey, while its Lincoln premium division fared better at 12th.

GM mainstream brand Chevrolet came eighth with an above-average score of 142, while also winning four vehicle segments – small car (Sonic), mid-sized sporty car (Camaro), large SUV (Tahoe) and heavy-duty pick-up (Silverado).

In a worrying sign for Nissan, both of its global brands, Nissan and Infiniti, were way below average in the latest survey.

Nissan managed 170 problems per 100 vehicles to come 23rd, while the luxury marque Infiniti came third last with a shocking score of 203, down from 136 and 13th place last year, to place it among the red-faced FCA brands Ram (183), Dodge (187), Jeep (209) and Fiat (298).

Lexus made almost a clean sweep in premium vehicle categories, top-scoring in compact premium (Lexus ES), mid-sized premium (Lexus GS) and mid-sized premium SUV (Lexus RX).

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