According to J.D Power Associates, the Lexus and Porsche brands are tied as to vehicle dependability among all nameplates. Each achieved a score of 110 PP100. This is the sixth consecutive year of Lexus topping the nameplate rankings in the VDS, said a news release from the global marketing information group.
 
Next on the list is Toyota (123 PP100), having moved up one notch since 2016.
 
Following Toyota in the rankings are Buick (126 PP100) and Mercedes-Benz (131 PP100).
 
Korean manufacturer Hyundai (133 PP100) is the most improved nameplate in the study, improving by 25 PP100 from 2016. At sixth position (up from 19th in 2016), this is Hyundai’s best-ever ranking in the VDS.
 
Dodge and Ford show notable improvement: both marques improved by 21 PP100 from 2016.
 
Luxury brand Land Rover improved by 20 PP100.
 
Toyota Motor Corporation models received 10 of the 18 segment awards, thus representing the highest number of awards ever received by an individual corporation in the study. 
 
Toyota awardees are:
 
Lexus ES; Lexus GS; Lexus RX; Toyota Avalon; Toyota Camry; Toyota FJ Cruiser; Toyota Prius; Toyota Prius v; Toyota Sienna; and Toyota Venza.
 
The Toyota Camry has the lowest PP100 score industry-wide.
 
General Motors models receive four segment awards for the Chevrolet Camaro; Chevrolet Sonic; Chevrolet Silverado HD; and Chevrolet Tahoe.
 
Other models receiving segment awards in the study are the Ford F-150 pickup; Honda Ridgeline; Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class; and Volkswagen Tiguan.
 

Other Key Findings

The study found that continuing increases in technology-related problems have contributed to dependability worsening in the industry for a second consecutive year. The industry average of 156 PP100 is a 4 PP100 increase from 2016. The most problematic area for automakers is the Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN) category, which accounted for 22% of all problems reported—up from 20% last year. J.D. Power noted that for the third consecutive year, the problems most reported by owners are Bluetooth pairing and connectivity, as well as built-in voice recognition technology that misinterprets commands.
 
New to the top 10 list of problems reported in 2017 is battery failure. In fact, 44% more owners reported a battery failure this year than in 2016. Batteries are the most frequently replaced component not related to normal wear and tear in 3-year-old vehicles at 6.1%—up 1.3 percentage points from 2016. Industry experts say it remains to be scene whether battery drain due to vehicle electronics is contributing to battery failure.
 
The 2017 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 35,186 original owners of 2014 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded from October through December 2016.
 
The vehicles considered in this study are 2014 models. The best vehicles have but one failure per year, while the worst (excluding Fiat) has two.  The average vehicles have 1.5 failures. In the 1950s, the difference between good and bad was 10 or more failures.  


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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