Lincoln had the lowest number of problems per 100 vehicles (101) of any major auto nameplate in 2011, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. Lincoln improves by 13 PP100 from 2010 and beats the industry average of 151 PP100 by 50 points.
The study, which measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old (2008 model year) vehicles, includes 202 different problem symptoms across all areas of the vehicle. Overall dependability is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
Imports Take Next Four Nameplate Spots
Lexus follows Lincoln in the nameplate rankings (109). Rounding out the top five nameplates are four import nameplates: Jaguar (112), Porsche (114) and Toyota (122). The study finds that while domestic brands have closed the gap in initial quality with import brands, there is still a considerable difference between the two in vehicle dependability, with import brands outperforming domestic brands by 18 PP100 in 2011.
While domestic brand cars have fewer problems (135 PP100, on average) than import brand cars (147 PP100, on average), trucks and crossover vehicles1 of import brands have considerably fewer problems than those of domestic brands. In addition, Toyota is the highest ranked non-luxury nameplate.
Toyota Gets Most Segment Awards
Toyota Motor Corporation continues to perform well in long-term dependability and garners seven segment awards, more than any other automaker in 2011, for the Lexus RX, Scion xB, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Prius, Toyota Sienna, Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra.
Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company receives four model awards for the Ford Fusion, Ford Mustang, Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln Navigator. General Motors (Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS, and Chevrolet Tahoe) and Honda Motor Company (Acura RL, Honda CR-V and Honda Fit) each receive three awards.
In addition, the following models also receive awards: BMW X3, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Mercedes-Benz CLK. The Porsche 911 has the fewest problems in the industry, with just 68 PP100.
Problem Rate Lowest Ever, But Pace of Improvement Slows
The overall vehicle dependability average of 151 PP100 is the lowest problem rate since the inception of the study in 1990 and improves from 170 PP 100 in 2009. Between 2009 and 2011, annual improvement for the industry has averaged 6%, which is slightly lower than historical rates of improvement. During the past decade, industry improvement has averaged 8% each year. J.D. Power says slowdown in improvement is largely attributable to increased rates of problems with electronic features in vehicles, including audio, entertainment and navigation systems and new safety features, such as tire pressure monitoring systems.
Lexus, Mini Dealers Rate Highest in Customer Satisfaction
Luxury auto brand Lexus and mass market auto brand Mini achieved the highest ratings in their respective categories in the recent J.D. Power & Associates 2011 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. Lexus ranks highest in customer satisfaction with dealer service among luxury brands for a second consecutive year and receives an award for a third consecutive year, while among mass market brands, MINI ranks highest with a score of 805 and improves by 19 points from 2010.
About the Data: The 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study, published by J.D. Power & Associates, is based on responses from more than 43,700 original owners of 2008 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded between October and December 2010 and is the source of the enclosed charts.