J.D.Power survey shows best & worst reliability

J.D.Power survey shows best & worst reliability

American research firm J.D. Power and Associates has just released its 2008 Vehicle Dependability Study that measures vehicle quality in the first three years of owning a vehicle brand. The study also says that long-term vehicle quality has also improved 5% across the industry in 2008, with the industry average dropping 10 PP100 (problems per 100 vehicles) down to 206 this year. Their full list is rather interesting.

For the 14th year in a row, Lexus is in the lead. The most reliable brands include the usual Toyota and Honda nameplates, with some surprise coming in the form of American brands such Cadillac and Mercury. Jaguar and BMW seem to have improved, overtaking Porsche and Infiniti. Notice that Nissan is below the industry average, most likely due to their American-built models and cost-cutting measures. Mazda, Kia and Subaru are also surprisingly low in the rankings, considering Mitsubishi and Hyundai are above-average. Audi and Mercedes-Benz take their usual spots with below-average reliability, while Volkswagen takes its rightful place near the bottom of the list.

The Vehicle Dependability Study is based on surveys taken of 52,000 original owners of 2005 model year vehicles. It only takes into account American owners, and therefore lists some brands not sold elsewhere. Note that some brands, such as Chrysler, Jeep, KIA and Toyota, build cars for the American market in American factories, so we here experience different levels of reliability. For the GCC market, many Chrysler and Jeep models are built in Austria, while most KIA models come here from Korea and many Toyota models come here from Japan and Australia.

Do not confuse this survey with “initial quality” surveys that car manufacturers like to brag about. Those surveys only list quality as seen on the first few days of ownership. For example, Audi and VW get top rankings in “initial quality” surveys, but then fall apart a year later, as reflected in this long-term “dependability” survey. Many local magazines refuse to report this specific survey in fear of offending their sponsors.

What do you think?



  1. Good to see beamers being reliable, mercedes benz should follow suit..

  2. Yeh true Nissan have gone down like you said, model years from 2005-2008 seemed to suffer the most as the company was commin out of hard times. But im confident enough that if model years from 2008 are taken into account,they’d fare much better as the these models years have far better improvements over the previous generation.

  3. Well, I was just wondering about a Mercury Milan that I’m about to buy, to my surprise, Mercury got the Silver Medal! I’m heading to the dealer…

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