Market research firm J.D. Power has released its 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study for the US market, and it has been found that overall dependability worsened for the first time since 1998. The study aims to determine the quality of three-year-old cars in the United States. Last year, the industry average was 126 problems per 100 (PP100) vehicles. This year? The industry average is up by six percent, or 133 PP100.
The lower the number, of course, the better a car's dependability.
According to J.D. Power vice president David Sargent, largely responsible for this were the increased engine and transmission problems found on 2011 model-year cars. "Until this year, we have seen a continual improvement in vehicle dependability," Sargent said. "However, some of the changes that automakers implemented for the 2011 model year have led to a noticeable increase in problems reported."
Japanese luxury brand Lexus topped this year's study, registering just 68 problems per 100 vehicles. In far second is Mercedes-Benz with 104 PP100, followed by Cadillac (107 PP100), Acura (109 PP100) and Buick (112 PP100).
Honda and Toyota are tops among mass-market brands, both scoring 114 PP100. They are tied with another premium brand, Lincoln, also with 114 PP100.
The next three brands on the list are likewise premium: Porsche (125 PP100), Infiniti (128 PP100) and BMW (130 PP100). They are trailed by Subaru (131 PP100), Chevrolet (132 PP100), Jaguar (132 PP100), Mazda (132 PP100) and GMC (133 PP100).
The aforementioned car brands have either the same score as or better score than the industry average of 133 problems per 100 vehicles. The other brands not mentioned had more problems reported by their customers. Check out the complete list below, and see which brands didn't make the cut. Oh, and there is also a listing of the highest-ranked vehicles per segment.