Lexus tops latest JD Power dependability study

Lexus tops latest JD Power dependability study

Lexus has achieved the highest ranking in JD Power’s dependability study for the fifth year in a row.

Toyota’s Luxury division received a score of 95 problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100). Porsche follows with 91 PP100, while Buick holds the third position with 106 PP100.

General Motors achieved the highest number of segment awards with the Buick Encore, LaCrosse and Verano; the Chevrolet Malibu, Silverado HD and Equinox; and the GMC Yukon.

The 2016 study marks another troublesome report for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brands. Dodge was at the bottom of the list with 208 PP100, slightly behind Ford, Smart and Land Rover. Nearly every FCA marque was behind the industry average of PP152, save for Ram in ninth place with 129 PP100. Notably, the Fiat 500 ranked highest in the city-car category.

Now in its 27th year, the JD Power study is based on survey responses from original owners of 2013-model-year vehicles. Design-related problems now account for 39 percent of reported issues, up slightly from 2015, while the number of engine/transmission issues has fallen slightly.

Many of the design-related issues involve voice-recognition failures and Bluetooth pairing or connectivity problems.

“Usability problems that customers reported during their first 90 days of ownership are still bothering them three years later in ever-higher numbers,” said JD Power automotive VP Renee Stephens. “At the same time, the penetration of these features has increased year over year.”

Stephens views the increasing number of technology deficiencies as evidence that automakers must work to gain consumer confidence before rolling out autonomous technology.

“Right now, if consumers can’t rely on their vehicle to connect to their smartphone, or have faith that their navigation system will route them to their destination, they’re certainly not yet ready to trust that autonomous technology will keep their vehicle out of the ditch,” she concluded.

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