Lexus, Porsche Top 2013 J.D. Power Dependability Study

New-car quality keeps improving, according to J.D. Power and Associates' annual dependability study. The 2013 report, released today, says that overall vehicle dependability across all brands and vehicles has improved by 5%. The big winner this year is Lexus, ranking the highest in vehicle dependability for the second year in a row. At the bottom of the heap is Land Rover, taking the spot from last year's loser, the Chrysler brand.

The data company's annual Vehicle Dependability Study rates the reliability of 3-year-old vehicles, so this year's scores examine the performance of model-year 2010 cars, trucks and SUVs. Along with the results, J.D. Power also reported some surprising findings: This is the first year there are fewer reported problems for new or redesigned models than carryover models.

"There is a perception that all-new models, or models that undergo a major redesign, are more problematic than carryover models. Data from the 2013 VDS suggests that this is not the case. The rapid improvement in fundamental vehicle dependability each year is more than offsetting any initial glitches that all-new or redesigned models may have," David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a statement.

The study measures problems experienced by owners during the last 12 months and determines overall dependability by the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles, which is called PP100. A lower score reflects higher quality. In 2013, overall vehicle dependability averages 126 PP100, up from 2012's average of 132. J.D. Power reports it's also the lowest problem count since the study’s 1989 inception.

Out of the 31 brands studied, 21 of them have higher scores than they did in 2012. Although the Lexus brand is at the top, domestic vehicles have improved at a greater rate than imports, the agency reports. 

The top vehicle is the Lexus RX, which had the fewest reported problems at 57 PP100. This is the first time a crossover has topped the list. In terms of brands, the most improved award goes to Ram truck.

Check out the chart below for a full breakdown.


J.D. Power Releases 2012 Dependability Study
Ford and Toyota Top 2011 J.D. Power Dependability Study
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These ratings are a joke and a disservice to uninformed consumers.


how is that? Their methods are more sound than consumer reports. People that are biased towards imports are always trying to magnify CR's flawed data while dismissing all other sources. Which is why bowrider can't provide any reasoning to support his statement.


I say any site or publication that quotes consumer reports reliability rankings without being honest about the inherent flaws in their data is doing a disservice to consumers. Then again, I get the impression many folks LIKE reporting CR's results (i.e. year after year Japanese cars rule, everything else is unreliable) so they find it easy not to mention CR's inconsistencies and flaws.


I'm not biased toward any manufacturer nor was I attempting to legitimize CR as a good source of information by opining that this report is bad. I think like other posts you've attempted to rebuttal, you've read too much into mine. I'm not a fan of CR.


We recently bought a Lexus ES instead of a CTS and couldn't be happier. These ratings just reinforce our decision to buy our first Japanese car. Ironically we traded in a Cadillac on the Lexus.


So Bowrider why is JD Power VDS a joke and a disservice?


these results clearly don't line up with CR results. Just by personal experience (i have owned many cars and pay attention to friends experiences with their cars), and also based on other source s of reliability information, the CR results line up much better. These results conflict with many other sources of reliability data. Come on, mercedes benz at #3!


there is a reason they dont line up with CR results. CR provides no information about how many problems per vehicle are noted in their survey- they simply offer a comparison of how vehicles relate to the average number of reported problems. Their data presentation is flawed and they get data from the same set of people over and over while JD Power and others send out surveys and get a random set of responses from car owners. I don't know if MB vehicles are really unreliable, what we know is that they are very expensive to maintain- thats a very different thing. If you look at the long term tests conducted by the various magazines/websites in which they typically put 20k-40k miles on a vehicle in a year you don't see much of a difference in repair rates which makes you wonder how is CR finding such large variations in quality.


We've based our car purchasing largely on three sources: Consumer Reports, Car & Driver, and and have never been disappointed. I think they're the 3 best sources one can leverage when making such an important purchase. I think CR's information is very reliable.


CR has been proven time and again to be unreliable and arbitrary. This is true not only for their auto reviews but for many other items as well.

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