• Mar 19th 2009 at 7:00AM
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Click above for results of 2009 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study

J.D. Power and Associates has just released its 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study... and it is a bombshell. For the past 14 years, including the most recent 2008 Vehicle Dependability Study, Lexus has sat at the top of the chart. In a significant upset this year, Buick and Jaguar have tied for top ranking (with just 122 problems per 100 vehicles) dropping the premium automaker Lexus (126 PP100) down to third place. The top five are rounded out by Toyota (129 PP100) and Mercury (134 PP100).

The Vehicle Dependability Study is designed to accurately measure problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2006 model year) vehicles. J.D. Power based this year's results on responses from more than 46,000 original owners of 2006 model-year vehicles. For 2009, the study has also been redesigned to include 202 different problem symptoms across all areas of the vehicle. Scores are based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with lower scores reflecting higher vehicle quality. The complete J.D. Power press release and charts can be found after the jump and in the gallery below.

[Source: J.D. Power and Associates]


J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Buick and Jaguar Tie to Rank Highest for Vehicle Dependability; Toyota Motor Corporation Captures Ten Segment Awards; Ford Motor Company Garners Four

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 19 March 2009 - Buick and Jaguar each rank highest in vehicle dependability in a tie, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS) released today. Buick improves from a sixth-place ranking in 2008, while Jaguar improves from 10th place. Following in the top five rankings this year are Lexus, Toyota and Mercury.

Toyota garners five segment awards-more than any other nameplate in 2009-for the Highlander, Prius, Sequoia, Solara and Tundra. Lexus follows with four segment awards for the ES 330 (in a tie with the Acura RL), GX 470, LS 430 and SC 430. Lincoln captures two awards for the Mark LT and Zephyr. Models by Acura, Buick, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mercury, Nissan and Scion each rank highest in one segment.

"Buick has ranked among the top 10 nameplates each year since the study was last redesigned in 2003, while Jaguar has moved rapidly up the rankings," said David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at
J.D. Power and Associates. "Lexus remains a very strong competitor in long-term quality. In particular, the Lexus LS 430 sets the industry standard for dependability, with fewer problems reported than any other model in the study."

The study, which measures problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2006 model year) vehicles, has been redesigned to include 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. The study is used extensively by vehicle manufacturers worldwide to help design and build better vehicles-which typically retain higher resale values-and by consumers to help them make more-informed choices for both new and used vehicles.

"In the current economic climate, consumers are delaying new-vehicle purchases and keeping their vehicles longer-the average age of a vehicle at trade-in has increased to 73 months in 2009 from 65 months in 2006," said Sargent. "This makes vehicle dependability even more critical. Automakers have improved long-term dependability by an average of 10 percent each year since the inception of the study, which is a testament to the industry's commitment to continuously improve and sustain quality, especially long-term quality. Making improvements in long-term quality not only satisfies customers who are holding onto their vehicles longer, but it will also influence their decisions when they return to the new-vehicle market or are seeking to purchase a pre-owned vehicle."

The study finds that the frequency and severity of component replacement has a particularly strong impact on customer loyalty intentions. Component areas for which the impact is greatest include engine and transmission. When engine components are replaced or rebuilt, just 11 percent of customers state that they definitely intend to purchase or lease another vehicle of the same make, compared with nearly 40 percent among owners who report replacing no components.

The study also finds that Buick, Lincoln, Mercury and Jaguar owners are less likely to replace components than owners of other vehicle brands. While component replacement rates are similar for premium and non-premium makes, there are notable differences between vehicle segments. Owners of models in the premium sporty vehicle segment are least likely to replace components, while owners of models in the van segment are most likely to replace components.

The 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from more than 46,000 original owners of 2006 model-year vehicles. The study was fielded in October 2008.

Find more detailed findings on vehicle dependability as well as model photos and specs by reading an article and reviewing brand and segment dependability ratings at JDPower.com.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      jaguar-the best car
      jaguar improved this year by showing their new xf-"modern Jaguar" that can compite against the germans and they did it.
      they improved their engines and exterior lines
      they also kept the Jaguarish feel of leather & wood with no sper expense.
      i have one its an x-type its not the expensive model but its so live
      engine sound feel -great interior and classic exterior look. top performance and soft "LINCOLN" springs.

      wait for the new XJ2010 youll go nuts!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Language: English (change)

      Okay, hold your horses. The test is based on problems per vehicle. Take into consideration the number of vehicles per manufacture. Buick has 4. Jaguar has 3. Lexus has 8 not including Hybrid/type F vehicles which would make it 12. Based on regular vehicles, Lexus has double the vehicles that Buick and Jaguar have. Based on 126 versus 122, the laws of percentages work in Lexus favor. The same goes for Lincoln and Mercury. If you notice, Ford who has significantly more vehicles than Lincoln or Mercury and Ford was down the list at 13. Mercury has four vehicles, Lincoln has 5. Toyota on the other hand has 17 vehicles and 20 including Hybrids and made 4Th on the list. That's impressive. Funny how Jaguar became better after Ford sold them. What's better is autoblog reported numerous problems with the Jaguar XF which has been recalled twice since December of 2008.

        • 6 Years Ago
        That's a very good point. More models means more cars to physically count towards the # of issues per nameplate to arrive at the resulting percentage. A company with 3 models theoretically, would have less issues than a nameplate that produces 8 models. Is it a flat 100 vehicles even presented across all models, or just randomly picked results from a pool?
        • 6 Years Ago
        This survey was based on MY 2006. Ford still owned Jag and the XF wasn't out yet.
        • 6 Years Ago
        TRDSmokedU- Unless the sample size is unreliabily small, what you are saying makes no sense whatsoever. You seem to be making a few incorrect assumptions.

        1. More models does not necessarily mean more cars. For example, one model of a Toyota (let's say the Camry) likely sell a whole hell of a lot more than the combination of a lot of models of another brand (such as Bentley or Jaguar).

        2. The problems per car is based on the average of the numbers the consumers report. Therefore, having more or less models makes no difference here, either. The important thing is to have an accurate representation of models (e.g. the ratio of camrys to avalons is 10:1, or whatever it is in the real world) and an adequate sample size of vehicles (too small of a sample size and the results are questionable).

        If I'm misinterpreting what you said, please do clear it up.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I bet now you wish you could delete your posts on AB, don't you TDR?
        • 6 Years Ago
        "The test is based on problems per vehicle. Take into consideration the number of vehicles per manufacture. Buick has 4. Jaguar has 3. Lexus has 8 not including Hybrid/type F vehicles which would make it 12. Based on regular vehicles, Lexus has double the vehicles that Buick and Jaguar have. Based on 126 versus 122, the laws of percentages work in Lexus favor."

        That makes no sense whatsoever. What does the number of different models have to do with anything?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Scion toward the bottom? WTH? I have seem more ratings put scion at the top often above lexus for reliability with the xB and xD ranked as some of the most reliable cars. Wonder how they got placed 31st on this list.

      "Toyota's Scion scored a double: Best brand overall, and its xD model was the top small car."

      "The Scion xD small wagon has the best predicted reliability of any car in the survey. It had 80% fewer problems than the average car in the survey."

      Has that much changed since october :) Me thinks consumer reports and JD powers needs to compare notes.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It lies in the survey methods. If one were to compare recalls and cost of ownership and the other polled a sample of actual owners then you can come up with wildly different answers.
        "How much have you spent in repairs to your vehicle in the last three years?"
        Jaguar: $2500
        Scion: $150
        "How many different problems have you had with your vehicle in the last three years?"
        Jaguar: 2
        Scion: 15, but dealer covered them all under warranty

        This is just an example (and hypothetical numbers), also if one of the surveys went by dealerships service records you could come up with different things entirely as well. There's a lot of different ways to measure what seems like the exact same thing.
        Neither JD Power nor Consumer Reports does a great job in wording their questions right and neither is very good at disclosing how inaccurate their yardsticks are for how the manufacturers measure up.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ken, don't Jaguars come with warranties?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mercury and Buick among the top five. Both are generally driven by elderly people who drive lesser miles. Maybe that partly explains their dependability and reliability.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I have to reply back to the other Buick owner that has had good service from his car. I wish I could say the same for my Buick. I own a 2000 Buick Lesabre and it has been a reliability nightmare and has only 80,000 miles on it. The car has been a one owner car, garage kept, routine maintenance performed and very well taken care of. I traded in a 1989 Olds 88 with 210k miles on it without ever an issue and gullibly thought the newer model of the same car would give similar results. I was wrong. I read on carsurvey and other sites, other owners have the same complaints in the long run like I do.

        I have replaced the window regulators at least twice on each window. I have replaced the head gasket once at 50k. The intake manifold warped twice and was in need of replacement, since it is a plastic composite material with no metal sleeves only rated to last between 30 to 80k miles. I have replaced the ventilation plenum controls. The main computer needed replacement. The windshield washer fluid tank has always leaked. The front end tie rods have consistently failed on three occasions. The transmission has always thudded when going into reverse when just starting up, a known issue for this drive train. Multiple engine sensors have failed. The radio intermittenly works and the rear defroster often causes it to become so unusable with static I have to shut it off. The steering wheel controls for the radio no longer function. The driver seat supports for the bottom of the seat have started to buckle. The rear middle seat belt does not fit into the clasp without forcing it in. The trunk formed a leak and the replacement custom dealer bought seal was incorrectly sized for the vehicle. The rear brake caliper failed. The fuel tank level sensor feeding the dashboard gauge has never been accurate. The windshield wiper sensors that control the wiper speed is never accurate and always forces it to full speed. The tire pressure monitoring system gives consistent false warnings. Numerous recall parts have been replaced. Numerous service bulletins researched. The car has only 80,000 miles on it and this will be the last GM I will buy for a long time. And I like Buicks.
        • 6 Years Ago

        My experience with two GM products (a 2003 Buick and 200 Buick) has been somewhat consistent with both vehicles. The 2000 being far less reliable out of the two, but the jury is still out on the 2003.

        "Of course. When the Domestics are succeeding, there is always an excuse."

        Your comment above seems to indicate there is no basis for my lack of willingness to buy another GM product, but I thought I was quite detailed in backing my position.

        What proof do you have to support that the long-term dependability will differ from their 2000 and 2003 vehicles?
        • 6 Years Ago
        UGGH! Why on God's green Earth do people brag about replacing spark plugs after thousands of miles? It like saying you have not changed your oil filter for the last 50,000 miles. That means you don't take care of car, that doesn't mean your car is reliable. For the last half of that car's life you have been getting ass awful performance and fuel economy. Your electrode must have been worn straight down to the nub.

        I feel like i need to start a camapign to make people aware of the necessity to replace the plugs and wires.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Of course. When the Domestics are succeeding, there is always an excuse.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Consumer Reports is undoubtedly a more reliable source than JD Power. The only knock against CR people have is that there personal experience does not align with their findings. JD Power, unlike CR, makes money from their findings(if they publish favorable findings for a company, that company will give them money). Their is economic incentive for them to have inaccurate results. Unless your epistemically naive, you have to admit that CR is more objective than JD.

      Spiel: My personal experience with a recent Jaguar would be a terrible indicator of their reliability. Personal experience is much too narrow to base it on. I don't think I need to explain that anymore. But your point about it being the XF's first year is legitimate, but I still feel that the amount of problems seem to be still too high. But this is somewhat expected with a first year car(although the XF seems to be badly designed in terms of reliability- the fancy air vents, shifter nob etc.) But I do love the XF, modern interior and fantastic exterior design.

      Alex: I'm not doubting that Jaguar has made considerable improvements in reliability. And I don't doubt your family has had a positive experience with them. But the fact Jaguar topped the list is immediately suspect. Compounded by the fact that JD will now get money from Jaguar, you have to call into question the study.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow BUICK MADE THE HIGHEST QUALITY CARS IN 2006! Sorry to shout, but c'mon, that's SHOUTING news! J.D. Powers researched among all car buyers and reported on their car excellence. They found Buick the top automaker for quality in 2006. Now that doesn't make "sense" since Consumer Reports' only rants about the quality of Asians. Turns out, CR only reviews their readers, who are predominantly Asian car owners. Look at CR's "subjective" comments for the Toyota Camry 09 and the Buick LaCrosse 09. CR grades Buick Lacrosse in 50's, and Toyota Camry in 80's. They say of the Buick: "the back seat is cramped..." and of the Toyota "spacious". But the facts show: The Buick and the Toyota have exactly (within .5cu ft or the size of a paperback novel) of interior room. The rear seat dimensions are virtually identical. That's right the Buick has .7" more hip room, .1" more shoulder room, .7" less knee room, and .2" less head room. Does that sound cramped to you? Where is the spaciousness in that Camry backseat that CR raves about? Clearly, CR car reviewers, who are mostly Asian car buyers, think GM is crap and don't read any facts, and have never tried a Buick!? Leave it to J.D. Powers to review do good research and review ALL car buyers. All car buyers found Buick on top. And not just of Toyota, but of Lexus. Congratulations Buick! GM is so beaten down by ignorance and prejudice based in the 80's. Buick, you made the finest cars for 2006. You and Jaguar truly shine!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think what's really amazing is that even the worst cars on the list only average a couple of problems over 3 years. At this point I think you can buy just about any new car, and it's going to be amazingly reliable.

      What I think these institutions need to start doing is focus on major breakdowns. Severity matters. Why does the piece of weather stripping that went bad after a year on my Ford count the same as the catastrophic transmission failure of my parents' Acura?
        • 6 Years Ago
        You nailed the key problem with JD Powers surveys.

        I don't think there is a survey that gives you a real idea of dependability or reliability, yet consumers make their buying decisions based on them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Congrats to both! I am a little mythed though at Buick. I would never expect them. They are very unimpressive to me. Jag has been too, although they are starting to come out with some seriously nice cars though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ford seems to doing quite well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i'm happy to see that Audi is superior to both MB and BMW in this ranking. I hope it means that more improved dependability is to come from my favorite carmaker...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok, so you are likely to have 1 1/2 more problems over a 3 year
      period if you own a Volkswagen instead of a Buick.

      I am a big Buick fan and do think they build one of the most reliable
      vehicle out there, but 1 1/2 issues over a 3 year period really isn't
      a big deal, assuming they aren't "major" issues.

      Like an earlier post stated, how about a survey where "major" issues are noted. The Acura we had for a VERY short time needed to have a body panel re-clipped, the dash was wavy so it was replaced and the transmission was slipping all within 1 year and 15,000 miles. That's the stuff I want to know about.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I figured Buick would be up there, but Jaguar? THAT'S AMAZING! I also congratulate FoMoCo for having all of its core American brands up there consistently.
      Also, how is Honda doing significantly worse than Toyota (Acura/Lexus not included)? I thought that Hondas were more reliable on the whole than Toyotas (especially the relatively recent models).
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't care what JD Powers says anymore. Having owned a past highly ranked Buick that turned out to be an absolute lemon, I couldn't get rid of my Buick fast enough. There is little cred in what JD Powers says in my books.
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