J.D. Power has released its 2005 Vehicle Dependability Study, which tracks the problems recorded by original owners of model-year 2002 vehicles. Industry-wide, the numbers improved by over 10% compared to the previous year, with 84% of all models showing an improvement. That's great news for carbuyers. Lexus led the study for the 11th straight year, with Porsche coming in second and making the largest overall improvement. Lincoln, Buick, and Cadillac round out the top five. The bottom-third finish of Mercedes-Benz reflects that brand's much-discussed issues (primarily related to electronics). BMW barely edged out Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler, all of which finished slightly above the industry average of 242 defects per 100 vehicles. GM captured eight segment awards, with its Chevrolet division earning five. The highest-ranked model in the survey was the Lexus LS430, which averaged 90 defects per 100 vehicles, making it the first model ever in the history of the survey to average less than one problem per vehicle.

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