Lexus way ahead in quality - J.D. Power’s 2015 Vehicle Dependability Study
Lexus’ domination of quality surveys continues. The latest evidence comes from J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Dependability Study. The study looks at how many quality defects are reported by owners in a vehicle’s third year of ownership. Lexus leads the industry with an impressive score of 89 reports defects per 100 vehicles. The next closest brand, Buick, has a score of 110. From there the top performers are all relatively close to one another, including Toyota with its score of 111. Toyota’s Scion brand moved up 13 positions on the list this year.
Dependability – What it Means
The Dependability Study looks at 117 customer-reported symptoms in 8 vehicle categories. BlueTooth issues and voice recognition continue to be the most reported type of defects. Automatic transmission issues are also common, though, as a whole, the top performers have very few defects of any kind. Many of the reported BlueTooth issues are blamed on the vehicle when the phone and vehicle are difficult to pair.
Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive at J.D. Power explained this year’s conclusions by J.D. Power, saying, "As we've seen in our Initial Quality Study, technology issues with vehicles are viewed as significant problems by owners, and they typically don't go away after the honeymoon period of vehicle ownership is over… Owners clearly want the latest technology in their vehicles, and they are particularly critical when it doesn't work. Their definition of dependability is increasingly influenced by usability."
Reliability by Brand
It is important to realize that Lexus, Buick, and Toyota are not just ahead by a small margin. Lexus as a brand has only half the reported problems that Volvo does and only one-third the number of problems that Land Rover does. Fiat’s score of 273 compared to Buick’s 110 also brings into focus just how unreliable the Fiat brand is according to this new study. Chrysler’s Fiat, Jeep, and Dodge all score at or near the bottom of all manufacturers and only its Ram truck line has a score that comes in above average.