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American Brands Shine In J.D. Power Dependability Survey

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2010 Buick LaCrosse

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No, buying American won't get you an undependable disaster-on-wheels; in fact, it's likely to get you a more reliable, trouble-free car.

In the latest proof of this, from marketing-information authority J.D. Power and Associates, seven of the ten models with the lowest number of problems, on average, come from Ford and GM.

That list of most dependable vehicles, from J.D. Power's 2010 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), includes the Buick LaCrosse, Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS, Ford Five Hundred, Lincoln MKZ, Mercury Milan, and Mercury Montego.

The study gauges dependability by counting problems experienced—broken into 198 different classifications—by the original owners (more than 52,000 in all) of three-year-old (2007 model year) vehicles. From that, J.D. Power calculates the total number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles to find overall dependability.

Power pointed out that Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, Lincoln, and Mercury all do well in dependability but their consumer perceptions lag and these brands are often avoided as a result, as the firm has found in its annual Avoider Study.

J.D. Power ranked vehicle models in 19 different segments, such as "large pickup" or "compact premium sporty car," and within those Toyota still claimed the most awards, with the Toyota Prius, Tundra, Sequoia, and Highlander all topping their respective segments.


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Comments (9)
  1. No surprise the 2007 Ford Focus is not on the list — mine has been a total disappointment and the last Ford I will ever buy. Failed transmission, leaking hatch, dead blower motor, trim falling apart, seat issues, brake problems... and less than 30k miles.
     
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  2. The Chrysler brand's score was 167 problems per 1000 vehicles, the industry average was 166... so that's "well below the industry average"? My buddy the Chrysler dealer tells the story of his customer with the new 300 a few years ago. The guy considered the express-down feature on the driver's power-window to be a defect - and despite repeated explanations to the contrary, the guy could never be convinced otherwise. Some people can't be happy; they've just got to complain - and I think most of them drive Chrysler products.
     
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  3. Even back in 2006, Toyota/Lexus fans new that these results were gonna be bad bc that is when the decline started ... imagine what the 2012/2013 results are going to be like for them ...
     
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  4. Have to wonder what is going on with this info. Latest Consumer reports shows the Caddy DTS as below average reliability. I realize the JD survey covers the 2007 model, but does that mean JD results are going to drop the Caddy from the top next year? I bought my 2009 Honda Ridgeline from research of the vehicle. Consumer reports was instrumental in that buy-they were spot on too.
     
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  5. The reason I don't believe these (and I realize many won't like this) is what I call the Saturn Effect.
    During the early years of Saturns, the moto press universally said Saturns were okay, but nothing great. Certainly not leaders in the class. But surveys of the Saturn owners, universally said that they believed that Saturns were the best cars made.
    I think people who buy Buicks, Lincolns, Mercury's and Cadillacs in this day and age are so sick of the perceived unpatriotic reviews and reports that Japanese cars are the most reliable, simply report that their cars have no problems, whether they are problem-free or not.
    Three years ago I bought a new G35 and my wife bought a new SRX, during the same weekend. The SRX has had a number of problems, leaks and issues, but my wife believes it has been 100% reliable. The SRX is also far less refined and solid than the G35.
     
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  6. I was shocked not to see any Chrysler products on the list. With Chryslers vastly improved build quality of late, I thought they would crack the elite group. My daughter just returned her problematic leased Infinity and my Pacifica just keeps chugging along flawlessly. Who rates these cars anyway?
     
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  7. @tom, I see the source of the confusion regarding Chrysler. Overall dependability (for all vehicles weighted equally is at 167 problems per 100 vehicles. But on a nameplate/brand basis (looking at its average across Chrysler's models only), Chrysler is at 166 PPM -- more troublesome versus the nameplate-average 155 PPM.
    @brad, I find it really hard to believe that American-car owners are selectively not reporting their problems to doctor the data in a positive direction. No, I've seen it with my own eyes, and heard it from owners far and wide -- American cars have become much, much better for reliability in recent years.
     
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  8. Americian cars will always have a poor quality perception. JD Power & Consumer Reports are useless. I've owned Nissans, Subarus, Hondas, Mitsubishi, and Dodge/Jeeps. Except for my Honda (89 Accord), my Chrysler group vehicles ahev been more reliable and cheaper to maintain than any of the above. My current Jeep has 297,000 miles on the original engine and transmission. It still runs amazing. I'll keep my Americian car, thank you.
     
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  9. Unfortunately American cars are still not as refined as Jap or euro cars. I've owned and driven all three and still feel that Jap cars,for the most part,are the most reliable cars on earth.
     
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