This is Lexus' 6th consecutive victory but it was tied by our favorite automaker from Stuttgart.
With centuries of collective experience underneath their belts, it's a bit of a shame to hear that the world's automakers still average about 156 problems per 100 vehicles, at least for the 2014 model-year vehicles studied in the latest J.D. Power quality survey. This may sound like a lot because it guarantees at least one problem experienced per vehicle, but the upside of this is that these issues are beginning to stem from non crucial components such as the suspension or drivetrain.
That's because the increasing complexity of new cars has only added more components that can fail. "The industry is getting 'better and better' at preventing problems in traditional areas, such as suspension problems or mechanical issues," said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power to Automotive News. "These things are getting better, but it's being offset by all the technology that's being stuffed into our cars now," he said. As such, the increase in problems was due to navigation, audio, communication, and entertainment systems although one interesting addition to the list of top 10 most common failures was the battery, with reports of failure rising by 44 percent this year.
Tied for top spot of the latest JD Power ratings are Lexus and Porsche with an average of 110 problems per 100 vehicles, a rise of 15 problems per 100 vehicles for Lexus and 13 for Porsche over last year's study. Following Lexus and Porsche were Toyota, Buick, and Mercedes rounding off the top 5 most dependable automakers in the study. New to the top 10 segment was Mercedes, Hyundai, coming in at number 6, BMW ranking 7th, and Jaguar (shocker) taking 10th place. This shift in dependability rankings pushed GMC, Acura, Ram, and Lincoln out of the top ten spot. The Toyota Camry and Ford F-150, the sales leaders of their respective segments, also topped the Vehicle Dependability Study in their segments.
This correlation coincides with the survey's finding that buyer dollars go towards brands that rank high in quality. "We find buyers are increasingly avoiding models with poor reputations for dependability, so manufacturers can't afford to let quality slip, particularly on their best sellers," said Sargent. That may be why Fiat Chrysler, an automaker with brands inhabiting four out of the five last place slots, may be undergoing such dire financial hardships. Better luck next time.