J.D. Power today announced its 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which takes a look at problems experienced by owners of 2014 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. Lexus and Porsche again top the rankings, with Toyota itself coming in third among U.S. car brands.
Responses from 35,186 owners served as the basis of the VDS, which was conducted from October to December last year. Dependability is measured by taking a look at the number of problems experienced for every 100 vehicles, with lower numbers representing higher scores. This study takes into account 117 specific problems that have been separated into eight major categories. At the top of the ranking is a tie between Lexus and Porsche at 110 problems per 100 vehicles followed by Toyota at 123 problems per 100 vehicles. Hyundai saw the biggest improvement (133), allowing it to move up to sixth place from 19th in 2016. J.D. Power also noted that brand loyalty and long-term quality are also determining factors in how strong the resale value will be.
Vehicles that won awards include the Ford F-150, Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius, Lexus ES, and the Chevrolet Camaro, all of which were considered the highest-ranking vehicles when it comes to dependability in their respective segments. There are, however, some questionable results in the rankings. For example, the Toyota Venza, which won the midsize SUV award for dependability is closely related to the Toyota Highlander that placed 13th this year.
The 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study also cited vehicle multimedia interfaces as the most problematic areas, making up around 22% of reported problems, up from 20% in 2016, with Bluetooth connectivity and voice commands making up the majority. However, it could be argued that this is less a dependability issue and more of a problem with the user interface, putting into question the validity of the Audio, Communication, Entertainment and Navigation (ACEN) category. Additionally, VDS does not separate major and minor problems, which means there is no way to tell what major problems a specific vehicle has.
Source: J.D. Power