Lexus has 99 problems but dependability ain't one

Lexus has 99 problems but dependability ain't one

by Drew Johnson

Lexus has once again topped J.D. Power's dependability study.

For the seventh year in a row, Toyota's Lexus luxury division has topped J.D. Power's annual vehicle dependability study. General Motors' Buick division nabbed the highest rating of any mass-market brand.

As a refresher, the J.D. Power vehicle dependability study assesses vehicles that are three years old and still with their original owner. The study measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher dependability. The focus of this year's study was vehicles from the 2015 model year.

With 99 problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus was the leading marque in the study. Porsche was close behind with 100 problems per 100 vehicles. Buick, the highest-ranked mainstream brand, was third with 116 PP100 vehicles, followed by Infiniti (120), Kia (122), Chevrolet (124), BMW (127) and Toyota (127).

Although still well below the industry average of 142 PP100, Fiat showed the biggest improvement of any automaker in this year's study, with the company seeing 106 fewer PP100 than last year (now at 192 PP100). Infiniti was the biggest mover in the rankings, jumping from 29th last year to forth this year. Kia, Dodge (166 PP100) and Nissan (133 PP100) had their best finishes ever in the study.

On the flip side, the Chrysler brand landed in the basement of the study with 211 problems reported per 100 vehicles. Land Rover (204), Fiat, Jeep (188) and Cadillac (186) rounded out the bottom five spots.

As in years past, technology remains one of the biggest barriers to a high dependability score. Audio/Communications/Entertainment/Navigation was the most troublesome area in this year's study, with voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity causing the most problems for owners. Despite that lingering issue, the overall industry improved to 142 PP100 in this year's study, down from 156 PP100 in 2017.