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J.D. Power dependability study defies popular opinion

March 19, 2009 |  3:35 pm

Jdptrophy320With car sales in the tank and the public relations image of American auto manufacturing at an all-time low, results from J.D. Power and Associates' "most dependable" list, which reports Jaguar and Buick in the top two spots — unseating Lexus for the first time in 14 years — seems almost counter-intuitive.

Beyond that fact, other notable statistics in the study:

  • Four of the top 10 most dependable car brands are American brands — Buick, Mercury, Lincoln and Cadillac.
  • The bottom five, least dependable car brands are imports — Volkswagen, Land Rover, Isuzu, Mazda and Suzuki in the last position.
  • Although Lexus was bumped out of the No. 1 slot, the Lexus LS 430 sedan had the best individual model score, with the fewest problems reported — only 61 — per 100 vehicles.

This year's results were culled from surveys of 46,000 original owner of 2006 model year vehicles who reported "problems" or "broken" components. The winners of the survey have the lowest scores of "problems per 100 vehicles" and the grand list includes every car in the brand's 2006 stable.

—Joni Gray

Photo: Graham Barclay / Bloomberg News

Related story: Lexus takes a back seat to Jaguar, Buick in reliability study